Sunday, January 31, 2016

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Oconaluftee River Trail

After driving down from the mountains, and a quick and slippery walk to Mingus Mill, we found ourselves at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. We explored the exhibits inside and then went outside to check out the Mountain Farm Museum.
on stump
After that we hit the Oconaluftee River Trail.
hiking Oconaluftee River Trail
The trail is a nice easy, mostly level path that extends 1.5 miles from the visitor center to the city limits of Cherokee, North Carolina. It's not the most interesting trail, although there are a few relatively large trees growing along the banks of the river.

A highlight of the hike for Sierra was throwing rocks into the river at a big pebbly beach
throwing rocks
near to where the path passes under the southernmost few feet of the Blue Ridge Parkway. For most of the hike I carried Sierra in the backpack, but as we neared a return to our car, Sierra got out and played "chasing Mommy", by running after Noelle.
hiking back to car
When we returned to the car, we ate some snacks and then made the drive back to Greeneville.

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