Friday, July 22, 2011

Cleaning Up After the Tornado in Cades Cove

Crews in the Great Smoky Mountains continue to make progress in clean-up efforts in the aftermath of the April 27th EF-4 tornado that ripped through the western edge of Cades Cove. The Great Smoky Mountains Association recently published a short video providing an update on those efforts:

© GSMA 2011. All rights reserved.



Anonymous said...

I love your blog, so informative! I come visit all the time. I had an unrelated question for you though....can you advise when a "good time" to hike Laurel Falls would be? Is the summer out? I had never been by and not seen 9 million cars, I have also never been any hikes on this side of the Smokies in my whole life of living here. Too many people. Can you make some suggestions?

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Candace - thank you for the compliments!

The rumor is that the parking area for Laurel Falls, Fighting Creek Gap, rec'd its name after two motorists got into a scuffle over the last parking space one day... But that could just be a rumor. :)

For me, I think the best time to hike in the Smokies is in March and April when the weather is warming and the crowds are low. Jan, Feb, May and Sept are also good months. To avoid the crowds at Laurel Falls even more, I would recommend hiking in the early morning, or in the evening. A lot of times you can drive by FCG during mid-day and the parking lot will be a complete zoo, but drive by around 6 or 7 and there will only be a handful of cars. Also, weekdays are much better than weekends.

If your sole goal is to avoid crowds, check out Sugarlands Mountain Trail from Clingmans Dome, any of the trails from the Tremont or Cosby area, or even the Curry Mountain Trail.

If you're looking for an outstanding hike, with relatively few people, check out Rocky Top via the Anthony Creek TH out of the Cades Cove picnic area - don't even have to drive thru the loop to get there! It's probably my most favorite hike in the Smokies.