It's almost June, which means that mountain laurel will soon be blooming at the top of Spence Field.
The hike to Spence Field out of Cades Cove is probably one of the most underrated hikes in the Smokies, in my opinion. I would go so far as to say that the combination of Spence Field and Rocky Top ranks as number 3 on my list of the Top 10 Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
In addition to the outstanding views from Rocky Top anytime of the year, the mountain laurel at Spence Field makes this an exceptional hike. The best time to tackle the 5.1-mile trek to Spence is usually right around mid-June when the grassy bald area is exploding with mountain laurel at or near peak bloom.
Although Spence Field provides for some outstanding views of the North Carolina side of the Smokies, you should definitely hike another 1.2 miles to Rocky Top for an even better vantage point - possibly the best in the park.
Here's a preview of some of the sights you'll see at the top:
For more information on Spence Field, please click here, and for more information on the hike to Rocky Top, please click here.
If planning to make the pilgrimage to Spence Field or Rocky Top this season, you ought to make Townsend your headquarters. If you've never had the pleasure of staying in the Townsend area, known as the “Quiet Side of the Smokies”, you may want to note that it's much easier getting in and out of the park, and is fairly close to Cades Cove. If you need a rental cabin during your visit, be sure to visit our Townsend Accommodations page.