I have some good friends that spent a long weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At some point, they decided that it would be nice to experience the park up close and personal with a hike to the very popular Abrams Falls in the Cades Cover area of the park.
It’s two and a half miles from the trailhead to the falls, and of course it’s exactly the same distance back to the parking area. And the trail is considered “moderate,” with some elevation changes, and the typical roots and rocks that you have to step over on mountain trails.
Many people that are unfamiliar with hiking mountain trails do not realize how long it can take to walk a mile, and that a five mile trip can be quite strenuous. Many fail to carry drinking water and blister patches and other hiking necessities.
And once you are two and a half miles from the car, there is no way back other than to retrace your steps and to keep your now exhausted body moving. The last mile is always the longest!
Preparation and proper dress are key to enjoying the park in the more remote areas. Dressing appropriately, having good hiking boots and adequate provisions will make the experience enjoyable instead of painful!
I know that next time, my friends will be better prepared. And I hope that their blisters heal soon!
Photos: Abrams Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park courtesy of SmokyPhotos.com.