Adventure unveils nature’s beauty


Columnist Doug Skinner and a hiking partner got drinking water from this cascade at a campsite in the Smoky Mountains National Park. PHOTO BY DOUG SKINNER

A full bloom mountain laurel on Anthony Creek Trail in the Smoky Mountains National Park. PHOTO BY DOUG SKINNER

Campsite 37 in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park resides on a beautiful and civilized trail that follows Big Creek, featuring picturesque swimming holes and trout-laden pools.

For the past three years, I have reserved a spot there, only to have the campsite shut down because of aggressive bear activity. The day before leaving for the trip this June, I got a text that Campsite 37 was closed, effective immediately, not due to bears, but a tornado that ripped through the area the night before. All campsites and trails in the area were closed due to the tornado’s extreme damage.

A ranger suggested taking Anthony Creek Trail with the hope of finding mountain laurel in bloom at Spence Field, a highland meadow traversed by the Appalachian Trail. Our hike into Campsite 9 for two nights would be three miles, where we would set up camp followed the next day by three miles to Spence Field.

This story appears in the print edition of Daily Journal. Subscribers can read the entire story online by signing in here or in our e-Edition by clicking here.

All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Click here to read our privacy policy.