Do you want to view the thrilling spectacle of
colorful wild azaleas in bloom, the sylvan majesty of a grove of forest
giants, the sparkling beauty of a waterfall, the awe-inspiring panorama
from Myrtle Point? If so, then you'll have to go by trail. Several
hundred miles of well-engineered trails, built mostly in the thirties by
the Civilian Conservation Corps, make almost all parts of the park
accessible to the hiker and horseback rider. Trails follow streams, lead
along ridge crests, drop down into secluded valleys, and climb to
mountain summits. Whether your main interest is plants or birds or rocks
or views, or simply the exhilaration of being out of doors, the most
rewarding route is via trail.
The hiker is on the Appalachian Trail, 4 miles
from Newfound Gap. Courtesy, Thompsons Photography, Inc.
One of the finest waterfalls in the park is Ramsey
Cascades. It is reached by a trail which passes through a splendid forest
of giant trees.
Trails in the park are well marked, but bears will chew the signs, on
occasion, and may even destroy them. Damaged signs should be reported.
The map in the pocket inside the back cover shows the trails in the
park. More detailed maps may be purchased in the headquarters and
Oconaluftee areas, where other large maps and relief models are on
Charlies Bunion. Denuded by the disastrous
fire of 1925, this area will be reforested eventually by the natural
invasion of plants. Courtesy, Tennessee Conservation Department.
Alum Cave Bluffs.