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Thread: Smokey Mountains suggestions

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    kentucky
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    50

    Smokey Mountains suggestions

    Does anyone have any suggestions or tips in working in the Smokeys. Favorite places to photograph, favorite camping spots/hikes, that sort of thing.
    I might have a chance to go over the next several weeks, thinking about nonexistant fall colours. I have no firmer plans than that. You might even say I'm very flexible.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Mark

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rolla, MO
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    394

    Re: Smokey Mountains suggestions

    I spent a few days at Townsend TN this summer. They were pretty dry there, but the park had lots of opportunities close to town.

    Wife got pictures of two different bears.

    Mike

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    3,985

    Re: Smokey Mountains suggestions

    The Smokies are very difficult to shoot. If you're not careful, you'll find yourself shooting shot after shot of the mountain streams, (even Clyde Butcher did it), eventually it gets pretty boring.
    Cade's Cove near Townsend is almost breathtaking in its beauty (and in its traffic), but again it's difficult to make anything more than "I wus there -- ain't it purdy" images.
    One worthwhile hint: "Magic Light" at dawn and dusk is especially true in the region, and the tourist traffic doesn't start until 9 AM.
    Good Luck!
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
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    Baraboo, Wisconsin
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    7,697

    Re: Smokey Mountains suggestions

    The part of the Park that I've photographed is the part near Gatlinbug. There's an area there called "Greenbriar" that I don't think is actually in the Park itself and that I particularly liked. I can't give you precise directions but it's within ten or so miles of Gatlinburg and anybody there probably can direct you. The entrance is right off a main highway out of Gatlinburg and there's an entrance sign so it's simple to find, I just can't remember the name or number of the highway. If you have to go through Gatlinburg it's best to let someone else drive so that you can close your eyes and not subject yourself to what I think (or hope) is the tackiest and ugliest of all American tourist traps.

    After turning into Greenbriar from the main highway go maybe a half mile or so and you'll see a small dirt parking area on your right. Park there, walk the fifty or so feet down to the river, look up the river a little ways and you'll see some very unusual rock formations and cascades in the river that can easily occupy you for several hours or more if you like that sort of thing. Then continue driving on the road you came in on. You'll go over a bridge and then you'll come to a parking area. Get out, look around the river, you'll see other things to photograph there (and also around the bridge). There's also a fairly long (I think about 8-10 miles each way) hike that originates from that parking area. I've never done the hike but it's supposed to be a beautiful hike. Can't help with camping, I stay in a motel (well away from Gatlinburg).

    Sorry to not be more specific but this is all from memory based on two trips in 2000 and 2001. I mention Greenbriar because I don't think it's actually in the Park itself so you probably wouldn't find it in guides to the Park. Of course there's a lot of photographs to be made of the river, rocks, trees, that sort of thing, right off the main roads through the Park but these are easy to spot as you drive along the roads.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5
    Robert A. Zeichner's Avatar
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    Feb 1999
    Location
    Southfield, Michigan
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    1,091

    Re: Smokey Mountains suggestions

    The Sinks, Mingus Mill and Roaring Fork.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Sinks.jpg   Mingus Mill.jpg   Flume, Roaring Fork.jpg  

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Wauchula, FL
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    26

    Re: Smokey Mountains suggestions

    I'd recommend Pisgah National Forest, more beautiful and certainly a whole lot quieter than SMNP. Also enjoyed several beautiful falls in DuPont State Forest (especially triple falls).

    Peter

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    25

    Re: Smokey Mountains suggestions

    Color may be a little muted this year but you can find some by moving around a bit. NC side may have more color because they got more rain. Cades Cove is a must see but it gets very busy on the weekends, same with the road to Newfound Gap. Clingmans Dome can be spectacular but cold and windy at sunset or sunrise. The other suggestions are great also, just be flexible. Try to stay away form Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge if you can. Also, please don't stop in the middle of the road to look at the deer, I'll be driving Thur in a big hurry to get to that next great shot, lol.
    RandyB

  8. #8

    Re: Smokey Mountains suggestions

    I'm actually at the Smoky's right now. Went to the Cades Cove loop today...truly awful. The traffic on the loop moved as slowly as if it was a parking lot (with lots of people stopping in the middle of the road with no thought for the cars lined up behind them), and any time I pulled over to look for a picture I was immediately surrounded by people trying to figure out what I was shooting so that they wouldn't miss it. I actually had one guy step into a pool in front of me as I was trying to set up a shot...there went the mirror-smooth surface I wanted to shoot.

    I'm off to Greenbriar tomorrow (would have gone today but my wife and I are renewing our vows early this evening), and I've heard good things about the traffic in the southeastern section of the park.

    The landscape is beautiful here, but there is very little color at this time. The rangers don't believe this will be an interesting autumn because of the amount of dry weather here over the last few months, so if you're looking for color this might not be the year for you.

    I'll post again after I get to Greenbriar, and to let you know what else I find. I know that there are more beautiful places here than I could explore in a lifetime, and I'm looking forward to the rest of my week here.

  9. #9

    Re: Smokey Mountains suggestions

    I forgot to mention: Because of the lack of recent rainfall here, the streams and creeks are barely running. Waterfalls are not worth the time right now if you're looking for water that's falling...it's barely trickling this week.

    On the other hand, the rock formations in the waterways are very interesting right now because so much of the surface of the rocks is exposed. Depending on your vision, this might be a great time to photograph around the creeks.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    kentucky
    Posts
    50

    Re: Smokey Mountains suggestions

    Thanks to all.
    Dave, I'll be looking forward to what you have to say about Greenbriar.

    Mark

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