Well 2020 certainly has been a strange year! We wanted to get out of town for a little bit but at a safe, social distance so we decided to do a hiking trip to the Great Smoky Mountains! Our first stop was actually a little out of the way in Mammoth Cave KY, home to the largest underground cave system in the world encompassing more than 400 miles of surveyed passageways! Sadly, the majority of the bat population has been lost to white nose syndrome and they have limited the distance into the cave people can travel so we were not lucky enough to see any.
After stopping by Mammoth Cave National Park, we continued on down to Gatlinburg, TN and rented a nice, cozy cabin a few miles from downtown. We filled our week with driving Cades Cove (looking for wildlife and especially black bears!), hiking Grotto Falls, Abram’s Falls, and part of the Twin Creeks trail, climbing to the top of Clingman’s Dome, and finding a wonderful little restaurant called the Wild Plum Tea Room. Hiking in nature and seeing the amazing views was a wonderful break from work and we have definitely determined we will be coming back with our kids and sharing the wonders of nature with them.
We found several cute salamanders and got a lucky view of a black bear!