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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Parson Branch Road in the Smokies--Part I

Where do you go to see a beautiful waterfall like this one above?????  This is Triple Falls on Parson Branch.




Or---to see the Mountain Laurels blooming all through the mountains????




OR----to see a gorgeous little creek like this one????  (This one is Forge Creek. Doesn't this just make you want to stick your toes in there??)




WELL----you go halfway through Cades Cove (in the Smokies) --and turn near the visitor center, onto Forge Creek Road.   Stay on this 2-way gravel road for a short distance and then turn right onto a rough and rugged 8 mile one-way gravel road (see picture above)--which eventually comes out on Highway 129 (at the Tail of the Dragon).

To see a Smokies map (showing Parson Branch Road) click HERE.  Look at the west side of the Smokies (on left) --and find Cades Cove.  Just follow my directions and you'll see Parson Branch Road.

George and I had never gone on Parson Branch Road before ---so this was a new experience for us (which we had on Monday,  May 23, 2011).  To say that we didn't know what we were getting into is a true statement... There was mud and potholes and sludge everywhere..  The rangers had put down more gravel in spots---but  even that didn't stop us from skidding in at least one spot.  NEAL would love this road ---but GINNY and SANDRA  would NOT--and would be "BWAKKING" the entire time!!!!! ha ha






The one-way road is only 8 miles---but it takes about an hour to drive it.  We also stopped all along the way since it was so gorgeous WAY back in the mountains.  The road goes up and down --over mountains,  coves and hollows.  This area was home at one time to several mountaineer farmers--- but is now part of the Great Smoky Mountains.  There are lots of great hiking trails all around this area.




For waterfall lovers like us,  this is a wonderful road to take.  There were creeks following along, going back and forth from one side of the road to the next, all along the way ---which made for some very interesting water crossings for us.   We had no trouble crossing all of these creeks ---but they say that, after a big storm,  there's no way to get over some of them.  Above is another picture of the road ---showing one of the water crossings at the bottom of the hill.   See it????

I have another set of pictures to share sometime.  We saw FOUR new waterfalls on this trip!!!!! Yeah!!!!   My advice:  don't go on this road unless you have a Prius and George as your driver!!!!!! ha ha... (We LOVED it!!!)

Have a wonderful June 1st.  It's hotter than hades here now....  What's up with that?  GADS!
Hugs,