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20 March 2012

Southeast US: Day 3, 2nd Part, Great Smoky Mountains & Blue Ridge Parkway

We go on with our third day, and as we were saying, we are going to drive to Cherokee, from where we will get to our next stop, Mingo Falls. They were not carrying much water when I saw them but even so this trail is worth the hike, 0.4 miles –all uphill- and the same back.

Mingo Falls

After this, we will start our drive in the Blue Ridge Parkwayyou have some pictures here. It is worth driving slowly, stopping in the viewpoints –there are so many!!- to enjoy the views. Our final destination today will be Asheville, where we will spend the night. The reason to choose Asheville is because it has so many hotels, but you also have more things to see and spend a whole day visiting Biltmore Estate, the fabulous mansion –it is supposed to be the largest privately owned house in the USA- that the Vanderbilt family built there between 1889 and 1895 for their leisure. I did not visit it because, to be honest, it was quite expensive and it would have taken us almost another day that we preferred to dedicate to other things, but I would not have minded at all seeing it.

Well, back to our trip, the Blue Ridge Parkway and its idyllic landscape.

Self-portrait at a stop  :)

Our first stop is, besides all the viewpoints, to hike the trail –not sure if it deserves to be called trail- to theWaterrock Knob Summit. It is a total 1.2 miles, but 1.2 very hard miles. The way to it is all uphill, and not on a particularly flat trail, but over rocks. The day we did it, just to add a bit of thrill, we also had a small stream looking for a way downhill that made the rocks especially slippery. Yeah, it can be hiked, but youjust have to know that you need to be more or less fit and know what it is like –have I mentioned the wind while you hike uphill? :)  

Going up to Waterrock Knob

Going up to Waterrock Knob
Well, after a long long time feeling like a Spanish Ibex (a goat living in the mountains) from the Pyrinees you get to the summit, and the reward is, as always, spectacular:

Views from the Waterrock Knob Summit

And, after this leg killer, we will end up our day in Asheville, where we will get our strength back  to go on tomorrow touring this scenic road.


  1. Found your blog via Jenny Woolf's blog... and I gotta say, your blog is great! Lots of travel inspiration indeed! I'll be following.

  2. Thanks!!! I have also found yours very interesting specially since I share a passion fo many of the themes you deal with :)