Fitness Friday: Laurel Falls
The trail to Laurel Falls is considered one of the easiest climbs in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, therefore lots of cars are parked at the trailhead & lots of people who would otherwise use handicap stickers to park close to the local WalMart attempt this walk.
From the trailhead it is a 1.2 mile trek up to the Falls rising only 200 feet. That’s an easy climb.
With straight drops on the west side, this paved trail can become a bit precarious when having to pass other climbers.
It was good to witness seemingly inactive folks giving it their best to see this natural beauty. I became the encourager on the way up & down to those sitting on rock outcrops talking about giving up & going back down.
Being part mountain goat, according to DH, I crossed the falls & climbed down the other side to get a different view. DH followed across but waited up top. That’s his red shirt in the photo. I could have climbed down to the stream bed but didn’t feel I could get a better shot than what I had.
The walk down went faster even with a couple of stops to answer questions about my “feet” – my Vibram FiveFingers. I can’t believe I forgot to photograph my “feet” on this trip!
This is one of the only clear vistas from the trail. Gorgeous, huh?
I have only 1 complaint about this walk: There is a sign at the trailhead stating “No Pets Allowed.” On our way down there was an young Asian couple with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on a leash (at least it was on a leash) walking up to the Falls. If there had been a Park Ranger present, they would have been fined, but there aren’t enough Rangers to be everywhere at once. Please observe rules as posted for the safety & convenience of all park visitors.