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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm Lichen Laurel Falls Trail

Let me start off this post with a mini rant.  I'm glad you love your dogs, America, but when the sign clearly says NO DOGS and has a picture of a little dog with a slash through it that means leave your furry friend behind and do not take it with you on the trail.  We counted six dogs on the Laurel Falls trail.  All owners were smiling and acting like nothing was wrong.  Rude.  Maybe I'll just drive my ATV up the path or bring an ax and start chopping down all the trees.  And most of them don't even keep their dog close to them, one dog bounded over and snuffled all over my leg.  I was speechless.  Rant over.

Laurel Falls is one of the most popular trails in the park and it's not hard to see why.  Compared to most of the other trails it's relatively short at 2.6 miles round trip and the elevation gain is only 314 feet.  The trail is also paved though still bumpy and occasionally uneven with steep drop offs so watch where you walk!

I saw this cute little flower all along the trail.  Anyone know what it is?  Fall color is really starting to pop at the lower elevations too.

A "helpful" gentlemen offered to take my camera and take a shot of me and Wayne in this spot above.  The offer came with stories of all the pictures he's taken for people over the years.  I told him I was trying to set it up so we were between the tree and the rock outcropping with both visible in the shot.  He took 3 different shots before I let him off the hook.  The one below is the closest he got, the other 2 the rock wasn't even visible and we were blurry in all of them.  This is why I usually decline offers to have others take our picture and carry a tripod instead.  It's a bitch being picky.


While waterfalls are great and all, I was more enthusiastic about the lichen variety along the trail.

Talk about fall color!  These lichens rivaled the leaves and will last all year long.  But, the waterfall was nice too.  A walkway splits the upper and lower levels of the falls, and of course flow is a little low this time of year.

Great views of the Smokies but this week the color is really popping in this area.  Some areas are still mostly green, like the hike I did a couple of days ago with Sharon from the blog Gains & Losses.  More on that later!

 Today we leave for a few days in the Cumberland Falls area of Kentucky on our way home.  There are a few post office murals in the area that I'm looking forward to checking out! 


  1. Loved the you now know, we certainly share that philosophy! In bear country, it's for the protection of all. But even were that not the reason, rules are rules and to blatantly ignore them is beyond rude! Laurel Falls looks positively anemic!

  2. Yeah - those lichen colors rival the fall leaves! Although I do hike with my dog, I wouldn't think of taking him on trails where dogs aren't allowed. But sadly there are boneheads who think the rules don't apply to them. Are there no park rangers enforcing the rules?

  3. Wonderful photos rich with color. I had to smile thinking this gentleman has 11 years of crappy photo taking to his credit leaving tourists all over the country disappointed. As for dogs on forbidden trails here's what I do: In all seriousness as I pass them by I say in a low voice "I just saw a park ranger back there a ways. Ooo..big fine for having a dog on the trail." Leaves them worrying for the rest of their walk I like to think.

  4. Know what you mean about dogs, We have a couple we take with us to various caravan parks, they state dogs to be kept on leads at all times, fine by me apart from the site owners dogs roam freely. Don't quite ring right with me. Great hike and no yur not being bitchy, he could have run off with the camera.

  5. You have voiced one of my MAJOR issues with dogs on trails; especially trails marked NO DOGS that are used by mountain bikers. Dogs and bikes do not mix, and there they are, dog owners with dogs off leash. It is just crazy making. Beautiful pictures of the lichen.

  6. Amazing colours! The place looks just magical, especially in the top shot. Love it.