Friday, August 7, 2020
Today was a beautiful day in the Smoky Mountains. We were again up for an early morning hike. This time we drove over to the Cosby area of the park, about 45 minutes from Fred. This is a less used area of the park, being further away from Gatlinburg. We decided to hike to Hen Wallow Falls by way of Gabes Mountain Trail and were on the trail by 7:30. If you want to know how it got it’s name click here. Round trip is 4.4 miles and is considered a moderate hike. It is 2.2 miles of up the mountain hiking. It’s a steady upward slope all the way but there are those areas that are much steeper. The trail has lots of roots to challenge the balance. The payoff is a nice 95 foot water fall. The great thing about this hike was that we had the entire trail to ourselves. We saw no one else until we arrived at the falls where there was a single female sitting reading a book cooling her feet in the water. It was awesome. We stayed at the falls for probably 30 minutes taking videos, pictures and just sitting admiring God’s handiwork and no one else arrived to disrupt the tranquil setting. We were probably 20 minutes back down trail before we met other hikers. There were beautiful views throughout the hike with smaller waterfalls and beautiful forest. After returning to the trail head and having a sandwich we walked around the “closed due to Covid” campground just to see what it was like.
When we left the park we turned right on Highway 32 rather than left (the way home) again just to see what was out that way. The next section of 32 was miles of one hairpin turn after another – but gorgeous drive. Finally we saw the bears we had been hoping to see. A sow and her two cubs!!! The cubs were so cute. Mom was digging for grubs and eating leaves. The cubs were eating leaves and playing. So much fun to see wild life!
Click here if you want to see a short video of the mama bear. After enjoying the bears we headed back home. It was another wonderful day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.