We were fortunate (or unfortunate depending upon how you look at it) to not have jobs during the month of October. We went on one epic trek of a lifetime in Brazil, as well as a hike to the top of Brushy Mountain in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
The Smoky Mountains are beautiful in the fall. But let’s be real, every senior citizen in the continental U.S. knows it to be true. Particularly if you go on the weekend, expect a lot of seniors and a lot of traffic.
We spent some time driving on Newfound Gap Road up to the road’s namesake. There were breathtaking views to be had, naturally.
The trailhead for Brushy Mountain and Grotto Falls, which is along the way, stems off of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. To the top of Brushy Mountain, it is about 3.4 miles. The trail was well-maintained and fallen leaves were scattered about.
Since we went hiking on a Tuesday, the trail was mostly filled with retirees or families with very young children. Most seemed to turn back at Grotto Falls, however. It is a destination in itself. Hikers are able to walk underneath the falls.
Leaves made their way into the river.
To the falls, the trail was very easy. Beyond that, I struggled a bit more…but the views continued to encourage us to move onward and upward.
Eventually, we summited. There was only one other group at the summit, and there was plenty of room for us to share the top of the mountain. From the top, you can look down to see the cities of Sevier County.
Now if only I didn’t have to work Tuesdays or traffic wouldn’t be horrible on the weekends I could get back to fall hiking in the park.