Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Curry Mountain Trail

Today's hike was the first deliberate hike geared toward completing the 900+ miles of trails in the Smokies. As a family we go to the Smokies often, but we have a tendency to go back to our favorite places over and over again. Because, well... they're our favorite places! There's a spot in Cades Cove where we go most springs to sit among the daffodils and picnic. The nature trail at Chimney's picnic area is another favorite short hike. We've hiked the first couple of miles of Middle Prong trail numerous times. I've been back and forth from Cades Cove to Abrams Falls over and over. You get the picture.

But after deciding to try to complete ALL of the trails I knew I'd have to start branching out. Part of the deal is that our younger kids are not yet up to 6, 8 or 10 mile hikes (or maybe they are and I just don't realize it) so most of our family hikes are short, partial trails. Jesse is a great hiker and is almost always game for a long hike, so he is often my companion.

So with Christmas break upon us I got out the map and looked for a decent length trail that we could day-hike (Jesse rejected my first proposal of a 13 mile trek...). The Curry Mountain Trail is close by (we can get to the trail head in about 40 minutes) and only 6.6 miles round trip. The trail gains a little over 1000' in elevation over 3.3 miles.

I had hoped that there would be snow, but wasn't sure how much there would be... There was plenty.

The trail head is just down from the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area.

Down low the snow was thin and melting fast, but the higher up we got the deeper the snow. It was a beautiful sunny day and we quickly shed our fleece jackets and wool sweaters.

Curry Mountain trail dead-ends into the Meigs Mountain trail here at this junction. The snow here was a good 8-10" deep and as the sun rose over the ridge it was starting to melt from the trees and fall to the ground.

We stopped here for lunch and a rest before turning back toward home. The trip up took about an hour and a half; the trip back down just over an hour.

While completing the 900 miles in the park is a goal, it's not the real goal. Mostly it's a way to explore more of this amazing place called the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I am amazingly blessed to live so close, and I intend to take full advantage. In fact, I'm already getting out my maps and guidebooks and thinking about my next hike.

1 comment:

  1. Next snow, we are going with you. It's time to test D and L's hiking stamina!