Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Autumn Snow in the Smokies

The last week of October 2012, the long arms of Hurricane Sandy produced a Smoky Mountains wonderland of snow in autumn. The Smokies offered stunning Read More »

Cades Cove: Elijah Oliver Homestead

All of the Smoky Mtns photos on this page are of the Elijah Oliver cabin. Elijah was John Oliver’s son, and he was born in Cades Cove in 1824. Read More »

Smoky Mountains History: Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls has been a popular Smokies hiking destination since long before the formation of the National Park. LeConte Creek plunges near 80 feet oRead More »

Cades Cove: Henry Whitehead Cabin

Matilda “Aunt Tildy” Shields married Henry Whitehead after her first husband ran off. Henry built the house pictured above in the ChestnuRead More »

Look Up!

It’s a Spiritual Sunday again. Time to ponder whatever comes to mind. Like walking in the Smokies with your head pointed upwards. Watch the squiRead More »

Featured Photo: Dogwood Rain

Dogwood Rain is one of my most enduring Smoky Mtns photos. This shot was taken along the Middle Prong in the Tremont area of the Smokies, which is oneRead More »

Cades Cove: John Oliver Homestead

John Oliver was a pioneer who built his log cabin around 1826 in the Cades Cove area of the Great Smoky Mountains. The homestead is typical of the timRead More »

The Roaring Fork in Black and White

Lately I’ve become hooked on black and white conversions. A couple of weeks ago I posted some black and white Smoky Mountains photos from Cades Read More »

Cades Cove: Carter Shields Cabin

George Washington “Carter” Shields lived on this homestead from around 1910 to 1920, although the cabin dates from the 1830s.  Carter ShiRead More »

Along the Roaring Fork: Jim Bales Place

The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a narrow, one-way loop and a wonderful opportunity for Smoky Mountains photos. Start from stoplight number 8 inRead More »

The Road to Serenity

Welcome to Friday. A weekend! Gratitude for another day. The simple beauty of dawn drifting towards the fullness of the day, weather becoming whateverRead More »

High Season for AT Hikers

If you follow this blog, you know that I enjoy volunteering to help shuttle Appalachian Trail hikers between Gatlinburg and the Trail. I love to get uRead More »

Deep Woods

It’s another Spiritual Sunday. Today we are in the Deep Woods. Something about being among Big Trees speaks to a person’s soul. If youRRead More »

Featured Photo: Dogwood Home

Dogwood Home is a featured photo at the William Britten Gallery. It is offered in all sizes up to 20×30. Details of sizes and prices can be foundRead More »

Springtime on Sparks Lane

It’s a glorious springtime in Cades Cove. The dogwood blooms have come early, and the Smoky Mountains are dressed in their spring finery. There Read More »

AT Hiking Adventures

Readers of this blog know that I enjoy volunteering to help Appalachian Trail hikers shuttle between Gatlinburg and the trail. Most of these folks havRead More »

Featured Photo: Greenbrier Springtime

Greenbrier Spring was taken just downstream from the bridge leading up the Ramsay Prong Road in the Greenbrier section of the Smoky Mountains. The creRead More »

Morton Overlook

Morton Overlook is one of the classic locations for Smoky Mountains photos.  You could stop here every day for 365 days in a row and never see the saRead More »

Historical Topo Maps

The images on this page are from a 1949 US Geological Survey Map of the Smoky Mountains, which was based on the 1931 map created at the time the NatioRead More »

Spiritual Sunday: Calm and Bright

The Smokies got a short-lived winter snowstorm earlier this week. By lunchtime the weather turned warm and sunny, and the snow was but a memory.  I wRead More »

Short-lived winter snowstorm

This week we awoke to what has been a rare sight this winter: a blanket of snow! However, the forecast was for temperatures in the 50s, so I scamperedRead More »

Winter: Quiet and Peaceful

It’s definately the winter time here folks. The excitement of the holidays is a fading memory. The Smoky Mountains are currently shrouded in a hRead More »

Featured Photo: Place of 1000 Drips

Place of 1000 Drips is one of my oldest and most enduring Smoky Mountains photos. This is a popular roadside waterfall along the Roaring Fork Motor TRead More »

Smoky Mountains in Black and White

Smoky Mountains photos need not always be in color, as these three vistas illustrate. The photo above is the classic shot from Mortons Overlook near tRead More »

Time to Enjoy Nature

It’s the last day of October, and it has been an exceptionally busy month in my Gallery and at the October Craftsmens Fair in Gatlinburg. I wantRead More »

Cades Cove: the Tipton Place

William “Fighting Billy” Tipton was Revolutionary War veteran and the first of the Tipton clan to acquire land in the Smoky Mountains. ThiRead More »

Featured Photo: Spiritual Light

Spiritual Light is one of my Smoky Mountains photos taken from the Morton Overlook near Newfound Gap. The dramatic rays of sunset filtering through thRead More »

Early Morning Walk in Cades Cove

Today is my wife, Sarah’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Sarah! Last week we got up very early … before 5am … and drove over to Cades CoRead More »

Featured Photo: Noah “Bud” Ogle Cabin

Noah “Bud” Ogle was a Smoky Mountain farmer who lived from 1863 to 1913. The cabin was built in the 1880’s and consists of two cabinRead More »

Featured Photo: Dogwood Tapestry

Dogwood Tapestry is one of my premier Smoky Mountains photos in a vertical format.  The scene is along the Middle Prong of the Little River, in the TRead More »

Finding Deep Peace in Wild Places

These are stressful times. So much strife in the world, polarized beliefs, and intolerance. Some days it’s too much for a sensitive person, and Read More »

Featured Photo: Listening to Silence

A commitment is required to experience the quiet grandeur of a Smoky Mountains dawn such as this. With close to an hour drive from the Gatlinburg areaRead More »

Featured Photo: Cades Cove Morning

Cades Cove Morning is a fairly new addition to the William Britten Gallery, taken from Hyatt Lane in the Cades Cove section of the Smoky Mountains. ThRead More »

End of another Smoky Mountains Day

I made a late-evening run up to Newfound Gap to deliver a hiker to the Appalachian Trail. This was Moises (pictured below), who had called me from ChiRead More »

Easy High-elevation Hikes

There are some wonderful and easy Smoky Mountains hikes at 5000 feet and above that will transport you from the dense hardwood forests of the SoutheasRead More »

The Sinks

The Sinks is a popular Smoky Mountains waterfall stop along Little River Road. Especially after a rainfall, it can be quite dramatic to stand in the oRead More »

Moody Mountain Monday Morning

It’s a moody Smoky Mtn Monday in early May. The valley is lush with spring green, while the upper elevations are still shrugging off winter. TheRead More »

Changes in Altitude

Happy Friday!  It’s been a while since we had a Philosophical Friday.  Today’s thoughts are about living in an area like Gatlinburg thatRead More »

Ode to Dogwoods

In April of every year the Smoky Mountains are showered with dogwood blooms like a late spring snowstorm. Everywhere you go … up in the GreenbriRead More »

Walking the Ogle Nature Trail

This past week I took advantage of a lovely spring morning to walk to Bud Ogle Nature Trail before my day in the Gallery began.  The Bud Ogle Farm isRead More »

A Couple of Waterfalls

Two random Smoky Mtn waterfalls today, one that you hike to, and the other is just a roadside pull-off.  The photo above is Fern Branch Falls. This iRead More »

Visiting the Walker Sisters

The Walker Sisters Place is one of many Smoky Mountain homesteads. The five spinster sisters clung to the old self-reliant way of life and became legeRead More »

Favorite Trails: Spruce Flat Falls

Spruce Flat Falls is one of the hidden gems of the Smoky Mountains.  The hike is about a mile each way, not too rugged but with a bit of a climb. TheRead More »

That Sinking Feeling

Driving along Little River Road in the Smoky Mountains last week, the water was high from several days of rain, and there were kayakers putting their Read More »

Smoky Mountains History: The House That Jack Built

In the late 1920s Gatlinburg entrepreneur Jack Huff built a 20 by 24 foot cabin out of balsam logs that was the forerunner of today’s LeConte LoRead More »

Ode to Mount LeConte

Mt. LeConte is the third-highest Smoky Mountains peak, but to me it represents the skyline of the Smokies. As you approach from the north, Mt. LecontRead More »

Can’t Get Too Much of the Cove

Can a person ever get too much Cades Cove or Smoky Mountains? No need to answer … I find myself drawn back these days over and over to see what&Read More »

Best Early Spring Wildflowers

This time of year in our Smoky Mountains we are all itching to say good-bye to winter and welcome springtime and the wildflower season. These are my cRead More »

Miles Away on Monday: Morton Overlook

Last week we experienced a popular Smoky Mountains view at the Oconaluftee Overlook. This time we’re enjoying the view from Morton’s OverRead More »

Roaring Fork Motor Trail Opens for the Season Today!

One of my favorite places in the Smoky Mountains opens today after the annual winter closure.  The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a goldmine forRead More »

Lots of Doe but no Bucks

A few weeks ago I was roaming around Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains and found lots of deer.  More than a hundred deer. But they were all bucks. ARead More »

Miles Away on Monday: Endless Mountains

A classic Smoky Mountains morning.  The signature blue haze, the tops of the ridges warming with orange as the sun approaches the horizon.  How manRead More »

Spring Comes to Cades Cove

The photo above was taken this week in the Cades Cove area of the Smoky Mountains.  The calendar says it’s still winter, but these daffodils saRead More »

Swollen Creeks

The Smoky Mountains area had a heavy rain earlier this week, so I was out poking around the next morning to see how full the creeks were. The photo abRead More »

Smoky Mountains History: Fences

In the days before barbed wire, the traditional fencing material in the Smoky Mountains was rails split from a rot-resistant hardwood such as chestnutRead More »

Miles Away on Monday: Last of the Snow?

The Smoky Mountains are starting to look Spring-like on this last day of February, and our heavy winter snows may be over for the season. I really enjRead More »

Final Free Winter Wallpaper

Here is the final winter wallpaper/screensaver of the season.  Out in the Greenbrier crossing one of the bridges on the way to the Ramsey’s CasRead More »

Miles Away on Monday: Quiet Day in the Cove

It’s a quiet and peaceful day in Cades Cove.  Winter is really special here. Plenty of time to cruise the loop road at your own pace, stopping Read More »

Cades Cove: Missionary Baptist Church

In 1839 a group split from the Primitive Baptist Church to form their own congregation. The structure pictured above was built in 1915. I visited the Read More »

Young Bucks of Cades Cove

Last week I headed over to Cades Cove with these deer in mind. In winter they tend to congregate in large groups in the central meadow of the Cove. I Read More »

Smoky Mountains History: Daisy Town, Society Hill, and Millionaires Row

100 years ago in the early 20th century, the Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was a bustling center of tourism for the wealthy.Read More »

Favorite Trails: Mayna Avent Cabin

This is a short, sweet hike with a special and nearly secret destination. Jakes Creek Trailhead is the starting point, which is found by turning left Read More »

Winter Wallpaper Special!

A free winter wallpaper/screensaver in appreciation for all my blog and facebook fans.  This is Bull Head on the right and Balsam Point on Mt. LeContRead More »

Let’s Pretend It’s Spring!

I need a short break from the relentlessly snowy pictures lately. Time to think ahead to the gorgeous green and swollen waters of a Smoky Mountains stRead More »

Miles Away on Monday: the Sweep of Downy Flake

Out in the Greenbrier today, stopping by a woods on a snowy afternoon to appreciate the silence of snow. Barely another visitor to this corner of the Read More »

Snow Day in the Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was mostly closed yesterday after a snowstorm the day before. I headed out to the Greenbrier, hoping to find tRead More »

Looming LeConte

The picture above is Mt. LeConte and the Smoky Mountains looming over downtown Gatlinburg. Taken from the observation deck of the Space Needle two weeRead More »

Snowy Smoky Mountain Panorama

This time of year can be absolutely breathtaking in the Gatlinburg area. Both of these images show a winter panorama of the Smoky Mountains with Mt. LRead More »

More Greenbrier in Winter

Yesterday’s Greenbrier in Winter photo was so pretty that I had to do some more. Both of these are along the trail to Ramsay Cascades.  The oneRead More »

Bud Ogle Place in Winter

Earlier this week I was out at the Ogle Place along the Roaring Fork in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We had a snowfall followed by frigid Read More »

Cold Mountain

It has been frigid cold here in Gatlinburg! Temperatures in the teens for several days. The morning light has a watery winter translucent quality. OurRead More »

Along the Roaring Fork: New Flume for the Mill

In addition to a newly paved loop road for the Roaring Fork in 2010, the Reagan Mill got a brand new flume to carry the water to where the mill once wRead More »

Along the Roaring Fork: Ely’s Mill

When you come down the hill at the end of the Roaring Fork Motor Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, stop in at Ely’s Mill. ItRRead More »

Along the Roaring Fork: Ephraim Bales Homestead

Ephraim and Minerva Bales subsisted on 70 rock-infested acres along the Roaring Fork in the early 1900s. Walking around this homestead, it’s harRead More »

Footbridge to Heaven

This footbridge is one of the special places in the Greenbrier section of the Great Smoky Mountains. It crosses the Ramsay Prong of the Little Pigeon Read More »

Snowy sunrise on Mt. LeConte

Snow-capped Mt. LeConte with sun barely clipping the treetops. Cold!  25 degrees this morning here in Gatlinburg.  This Smoky Mountain image was givRead More »

Along the Roaring Fork: Alfred Reagan Place

Alfred Reagan lived along the Roaring Fork in the Smoky Mountains in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His home is different than the other settlers cabRead More »

Roaring Fork in the Fog

A few days ago we had a thick fog in the morning. I headed out just before daylight to beat the traffic into the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. The fog wasRead More »

The Heart of Autumn

This picture was taken along the Newfound Gap Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Just stopped the car along the roadside and took thisRead More »

Zoom tricks

Here’s a simple photography technique that can jazz up an image.  You’ll need to stop your zoom lens down as far as it will go, to F22 orRead More »

Gentle Journeys

Can’t get enough of the autumn roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The above scene was along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail just outRead More »

Into the Greenbrier

Continuing the autumn road theme.  The Greenbrier section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is such a calm, cozy, and welcoming place. AfterRead More »

Mingus Mill

Here’s a stop that often gets ignored among the attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From Gatlinburg, head up toward NewfoundRead More »


Philosophical Friday here again.  Always something to think about. For example, once upon a time  the problem was finding a needle in a haystack.  Read More »

Cades Cove: Dan Lawson Place

Dan Lawson’s place along the Cades Cove loop road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park dates from 1856. The house is one of the “traRead More »

Hyatt Lane in Cades Cove

I can’t seem to get enough of Cades Cove this summer. Maybe it’s due to the renovated loop road. The photograph above was taken along HyatRead More »

The new Cades Cove Loop Road

The Cades Cove Loop Road was recently repaved.  It’s a smooth ride now, a beautiful country road! Worth the weeks of waiting while to loop was Read More »

Newfound Gap Loop

Philosophical Friday again. This time it’s the classic situation that sometimes to go forward you’ve got to go backwards. The road up to NRead More »

Along the Roaring Fork: Bud Ogle Farm

The Ogle family goes way back in the Gatlinburg area. In fact, Noah Ogle’s great-grandparents, William  (1756–1803) and his wife Martha HuskeRead More »

Miles Away on Monday: Bicycling in Cades Cove

I can’t think of a more idyllic way to get your exercise than to bike the Cades Cove Loop in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From May tRead More »

Cades Cove: Methodist Church

The story goes that the Methodist Church in Cades Cove was constructed in 115 days at a cost of $115 by a man who served for many years as the ministeRead More »

Cades Cove: Primitive Baptist Church

The Primitive Baptist Church in the Cades Cove section of the Great Smoky Mountains was established in 1827 in a log structure that served the congregRead More »

Cataloochee: Beech Grove School

Beech Grove School was built in 1901 and was one of three schools in the Cataloochee area of the Smoky Mountains. The school term, oriented to the agrRead More »

Cataloochee: Palmer House Continued

It’s Philosophical Friday again, and we’re continuing on with yesterday’s post into the creepy interior of the Palmer House. The imaRead More »

Cataloochee: Palmer House

The Palmer House in Big Cataloochee Valley was originally built around 1860 by George Lafayette Palmer. It was a “dog-trot” house, with twRead More »

Elk in the Smoky  Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park began a program of releasing elk into the Park in 2001. Elk were once native to the eastern forests, but they Read More »

Cades Cove Morning

I roamed around Cades Cove on a glorious spring morning last week. Here is a collection of panoramas that were created by stitching several images togRead More »

Best Lemonade in the Smokies!

Here’s a tip for those hot summer days touring around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: the best lemonade is over in Mt. Sterling near thRead More »

Cataloochee: Palmer Chapel

Cataloochee Valley is one of the hidden wonders of the Smoky Mountains. The best way from Gatlinburg is to schedule an entire day for the journey to CRead More »

Morning Mist

The weather around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is characterized by humid days and cool nights — perfect conditions for early morningRead More »

Smoky Mountains Footbridges

If you do much hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ve certainly found yourself in the situation pictured above. Love them or Read More »

Spring Snow on Mt. LeConte

A spring snow dusted Mt. LeConte  on Tuesday night, closing the road to Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s not unusuRead More »

Bear Sleeping in Tree

I was headed down the Newfound Gap Road towards Gatlinburg yesterday after scoping out the wildflowers on the Cove Hardwoods Trail. Suddenly thereRRead More »

Smoky Mountain Cantilever barns

The picture above is from the Tipton Homeplace in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a great example of the vernacular Read More »

Wild Turkeys!

I came across these two male wild turkeys yesterday morning, just wandering along beside the road without a care in the world. Luckily my camera was iRead More »

Smoky Mountain Llamas

A packtrain of llamas is used to carry bed linens and supplies to Mt. LeConte Lodge. The llamas are easier on the heavily used Great Smoky Mountains NRead More »

All the Dead Trees

The picture above is from Mortons Overlook near the top of Newfound Gap Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Looking down the valley towRead More »

Those Crazy Kayakers

Whenever the creeks of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park swell with rainfall, which is often in the springtime, the kayakers come forth. It seemRead More »

Green Rocks of the Roaring Fork

Something green for St. Patrick’s Day. Nothing greener in the Great Smoky Mountains than the moss-covered rocks of the Roaring Fork.  ConditionRead More »

The Life of Wood

There are many old pioneer cabins in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Most of them were constructed from native wood, shaped with hand tools sRead More »

Gallery: Greenbrier in Winter

Perhaps the last decent snowfall of the winter this week created a winter dreamscape up in the Greenbrier section of the Great Smoky Mountains NationaRead More »

Driven to Abstraction

Another light snowstorm through most of the day yesterday, but not enough to close the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I drove Read More »

Smoky Mountain Spirituality

The picture above is the footbridge leading to the Ramsey Cascades Trail in the Greenbrier section of the Smoky Mountains. Yes, it’s still cold Read More »

Snow on Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap

Still plenty of snow at Newfound Gap. The road from Gatlinburg to the top of the Smoky Mountains has been closed a lot this winter, but it was open onRead More »

Another dusting of snow last night, but finally some sunshine today revealed the full majesty of Mt. LeConte, one of the highest peakes in the Great SRead More »

I’ve always been fascinated with the concepts of time and place. For example,  the Smoky Mountains have been unchanging for centuries, but in mRead More »

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