The hike to Spruce Flat Falls in the Tremont section of the Smoky Mountains is one of my favorite outings. Last weekend I headed up the trail once more, this time with my daughter Sarah and her husband Paul, my four grandsons and brand new grand-daughter in a papoose!
It was a beautiful Saturday after a cold, rainy week, and the spring wildflowers were out big-time along the one mile route to the waterfall. Almost any Smoky Mountains hillside is brightened up at this time of year with beautiful blooms. I started pointing out the Rue Anemone, Bloodroot, and Beaked Violet. When we got to a clump of Pussytoes, my grandsons thought the name was hilarious, and that sparked an interest in watching for more wildflowers. Rylan and Cale especially were determined to learn the names and spot new flowers along the trail.
The part of the trail that skirts along a ridge with great views of Walker Valley and the Middleprong below was especially full of Trailing Arbutus in full bloom.
It was a great Smoky Mountains hike, and by the time we got back to the starting point, the boys had learned to identify at least seven wildflowers! I stopped in at the GSMA store at the Smoky Mountains Institute and bought a wildflower identification book for them. Now they’re plotting the next wildflower hike.
My daughter Sarah took the photo above. She’s got more over on her It’s a Boys Life blog. Here she is below with Annika.
If you plan a Smoky Mountains getaway, please stop in at the William Britten Gallery on Glades Rd in Gatlinburg to see the full collection of Smoky Mountains photographs.