One cannot visit the Great Smoky Mountains and ignore the reality of what took place between late November and mid-December 2016. Forest fires started and spread throughout the area of the park and Gatlinburg as well as some other towns several miles north. Fourteen people died and 134 people were injured. Here are some pictures of the areas that were burned. Many of these areas have already started to recover. You can see that the fire came dangerously close to a good number of hotels on the edge of the park.
There are various waterfalls throughout the park. These two falls: Juney Whank and Tom Branch Falls are in an area southwest of Route 441. Upon leaving the park on Route 441, take Route 19 South until you reach Bryson City. Drive north past the Smoky Mountain Campground and you are within walking distance of three waterfalls. Due to the late time of the day, I was only able to capture two of the falls in pictures and video. This is a very secluded area. I only saw two people while I spent an hour or so there. The Juney Whank Falls are up a rather steep hill whereas the Tom Branch Falls are a short, flat walk from the parking lot. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg or Clingman’s Dome, this is the place. Enjoy.
Tom Branch Falls
Have you visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park? What was your experience like? Which waterfall is your favorite? You can read more about this National Park by clicking the link below.