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gary compton , Dec 14, 2003; 10:56 p.m.

I am planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in April 2004. I have been there on many occasioms but have not been there since I became involved in landscape and nature photography.I would appreciate any advice on the best locations inside the park.


Quang-Tuan Luong , Dec 15, 2003; 12:04 a.m.

Check this gallery of photos of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They should give you a good idea of what you can expect to photograph, and the location captions are quite precise.

David L. Smith , Dec 15, 2003; 03:21 p.m.

see the above post (conditions in the Smokies) for more info on some recommended spots that I posted.

For April, I would recommend the Little River Road between Townsend and Gatlinburg. Hint for BEST photos: GET AWAY from the ROAD! There are GREAT reflection shots along the road and lots of flowers... but for really spectacular shots, it is best to get out of your car and hike for a few miles (just wandering around and looking for good shots).

Also try the area around the Smoky Mtns Institute (off the road to Cades Cove).

Fawns haven't been born yet in April (late June to mid July for fawns). Bears should be coming out of their dens but VERY hard to find... its a bit early for them to be wandering far.

The area around Townsend is good... but you have to look for shots.

The best overall area is the Little River Road and the road to Cades Cove.

(I lived 15 miles west of Townsend for about 6 months; I now in live in Yosemite National Park, CA.)

David wildography@yahoo.com

gary compton , Dec 16, 2003; 12:26 a.m.

Thanks everyone for advice on locations. This will help me to plan my daily schedule for upcoming trip. Also would the Townsend area be the best place to stay during photo trip.

Ken Dunn , Dec 16, 2003; 10:41 p.m.

Late April is usually much better than early. Would wait until at least the 15th or so. Those are some good sugestions, stay low that time of year, do some trails around the Greenbriar Ranger station and also do the Mouse Creek Falls Trail near Big Creek. Also Abrams Creek Trail is nice and drive the Roaring Fork as well. Good luck

David L. Smith , Dec 16, 2003; 11:30 p.m.

In reply to your most recent question (about Townsend)...I LOVE Townsend! You MUST make reservations most places... and if you have lots of money to blow, stay at Blackberry Farms; if not there are a few hotels & campgrounds in the area.

Townsend is known as "the quiet side of the Smokies" and it fits. Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg is VERY tourist oriented. I think Townsend is the best place to stay in the area.

Look on the internet for Townsend's web site.

David wildography@yahoo.com

Jerry Greer , Dec 17, 2003; 11:30 p.m.


I have a spring tour/workshop scheduled for April if your interested. Info is listed on my website along with a number of images throughout the Blue Ridge Region.


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