Natural parks are one of the key getaways in the United States – 500 miles South from the trafficked and congested center of DC, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park stands as one of the most visited.
For us, it all started as a road trip during the long weekend of Labor Day. We drove early in the morning through North Virginia to reach our destination later on the same day. The rawness of the location welcomed us as we were going up to the cabin we would be staying in with the rest of our friends.
While the apartments may be closer to the most touristic spots, the cabin offered a connection to the landscape that really takes you away from all the fuss of the cities downhill. We enjoyed the pool and games on its basement and relaxed in the hot tub after driving a long way from Washington DC.
Smoky‘s is also widely known for its own liquor – the Moonshine. We stopped by to see its brewery and all the different kinds of choices you could get, from the light Apple Pie to the strong Blue Flame.
But I have to admit that the best part of the trip to the Smoky Mountains was the outdoor activities available in the area. We quickly jumped into a rafting expedition the next morning, going down the river with one of the best instructors. Between rowing and letting the canoe follow its course, he recommended some good places to hike and raft again. We even got to jump out of the canoe and swim in the river for a while, only to discover that we would one of their last trips – the season was over that same weekend.
So after drying and having some well-deserved lunch, we took on a short hike to the Clingmans Dome to witness the true reason for giving the mountains its name – the fog. We sadly had to farewell with the last hike to Grotto Falls through the Trillium Gap Trail, ducking behind the waterfall and refreshing before finally taking our way back to the capital city.