February 2011 Archives

I have a great fondness for taking pictures in the Smoky Mountains. As far back as I can remember I've been running around the Smokies with my Nikon camera and tripod. Recently, I set out to find a place in the Smokies that I'd never seen. One place that was new to me is Greenbrier, near Gatlinburg.

I've seen all the standard Smoky Mountain sights like Cades Cove and Tremont, and have thousands of pictures to prove it. In the last year or two I've been leaving the Smokies to photograph other areas like the Blue Ridge Parkway and Cherohala Skyway. I took a lot of great pictures in those places but soon felt a hankering to return to "my" mountains, the Great Smokies.

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I had never been to Greenbrier since you access it via the Gatlinburg area. Gatlinburg is a great place, but not conducive to taking many nature pictures. Due to the heavy tourist traffic, I generally avoid the area, except for a trip to Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail from time-to-time.

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A friend of mine and I took a drive to Greenbrier to see what sights might await us. I'd been to Tremont in the Smokies quite often, and didn't think a similar place—like Greenbrier—would hold a great deal of interest for me. I was wrong! Not only does Greenbrier offer a beautiful view of the Little Pigeon River cascading down from the mountains, it also offers picnic areas with covered pavilions for groups. I'll take my family back to cook a few hotdogs and burgers while enjoying the sounds and sights of the Greenbrier area.

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The Little Pigeon is a famous whitewater river that provides world-class scenic views. As you drive along Greenbrier's gravel road you can watch the scenic river flow outside your left window. It's easy to stop and get a photo or two without ever leaving your car. However, it's much nicer to stop at some of the most impressive waterfalls and climb down the shallow bank to the river's edge. There you can experience the mist and roar of the river first hand. You can close your eyes, listen to the sound and imagine a time up to 1000 years ago, when theCherokee Indians lived and hunted in this area.

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Next time you come to the Smokies, why not set your GPS 
to Greenbrier (Lat: N 35° 44.330' — Long: W 83° 24.994') and drive to a peaceful and lovely area for some good times with your family and friends. 

By the way, I took these images with my Nikon D2x and D5000. 

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young

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