Our weather here in east Tennessee has been all over the place. We started winter crazy warm, then had a snow day, and then went back to crazy warm. While moods wings of this variety are common at the ole homestead, our weather tends to be a bit more stable.
My friend Melissa and I decided to take advantage of the weather before mother nature changed her mind again. Having never hiked with Melissa or her husband, I chose a moderate hike with a big payoff at the end.
The elevation gain follows a rolling pattern, and could be considered uphill both ways. Rather than straight up like many hikes, this trail has gains and losses each way. The lack of relentless climbing makes for a more enjoyable hike.
While the scenery of Cades Cove Loop Road makes for an added bonus of the trail, the traffic getting to the trailhead is the only downside. My friends did better than I anticipated, and we covered the terrain in less than 2 hours of actual hiking time. We averaged a 23 minute mile which is excellent, BUT our quick pace meant we spent more time driving to get to the trail than we did actually in the great outdoors.
I’m excited to tackle another trail with her later this month. I think she’s been bitten by the bug!
Official stats: 5 miles hiked in 1 hour and 52 minutes (2:08 including breaks)
Hikers present: Brooke, Melissa, and Jimmy
Trail rating: 8 out of 10 hiking poles