AUTUMN IN THE SMOKIES
Why is the Blue Ridge "blue"? According to "A Naturalist's Blue Ridge Parkway" by David Catlin, "it can be legitimately claimed that trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, for hydrocarbons released into the atmosphere by the forest contribute to the characteristic haze on these mountains and to their distinctive color."
The entire Appalachian Chain is lush with vegetation, so there is consequently more "blue" to the Blue Ridge and more "smoky" to the Great Smoky Mountains than you'll see in other ranges. The Cherokee who originally settled here named this chain the "place of blue smoke" for the bluish mist that hangs over them. Popularly shortened to the "Smokies," this UNESCO World Heritage Site is best known as the home of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited park in the United States.
That blue mist, and the abundant presence of the beloved American Black Bear, heavily forested mountainsides, winding roads, flowering shrubs, and 900-some miles of hiking trails, attracts nearly 10 million visitors a year to the Park. It is a hikers park and a great scenic driving park. Come Winter, the visitors fade as temperatures drop and the roads to the higher elevations are closed to vehicular traffic.
Steep mountain ridges separated by deep valleys give this region an inescapable grandure.
See for yourself...
|Mountain Vistas||Fall Colors||Winter Views|
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