We love the Smoky Mountains. Wish you were here!

Archive for February, 2011

This Year, Take a Learning Vacation in the Smokies

Preserving the rich heritage of traditional Appalachian arts and crafts is a passion for artisans throughout the Smokies. Their creativity and craftsmanship is on display at more than a dozen Bryson City area shops and galleries.

For some of these artisans, preserving that heritage includes sharing their knowledge through classes in pottery, weaving, basketmaking and quilting. Elise Pincu Delfield offers classes to locals and vacationers of all ages at her Bryson City studio-gallery, Pincu Pottery. Above, she introduces students (l-r) Katharine Beckwith, Haylee Gerard and Gillian Gerard to the potter’s wheel.

For other vacation learning opportunities in the Bryson City area, visit the “Learn Something New” page of the Bryson City online travel guide.

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Indian Creek Falls – Beautiful Any Time of The Year

Any time of the year is a great time to visit Deep Creek’s three waterfalls, especially the largest – Indian Creek Falls (above). You can see them all in an hour’s walk from the trailhead parking lot at the Deep Creek Recreation Area.

Deep Creek is one of the most accessible areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just two miles north of Bryson City. For more information on these and other area waterfalls in the North Carolina Smokies, visit the Bryson City online travel guide, GreatSmokies.com. Download a printable PDF map of Deep Creek’s trails and waterfalls.

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Galbreath Creek, The Backroad To Deep Creek

If you’re driving from Cherokee, Galbreath Creek Road is a convenient shortcut from Highway 19 into the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The unpaved portion within the Park is a quiet country road that hasn’t changed much in decades.

Linda Stephenson shot this handsome portrait of Galbreath Creek Road last Fall. She says “Deep Creek is and has been a very special part of my life for many years.” And a lot of people must share that sentiment because Linda’s photo won the People’s Choice award at The Marianna Black Library‘s “Life in Swain” amateur photo contest last year.

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Why Is That Tree Smiling At Me?

Burls are rounded outgrowths on a tree trunk or branch that are filled with small knots from dormant buds. They’re usually the result of some sort of stress but are generally not harmful to the tree.

James Clark, owner of the Deep Creek Boarding Stables, photographed this ‘smiling’ burl while riding his horse “Blackjack” in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last summer. He was riding the Lakeshore trail along the north shore of Fontana Lake, and says this one is about the size of a soccer ball.

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