Photos of the Smoky Mountains That Will Make You Want to Go Hiking RIGHT NOW

Technically, it’s still summer for a while yet; mentally, I have already begun to come to grips with the fact that we are moving into the autumn of another year. Shake off that reminder and don’t despair just yet, though- the fall is perfect for my absolute favorite activity on the planet: hiking! If you’ve fallen into an inconsolable despondency that the endless beach parties of August are behind us for another full rotation of the planet, walk yourself right out of your funk and straight up the side of a mountain. Readjust your eyes from bikini vision to the wonders of nature (even if bikinis often hold the wonders of nature…) and get inspired by this awesome set of photos of the Smoky Mountains. (click for big!)

Photos of the Smoky Mountains – It’s Like Bob Ross Painted Them From Heaven

photos of the smoky mountains by Eric Gebhart

If you live in North America and you’ve never heard of the Great Smoky Mountains, you’re probably not a very outdoorsy person. This small chunk of the Appalachian Mountain chain connects Tennessee and North Carolina, but more importantly, will reconnect you with the primal urge to run loose and free in the incomparable beauty of the wild lands around us. If you’re already a hiker, these photos of the Smoky Mountains will inspire you to lace up and head out immediately. If you’re anywhere near the national park (the most visited park in the entire US, by the by) some of the must-conquer routes include the Laurel Falls Trail, the Abrams Falls Trail, and the Clingmans Dome hike. But what if you’re not a hiker?

photos of the smoky mountains by Eric Gebhart

Do you want to miss out on scenery like this? Can you afford to?! Let’s face it: as a species we tend to stomp out into the school yard on a regular basis, maniacally kicking over Mother Nature’s carefully balanced blocks, only to get pissed at ourselves because it turns out she was making way cooler stuff than we ever could. Believe me when I say I’m happy to spend my days indoors crushing a new game or drinking my face off. But the true fact remains that there are amazing vistas all over the world that need to be seen before we smoke out this little rock we call home, and the best and most fulfilling way to stimulate your retinas (that isn’t the Weekend Warmup) is to take the first steps out your door and towards adventure. I’m going to leave you with these incredible photos of the smoky mountains, and a few reasons for hiking in the fall… just so you have no excuses when it comes time to get a little closer to nature.

photos of the smoky mountains by Eric Gebhart

Maybe you tried hiking in the heat of summer and it put you off- it made sense at the time because the weather is perfect for everything! Well, except walking any distance, anywhere. The fall is perfect for hiking because it’s crisp. The sun is brilliant, but the breeze whips up around you and you never end up pouring out your bodily fluids in a useless attempt to cool down. It’s much easier to find out what just around that tantalizing bend in the path when you aren’t worried about dying a horrible Oregon Trail style death or at least having your nuts stick to your leg.

photos of the smoky mountains by Eric Gebhart photos of the smoky mountains by Eric Gebhart

There’s so much more to see when hiking in the fall- animals are in a flurry of activity, making their preparations for winter. The colors are a riotous explosion that beats the lovely -yet boring as all get out- green on green on green of summer growth. The days are shorter, so while you may not have extra time out in the mountains, it’s easier to catch the sunset.

photos of the smoky mountains by Eric Gebhart photos of the smoky mountains by Eric Gebhart

And finally, it’s a great way to stay active and in touch with the world at a time of the year when we traditionally retreat from everything and head back to school, back to work, back to schlumpy depressing lives that it’s easier to hide from, where we put on some extra weight and then blame it on thanksgiving. I promise you, exercise won’t feel like punishment when you’re feeling triumphant over conquering a hike, surveying the world spread out around you like you own that son of a bitch. If the views are half as good as these photos of the Smoky Mountains, you’ll be addicted to the feeling before you even realize that you burned any calories.

photos of the smoky mountains by Eric Gebhart photos of the smoky mountains by Eric Gebhart

These awesome photos were taken Eric Gebhart, and he’s got plenty more at his website. Have you been to the Great Smoky Mountains National park? Shoot me an email so I can pick your brain, or let’s chat about your favorite hikes.




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Author, Designer, and "that girl your mother warned you about." Looking good seems to be my job, whether it's working with the site design, or a number of other more interesting capacities. I have a ridiculous sense of humour and a brutal sense of honesty- you'll see a lot of that coming through in my writing, so don't say I didn't warn you if I somehow manage to offend you AND hurt your feelings at the same time. On the plus side, it makes my dating and advice columns a lot more pertinent to an unfinished man in the real world.

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