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A trip to The Great Smoky Mountains by Robert Burgoine


We took a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. We begun our trip camping two nights at Cates Cove with our new Coleman tent, Eno Hammocks, and  my two Tentsile's. The camp ground was nearly sold out so I recommend anyone reading this to book in advance! Cate Cove has an 11 mile drivable loop to look out for wildlife. Our first night we spotted two small black bears and a started to witness the beauty of the Smokies. The Great Smoky Mountains are considered a rain forest and rain is what we got. Day to night everyday we fought the rain, our gear was soaked and for only a few moments a day did we have the opportunity to keep our camping gear dry. We sadly only hit one decently distanced hike to Abrams Falls inside Cate Cove. This 2.5 mile hike one way seemed like a breeze at the start but quickly we realized we had packed incorrectly. With only 1 bottle of water, 0 snacks, and 6 busch lattes we almost made a serious mistake on this trail. Luckily for us we made it, photographed the beautiful waterfall, crushed all the beers and made it back to our vehicle. After leaving Cate Cove we realized all camping was sold-out on the weekend inside of the National Park. This forced us to drive looking for cellphone service and  private RV & Camping. We stumbled upon River valley campground in Cherokee NC. This little fishing camp ground was pretty affordable at around 40$ for the night and included power water hookups, clean large bathrooms and laundry. In typical fashion we partied pretty loudly till midnight until our neighbor told us basically that we both are degenerates which we already are aware of. The next morning we had cleaned out cloths, showered, and dried all our camping gear and hit the road 5 minutes up the mountains to a very impressive Mingo waterfalls. Mingo Falls was a fairly short 170 large steps uphill to a pretty busy wooden bridge where we took a few picture and continued on our journey. From here we ran out of options again as camping was sold out for the rest of the weekend. We started to head home through the Natahala Forest camping and sightseeing. I look forward to returning to The Great Smoky Mountains very soon.



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