Bonnie and I decided to get in some easy miles along Noland Creek before the afternoon storms came.
Once again, more grand displays of Mountain Laurel, this time lining the creek.
I finally found the ambition to knock out the entire Old Settlers Trail from near Cosby to Greenbrier.
A side trail lead to the unique Tyson McCarter Barn.
One of several massive rock walls marking the locations of old settlements.
The Galax and Partridgeberry were dominating the ground cover most of the way.
Anytime I scaled the nose of a ridge I would come across some of the most impressive displays of Mountain Laurel I've ever seen, lining the trail and filling the canopy with solid pink and white.
We were in the mood for a return trip to Mount Cammerer to see how it looked with so much more spring greenery than in April.
The Catawba Rhododendron were beginning to bloom along the crest of Mount Cammerer.
Shortly after our arrival, the clouds enveloped the tower, but not before we could snag some great views of the park's east side.
Call me crazy...a 31 mile body buster from Cades Cove to Bone Valley to Fontana.
A few serviceberry trees were still in bloom despite the morning frost.
Views to the southwest toward Shuckstack and Fontana were pristine.
A break in trees affords a view up at Blockhouse Mountain.
At one point the trail passed through a tiny forest of painted trillium...most impressive.
A grassy and blackberry adorned Haw Gap.
Peering across the porch of the Calhoun Place near the old Proctor settlement.
Glasslike waters of Eagle Creek before it empties its waters into Lake Fontana.
With the assistance of a shuttle, I was able to ascend the Newton Bald Trail and turn south toward Deep Creek so that I could complete the Sunkota Ridge.
One of a hundred Vasey's Trilliums flourishing along the slopes of Newton Bald.
A decent number of old growth oak trees still thrive along Sunkota Ridge.
Beautiful weather makes for great afternoon visit to Deep Creek.
The drive back across the park was thoroughly enjoyable as life returns to the mountains.
In order to beat some impending storms, I elected to complete the short stretch of Rich Mountain from the park boundary to the mountain summit.
A black swallowtail enjoys one of the first Flame Azalea bushes to bloom this year.
The time for the Mountain Laurel has come with summer right around the corner.
Took a day to traverse Shuckstack from Twentymile to Lakeshore and back. A heck of a haul with numerous hairy stream crossings along Lost Cove.
One of a great number of red Huger's Trillium that lined the trail early on.
A video showing the beautifully flowing Twentymile Cascade.
The wild geraniums were out in full force much of the way, a great spring for the purple flower.
I managed to stumble upon an open Fraser Magnolia bloom at ground level, catching a whiff of its creamy goodness.
A different perspective from Shuckstack, so much green, compared to my trip last fall.
One of seven unbridged stream crossings...notice the massive tree truck ideally stretched across the water. It sure came in handy!