Gardening Magazine

Top 5 Reasons to Photograph in the Smokies in the Spring

By Pattyhankins @PattyHankins

Top-5-Reasons-to-Photograph-in-the-Smokies-in-the-SpringSome of you have heard me talking about how wonderful it is to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the spring for years. It’s my favorite national park – and late April is my favorite time of the year to visit. But just in case you haven’t heard me raving about the Smokies in the spring, I thought I’d share my top 5 reasons to photograph in the Smokies in the spring.

5. The entire park is open!!! Several of my favorite sections of the park including the Motor Nature Trail and the road to Clingman’s Dome are closed in the winter. By late April, everything in the park is open and I can photograph sunrises like this from the parking lot at Clingman’s Dome.

Smoky Mountain Sunrise

Smoky Mountain Sunrise © Patty Hankins

4. You can cause a Dogwood Jam!!!! If you’ve been to any of the national parks known for their wildlife, you’ve likely been caught in a bear jam or moose jam (a huge traffic jam caused when people see photographers along the side of the road with their cameras on tripods with long lenses). While bear jams are pretty common in the Smokies too, it’s the only park where I’ve caused a Dogwood Jam when I was photographing some dogwood blossoms in the woods with my long lens. About 10 cars parked behind my car, and several people came running over with their cameras asking “Where’s the bear?” You can just imagine the looks on their faces when I told them no bear – and that I was photographing the dogwood blossoms.

American Dogwood - Cornus Florida

American Dogwood © 2013 Patty Hankins

3. Mountain streams!!! One of the wonderful photographic subjects in the Smokies is all the wonderful flowing water. From mountain streams to waterfalls, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of photographs of water just waiting to be taken in the park.

Smoky Mountain Stream © Patty Hankins

Smoky Mountain Stream © Patty Hankins

2. Great no-hike photo opportunities!!! There’s nothing like hiking in the mountains and seeing scenes that most people never see. When I’m in the Smokies, it’s not uncommon for me to hike a few miles up and back on a trail. But you don’t have to take long hikes to find wonderful photo opportunities in the park. All the photos in this article were taken within 100 feet of the side of the roads in the park.

Crested Dwarf Iris and Star Chickweed © 2009 Patty Hankins

Crested Dwarf Iris and Star Chickweed © 2009 Patty Hankins

1. Wildflowers!!!! My top reason for visiting the Smokies in the spring is the wildflowers. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most biologically diverse places in the country. There are literally hundreds of different wildflowers that bloom in the park from March through October. The peak bloom and what the Smokies are best known for are the Spring Ephemerals the bloom briefly in the spring, usually in late April.

Yellow Trillium & Purple Phacelia © 2009 Patty Hankins

Yellow Trillium & Purple Phacelia © 2009 Patty Hankins

I am really looking forward to trip to the Smokies this spring. Bill and I would love to have you join us for our Spring in the Smokies workshop from April 26-30.

Early Bird Registration for the workshop ends on February 23 – and the registration fee will go up on February 24. So register now and save if you want to join me in the Smokies this spring.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog