Spring is the perfect time of year to visit the Peaceful Side of the Smokies. The mountains are alive with a riot of color created by the millions of wildflowers that bloom here every year. According to botanists, the Smokies are home to one of the most diverse ecologies in the world. Over 1,600 different types of flowering plants covering the mountains throughout the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. If you are looking for great places to take pictures of springtime in the Smokies, here are a few of the most popular spots.
The Chestnut Top Trail
The trailhead for the Chestnut Top Trail starts at the Townsend “Y” just inside the park. The trail takes you to what is arguably the best place to see early spring flowers in the park. You should see Bloodroot, one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. It has a white flower wrapped tightly around bright yellow stamen and a blood red stem (hence its name). You might early-blooming violets, trailing arbutus creeping out from under a rock, or many other early blooms that make spectacular photographs.
The Bradley Fork Trail
The trailhead for the Bradley Fork Trail can be found at the back of the Smokemont Campground. Don’t be confused as the trail begins life as an old dirt road before shrinking down in size. It’s a great place to capture images of hepatica, violets, wood anemones, and rue anemone.
The Porter Creek Trail
While Chestnut Top Trail might be one of the most popular places to take photos of the wildflowers blooming in March, the Porter Creek Trail is nothing short of spectacular in April. In fact, on any given day you are likely to come across plenty of photographers and more than a few painters with their easels set up and brushes in hand. Here you will find a white carpet of fringed phacelia, violets in purple, yellow, and white, foam flowers, bluets, and others.
The Core Hardwood Nature Trail
You can find the trailhead for the Core Hardwood Nature Trail at the Chimneys Picnic Area. This trail is only 3/4 of a mile long yet is rated as offering some of the most spectacular wildflower viewings and photographing spots in the park. The trail is rated as easy for everyone and makes a great place to take your family for a hike while you snap a few hundred photos of the local flora.
The Middle Prong Trail
The trailhead for the Middle Prong Trail is at the end of Tremont Road close to the Townsend “Y.” As you hike along this old dirt road, you should see toothwort, foamflower, violets, trilliums, and wood sorrel. Along with flowers to photograph, there are waterfalls to discover and add in with the rest of your photos.
These are just a few of the most popular place to take photographs of the incredible array of spring wildflowers for you to check out. There are many other trails to hike and meadows filled with a virtual cornucopia of flowers in every color imaginable. Make sure you bring plenty of memory cards with you, you’re going to need them here!
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