Photography Weekend in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, TN

After visiting Cuyahoga National Park and New River Gorge National Park, we were off to our last mid-west location, The Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. I have read that 50% of the US population is within one days drive to the Great Smokey Mountains, which makes it the most visited national park in America. Even though it was crowded, we did find a few quiet locations and quite a few subjects to shoot. Here is what you might see.

While in the Great Smokey Mountains we attended a Bill Fortney/Jack Graham photography workshop. These two are our favorite photography teachers and we have been on ten workshops with one or both of them. Bill also lives in Tennessee and has been to the Great Smokey Mountains scores of times.

The Cades Cove Loop Road opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. We waited in our care, in the dark for two hours before it opened up because we wanted to be one of the first ones in the park and we wanted good morning light. Even then, we were the 17th car in line. It’s 25 miles one way at about 10 mph with little to no parking. We drove the loop twice which took almost all day.

We did experience one “bear jam”

The Primitive Baptist Church was one of our favorite locations.

There were about a dozen cabins of early settlers scattered long Cades Cove.

I think our favorite spot was the end of the road in Tremont.

We also really liked the Greenbriar area. Did I already say that it rained almost constantly for four days?

At the Ed Morton Overlook we finally did get to see the smoke of the Smokey Mountains. Miles and miles of pristine woods bathed in fog.

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