Category Nature

Walking in woods

Opt Outside (#OptOutside) as often as you can to improve your health & outlook

Opt Outside (#OptOutside – promoted by REI for the Friday after Thanksgiving) and National Take a Hike Day (held each year on Nov. 17) are reminders to get outside and enjoy nature. Being outside and in nature should not be a slogan or campaign for just a few select days. That’s a worthy goal for […]

Lyn Boyer painting on South Rim - photo by Julie Dodd

Grand Canyon is ‘grand’ from South Rim

After my post about hiking in the Grand Canyon, several of my blog readers who haven’t visited the Grand Canyon asked me if a visit to the Grand Canyon would be so “grand” if they weren’t hikers. Yes! Grand Canyon National Park — as with other national parks – is designed to provide a wide […]

View at Cedar Ridge - photo by Julie Dodd

Hiking the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon

When you reach Ooh-Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon, you know why it got that name. What a view! As I looked out over the Grand Canyon, I felt like I was airborne but without a plane. Ooh-Aah Point is a 1.8-mile round-trip on the South Kaibab Trail, and hiking […]

Llamas as LeConte Lodge

LeConte Lodge – cabins, llamas & mountaintop views

My recent hike to Mt. Le Conte marked my 51st hike there. I first hiked to Mt. Le Conte with my church youth group when I was in high school. I’ve been fortunate to able to hike Mt. Le Conte almost yearly – and sometimes several times a year – since that first hike. Most […]

Cable handrail on Alum Cave Trail

Rainy hike to Mt. Le Conte

Clouds, rain and thunderstorms. That wasn’t the weather I would have requested for hiking, but that was the weather we had for hiking Alum Cave Trail to Mt. Le Conte to spend the night at LeConte Lodge. And when hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, rain always is a possibility, especially in the […]

tree tops

Tree leaves provide different looks for nature trail

What a remarkable day in May for Florida. The weather system that caused the closing of roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park due to fallen trees and the possibility of snow on mountain tops brought a beautiful day to Florida. Cool temperatures and enough breeze to mean no insects. A great day to check out […]

Rhododendron in snow, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hiking in snow

I had planned to be writing a blog post today for the Friends of the Smokies blog about the March Classic Hike of the Smokies. But the hike was postponed until later in March due to inclement weather – with US Highway 441/Newfound Gap Road closed due to snow and ice and with other roads and […]