One of the most daunting tasks facing visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is choosing a trail. Start by deciding on what you would like to see. Waterfalls? Wildflowers and forests? Endless mountain views? Then decide how far you would like to hike. If you haven’t hiked much recently, be cautious. Five miles roundtrip is a good maximum distance for novices. Just remember to take plenty of water and your sense of adventure, and don’t forget to tell someone where you’re heading. Photo by Stavros Mitchelides (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Start your spring outdoor adventure with a sunrise at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. With waterfalls, wildlife, history, hiking trails and amazing views along the famous Skyline Drive, the park is a feast for your eyes and spirit, and will keep you coming back for more. Photo from Thornton Hollow Overlook by N. Lewis, National Park Service.
Like waves rolling on the ocean, layers of ridgelines at Great Smoky Mountains National Park extend out to a stunning sunrise. On the Tennessee-North Carolina border, Clingman’s Dome is the highest point in the park and a premier destination for photographers. Inspired by Ansel Adams and a lover of national park, photographer Zack Knudsen captured this amazing moment in the park a few weeks ago. Photo courtesy of Zack Knudsen
Morning fog fills the valley at Grandview in New River Gorge National River in West Virginia. From 1,400 feet above the river, you can look down on the clouds and enjoy sweeping views of mountains and forests. The park encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, which runs through this ancient and gorgeous landscape. Photo by Zach Locks (www.sharetheexperience.org).