Took a nice six mile walk up the Little River Trail this morning. Our legs were a little sore so we thought a nice easy hike was on the agenda for today.
We decided to try a new hike this trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while but the weather has never cooperated. This trip the weather looked good so we decided to go for the hike to Charlie’s Bunion. As people new to hiking we use hikingthesmokies.com for research. They have a rating of 11.38(strenuous) for the trail.
How hard can the trail really be? It is relatively short compared to most trails so it can’t be that bad, right??? Well the uphill isn’t terrible BUT you also have to hike down to Charlie’s Bunion. The climb out from the point of Charlie’s Bunion back to the Ice Water Springs Shelter if basically straight up hill. Honestly, we felt like we climbed an escalator running backward. The “easy” part is the downhill back to the parking lot…… Well it is rocky and filled with 10-12 inch step downs so it is a terrible step machine for 3+ miles. We’ve hiked several times around the park and I’ve never felt like “accidentally” falling off the mountain to cut the hike short but I was considering it on this one. ?
For all the pain and horribleness it was for my fat butt walking up and back the views were amazing. We passed patches of windflowers in full bloom on the hike down so overall the hike is worth it. Just know it will suck while in process unless you are in shape and not fat like me.
Taken from one of the pull offs on Route 441 between Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC.