Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hiking to Laurel Falls

We hiked the Laurel Falls Trail to Laurel Falls. This was just outside Gatlinburg, TN in the Great Smokey Mountains. It is a 2.6 mile hike with a 300 foot ascent in 1 mile. My sore muscles thanked me for the workout and it worked the soreness right out. It was paved back in the 60's and brochures say it is handicap and stroller accessible.

I have a correction for that brochure.

No way!

Of course he is smiling and loving life.

The path for the most part is great for walking but you still need to watch your footing. The last stretch to the falls has a pretty considerable drop off to your left. I was super nervous about tripping or Tony tripping. There are signs posted to hold onto your child's hand and watch out. I don't think when Tyler gets older this will be the trail to walk, but it was great for us at this time.

He liked patting Dad on the head. Giving encouragement!

We had our pack to put Tyler in and that worked great. We passed one group that had tried to make it out to the falls with a wheelchair but just could not make it past a certain point. The lady was walking at this point and they were trying to push the partially folded up wheelchair. They did not make it to the falls unfortunately because they had to turn around. 

This is a little further along the trail. Dad and Baby are still happy.

Only a small portion of the trail would I push my stroller with Tyler, and I would not trust myself going along the cliff portion pushing anything. The trail has had lots of water erosion and weathering. Not to mention a bad fire burned part of the mountain at one point. The fire is evident on some of the trees at the steeper portion.

Here Tony is feeling the trail a little more. Tyler is still good.

This did not deter other people from trying with their strollers. We passed 2 double strollers, 3 regular strollers (not the kind with big wheels either), and one kid being pushed on a small tricycle. After we passed these people on the way down we would shake our heads and say a prayer for them. They had not made it to the drop off area yet.

Tony had to take off the sweatshirt and Tyler was engrossed with the people.

Walking the trail is really easy. If you have a baby on your back it gets a little more difficult. Tony felt good through pretty much the whole trip, but when we got to the car we were starved and he could wring the water out of his shirt.

I had to get another picture.

This was Tyler's first hike in the backpack and he loved it. I have to say he likes just about everything really and this was a lot of fun for him.

I thought he would go to sleep but he smiled and played all the way up the mountain and back down. He is such a trooper and this gives us hope that we can do more hiking in the future with him.


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