Hiking Trails a Secret?

Caldwell Fork - Ch. 9

Everyone loves a secret. They want to think that they know someplace – a trail, a waterfall, a mountain that few others know. And sometimes, they don’t want to tell anyone and are upset when others tell – like me.

Recently, I led a hike on the Big Creek Trail, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Then I blogged about it and put it on Facebook. One of the comments on FB was the following:

Really wish you would keep this little piece of paradise a secret among those of us that really really love the fact that it is not publicized!! It is truly one of the last areas not used, and abused by tourists!! People that just don’t get it!! Please make this the LAST post about this!! Thanks, and our future generations of “real” Smoky Mtn lovers Thank you in advance!! Let’s leave some of it untouched….

And at least one other echoed this sentiment.

Nothing in the Smokies, Pisgah National Forest, our North Carolina State Parks is secret or should be. First, the Smokies is the most visited national park in the country. There are maps, guide books, folklore and talks about every aspect of the park. And that’s great!

I want visitors to get out there and walk the trails. The only way that Americans are going to respect their woods is to  use them. Otherwise, they’ll say – why are we spending our tax dollars for this?

Big Creek is not untouched. Obviously the writer of the comment doesn’t know that people lived in almost every part of the Park, logged, put in roads and railroads. Now that it’s a National Park, it’s being protected.

So please get out there, walk the trails and enjoy them.

And the picture above is one of the highlights of the next Friends of the Smokies hike in Cataloochee. Another nonsecret area.

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