WHAT TO DO IN TELLICO, TENNESSEE
I was longing for the mountains and needed to get out of the city. Smoky Mountains kept coming up. We had planned on heading there, but decided to stay in the Tellico Plains area instead, because our amazing AirBnB super host told us it's pretty much the same thing.
While we were there, we visited a few different places and got to know the area a little bit. Here is a little breakdown of our trip:
1. Affordable and Clean AirBnB Cabins in Tellico, Plains
We found a wonderful and cute cabin to stay in while we were on our Tennessee adventure. I highly recommend you book your stay at this location if you are going to be visiting the Tellico area in Tennessee. What's extra special it is pet-friendly!
Here are some of the things about our host and place we stayed at: (quote taken from AirBnB Super host reviews)
"James definitely went above and beyond! I feel like part of his family. I am so glad that I finally got to meet him, after having to change my travel plans. He is the kind of host that makes sure that every tiny detail is taken care of and thought of ahead of time. Here are a few reasons I loved staying at James' AirBnB:
2. Visit Bald River Falls
3. Check out Conasauga Falls
Conasauga Falls is also located in Monroe Count, Tennessee. We visited this waterfall the day following our Bald river falls adventure. It had rained heavily all through the night. The waters as a result of the heavy rains, were quite muddied.
Nevertheless, this powerful waterfall took our breath away -- and that is saying a lot, after we traveled a steep hike down the mountain to get to it. Someone did tell us before we began our descent, that the hike down was not as difficult as the hike back to our parking.
The hike is about 1.3 miles with not much traffic. There were different ages ranging from families with young kids to older couples in their 70's. Once we got to the falls, there was an immediate sense of awe. I made my way by climbing over a dead tree and some rocks, to the spot in the picture below:
There are no words to express the wonder of being in the flow of this amazing body of water. I took some moments to reflect and meditate.
The long, tiring hike was well worth the visit -- body aches after the fact, and all!
5. Visit Yellow Creek, Tennessee
This is also called Yellow Creek and Bullet Creek Falls. We missed this one on the way up the mountain. It was a bit of a scary drive up on the very narrow, and winding roads. After going way past the creek trail, we thought we found a trail further up the mountain.
We hiked for about an hour with our walking sticks, backpack (filled with snacks and water), our dog and armed with bear spray (LOL). Yeah, we weren't taking any chances hiking up in some area where there absolutely no cellphone reception.
When we realized that we weren't getting any closer to a creek, we hiked ALL THE WAY BACK and got into the car to drive further up the mountain until we reached a fallen tree blocking the road. With no other choice than to turn around, we headed back down. Thankfully, on the way down we met a kind gentleman driving up with his horse trailer. He stopped to give us directions.
The camping area for Yellow Creek is in plain site, but not marked -- except for two plastic lounge chairs near a fire pit. So, we parked the car and proceeded to take our shoes off and followed the creek into a succession of waterfalls.
This was the most glorious visit, at this point because there was nobody else in sight so we had the creek all to ourselves as we explored. Check out the short video below:
6. Citico Creek
We visited Citico Creek later in the day. Citico Creek Wilderness is part of the Cherokee National Forest in Tennesse.
Thankfully, you don't have to hike to get to the actual creek. However, if you do want to hike the trail, it is about 2.4 miles long.
We were the only ones there, so thankfully no bears came to visit us while we played in the the shallow parts of the river and picked some of the most beautiful stones and small rocks.
Sadly, we didn't take any pictures as we were so into the rocks and just taking in the beauty of the rushing river. If you're looking for a quiet, with very minimal traffic picnic area, this is the place to go.
It was so peaceful and being surrounded by the forest trees is definitely grounding. There are places within that area that you can camp, fish, swim, hike and just simply enjoy nature!
7. Swim in the Indian Boundary lake
After our little exploration adventure at Citico Creek, we decided to take a quick detour to Indian Boundary Lake, since it was very close to Citico Creek.
We're super happy we did, because this was an experience that had to be lived out. Since it was past seven p.m., most visitors had left the park area. We parked very close to where the boat ramp is and proceeded to have the best fun!
First thing, the lake was surprisingly warm (probably about 78 degrees F) compared to the chilly creek water. Nestled on top of Mount Cherokee, one would think that the lake was really cold, but quite the contrary! Once you get in, you don't want to get out because the air is actually cooler.
Indian Boundary lake has a camping area, you can go fishing and swimming and of course, launch your boat. They only allow trolling motors, however.
We're definitely going back to camp here at some point in the near future. Being out in this type of nature is necessary and healing for the soul! Connecting with nature definitely raises your vibration.
FIVE TOP U.S. NATIONAL PARKS
Acadia National Park: Located on the middle southern coast of Maine near the popular tourist town of Bar Harbor, this is an ideal spot to experience the wild beauty of the state while having some of the best restaurants, hotels and shops available nearby.
Make a point of getting up very early at least once during your visit here, so you can experience the sunrise from the summit of Cadillac Mountain. Most people prefer to drive to the summit, but if you are feeling particularly ambitious, there are walking trails as well.
Be sure to get here early, especially during the summer and early fall, as it is a popular tourist spot and it can become crowded.
Badlands National Park: Located in South Dakota, this gorgeous park incorporates over 240,000 acres of prairies and impressive buttes and pinnacles rising towards the skies.
This place overlaps with the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and is subsequently held sacred to the Lakota tribe. It is the home of a number of caves as well as multiple species of wildlife, from the majestic bison to badgers, bighorn sheep and even bobcat and coyotes!
Life is ancient here, as is evidenced by the many prehistoric fossils which have been discovered in the area.
Everglades National Park: Otherwise known as the River of Grass, this natural wonder located in Florida encompasses and protects the largest tropical wilderness in all of the United States!
Encompassing a huge area of wetland flowing out from Lake Okeechobee, this is the home to many endangered species of birds, along with marine life, including manatees. The mangrove and cypress swamps here are a sight to behold as well, as many of them are well over a hundred years old!
While there is no shortage of wildlife tours to partake in, be sure to make time to visit Shark Valley, which offers guided tram tours around an area that allows a safe way to experience up close encounters with gators, great blue herons and many other protected species!
If you work up an appetite while you are in the area, be sure to stop in Everglades City at the Camellia Street Grill for some of the best stone crab dishes in the state, as well as simpler selections like a fresh, flaky grouper sandwich!
Glacier National Park: This picturesque park is spread out over 1,500 square miles of Montana’s breathtaking Rocky Mountain range.
Running parallel to the Canadian border, this spectacular area park has a stark contrast between soaring glacial peaks and pristine valleys, along with a plethora of wildlife, including grizzly bears and mountain goats!
If you are into outdoor activities, there is plenty of hiking trails to cover here rated for everything from novice to expert. If you prefer to take in the sights in a more leisurely manner, make a point of traveling the Going to the Sun Road.
This fifty-mile expanse has portions that are open year- round, yet a great deal of it closes during the winter, so be sure to plan ahead. Here you can access Logan’s Pass, which is the highest point of elevation on the road as well as many other picturesque scenic outlooks.
Grand Canyon National Park: There is truly nowhere else in the world like this ancient and massive geological formation located in Arizona.
One of the most visited National Parks in the entire country, the steep, massive canyon spanning the Colorado River is largely considered to be one of the modern wonders of the natural world.
The more popular south rim is open year-round, complete with guided tours that are well-worth the money and time. While the north and west rims are also worth exploring, if you only have a day or two, the south rim is definitely the place to be.
Book a hotel in either Flagstaff, New Mexico or Sedona, Arizona for a clean place to stay and numerous dining options before embarking on a tour in the morning.
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