This page is still in the works, but will be divided into several sections:


In college, I was very fortunate to live within 30 minutes of the Smoky Mountains National Park, with over 800 miles of hiking trails. My parents have been taking me on day hikes since I was too young to remember, and I was introduced to backpacking during high school. Since then, I've spent countless afternoons hiking hundreds of miles of trail.

Closed, abandoned, and forgotten trails of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I've always loved maps, especially historic maps. Old maps reveal long forgotten locations and features that may still exist today. I recently acquired some 1926 and 1934 maps of the park, and have been using them to explore a wealth of forgotten information. Whether it's the location of the former town of Judson (now under the waters of Fontana Lake) or the layout of the original logging railroads above Townsend, there is much to be found off trail in the Smokies.


I constantly find myself abusing the unlimited mileage on rental cars. In 2007, for example, I rented a car and drove on a whim round trip from Mississippi to California in 8 days. These days, most trips are combined with geocaching, which is a great way to learn about an unfamiliar area. While I loathe traffic, I find driving to be relaxing otherwise, and actually enjoy putting 400 miles of interstate behind me in one day. I also have a strange hobby of picking a numbered highway and seeing how far I can follow it; the cross-country US highways are best for this.


This is my answer to hiking the high elevations of the Smokies in the dead of winter. I got ahold of a pair of snowshoes in December and frequently visit the park after heavy winter storms that can leave up to 2 feet of snow at the highest elevations of the park. It's funny how different a familiar location seems under a few feet of snow.