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www.blueridgedigest.com

SPRING 2017

Clingman’s Dome

At 6,643 feet above sea level, you will feel as though you are sitting on top of the world and completely connected with your surroundings.

I

magine being able to see seven states at one time. No matter which direction you look, you’re seeing mountains of all shapes,

colors, and sizes for hundreds of miles. All of your senses are heightened- the air is cool, crisp, and smells of pine needles. The

sun is shining brighter than you have ever seen it. Clingman’s Dome of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park allows you to potentially have views of Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi on a clear day. Clingman’s Dome is the second highest mountain in the Appalachian Range, trumped only by a few feet by Mount Mitchell. The Appalachian Trail also runs straight through Clingman’s Dome, another attraction for hikers to discover during their visits! At 6,643 feet above sea level, you will feel as though you are sitting on top of the world and completely connected with your surroundings. After just a short half mile hike, visitors will reach the watch tower allow them a panoramic view of the mountains. There is a 13% grade on the hike, meaning you gain a little over 300 feet in elevation from top to bottom. This may not seem like

By Lindsey Coyne

much but it can be quite strenuous! Luckily there are several benches along the way that provide visitors with a place to rest. A married couple was asked about Clingman’s Dome and described it as “--magical. Every time we go there, it reminds me of when I fell in love with my husband. We always leave feeling more connected. We aren’t spiritual people, but man, it’s like something touches your soul up there.” Clingman’s Dome is an excellent place to go when you feel the need to regain perspective of the outside world and appreciate the beautiful mountains of Appalachia. Clingmans Dome and the lookout can be reached by taking US 441 between Cherokee and Gatlinburg, at the top of the mountain, at Newfound Gap, turn west for about a 4 mile drive and then a short walk to the lookout.

Blue Ridge Digest Spring / Summer 2017  

Summer happenings near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina for travelers of that region.

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