NIMBioS Fall Hike: A Creek Meander and Conquering Rocky Top!

A large turnout for the NIMBioS fall hike along Anthony Creek in the Smokies.

Rocky Top summit

NIMBioS hikers enjoyed the magical display of fall foliage on Saturday with a hike along Anthony Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We were a lively group — at least at the start — of about 23 NIMBioS researchers, staffers and their families. A few hearty souls trekked all the way to Spence Field (5.2 miles, 2,842 foot elevation gain) and then further onto Rocky Top (6.4 miles, 3,665 foot elevation gain) on the Appalachian Trail, while those with small children enjoyed a meander along Anthony Creek to take in the fall colors.

At 4,920 feet above sea level, Spence Field is a grassy bald lying along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, while Rocky Top at 5,440 feet sits on the western ridge of Thunderhead Mountain. And exhaustion must have set in because we did not sing that popular Tennessee state song when we reached the summit.

For many, who come to NIMBioS from all over the world, this was their first adventure in the Smokies. And it won’t be their last! NIMBioS will host more group hikes as the weather gets warmer and the spring flowers begin to bloom. Watch for future announcements about upcoming hikes!

To see the full set of photos from the day, visit the NIMBioS Flickr page.


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