Laurel-Snow State Natural Area, Tennessee
I scan down the bridge to where the path disappears into a palette of warm reds, oranges, and yellows. It’s the sort of scene that would cause a bumper-tobumper jam on the scenic roads, but I’ve got this one to myself. I’ve barely left the trailhead, and already the Laurel-Snow reveals its secrets in the gums, oaks, and maples that fan out in either direction of Prairie Creek. Better yet: Those hardwoods hide limestone caves and year-round waterfalls. And I only have to go another 2 miles to see it all. I tighten my pack straps and keep walking. It’s time to see what’s on the other side.
Limestone outcropping on the Cumberland Trail