August is the Month for Vertical Adventures
August skies in the 9 Lakes always seem to be bluer, the sunsets are more dramatic, and the night skies clearer, making it the perfect month for “sky high” adventures. Here are some of our favorite ways to get vertical:
Located in the heart of downtown, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge is the longest suspension bridge in North America and spans 680 feet across a deep valley. Your adventure will take you on a walk that will give you a panoramic view of the Smokies while standing 140 feet above the valley floor. The attraction is open until 10 pm nightly.
Or get a view from the top of the Sunsphere in Knoxville. The 4th floor observation tower is a 360 view of the Tennessee River, Smoky Mountains, and downtown Knoxville. Open daily,
Lace up your hiking boots for a 5.6 miles sky high hike on the Mount Cammerer trail. The iconic fire tower at the summit is the end reward for hikers with its sweeping view of the smokies. The trailhead for Low Gap Trail can be found in Cosby. The trail is popular with back packers and overnight camping. Since this trail is in the national park, dogs cannot be on this trail. Be sure to stop by Our Place in Cosby for a cup of coffee and to learn more about the area.
Or, hike to Pinnacle Overlook Trail at the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Your destination will give you a view of three states- Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The trail is extra scenic when the leaves begin to change.
Rock climbing in Obed Wild and Scenic River is a destination for climbers from across the world seeking a vertical climb on the dramatic overhanging cliffs. With both a sport routes of permanently embedded bolts or traditional climbing, the view from the top down to the rapids below is breathtaking.
If climbing is not for you, Obed is also a “dark sky” park ideal for viewing August’s Persied meteor showers which will peak on August 24, or the August 30-31, super “Blue Moon.” The vertical challenge is to look up to see the showers streaking across the sky or the super moon rising in the Obed canyon.
With so many adventures in the 9 Lakes of East Tennessee, you will want to get vertical.