Shaconage (pronounced She-Kon-O-Hey), meaning “Land of the Blue Smoke” is the Cherokee word for the Great Smoky Mountains. This region’s blue hues can be traced back to a surprising source: Our green forests! In order to protect themselves on warm days, trees emit a compound called Isoprene. Isoprene is highly reactive and appears blue as it combines with other gasses in the atmosphere.
I love visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. It is a great reminder that I don’t need to travel so far from home to be surrounded by utter beauty! This National park is only a day’s drive from most East Coast cities and entry is completely free.
Over the next few days I will be sharing some of my favorite day hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This is the view from Clingman’s Dome. At an elevation of 6,643 feet, it is the highest mountain in the Smokies, the highest point in Tennessee, and the highest point along the 2,192 mile Appalachian Trail.