Spruce-Fir Self-Guiding Nature Trail

Bryson City, North Carolina

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This 0.5-mile nature trail wanders the whispering lush evergreens of a Canadian zone forest. It also showcases a microcosm of the environmental factors that are destroying the world’s high-elevation woodlands. The ultimate irony may be that even as we argue the causes of global warming, these northern forests, so dependent for survival on the South’s coldest climate, are being killed by simple air pollution. That same pollution can make hiking a little harder on hazy days, and the park indeed issues pollution alerts. There’s no better place in the Smokies to experience the unfolding tragedy of what we’re doing to our planet.

Spruce-Fir Self-Guiding Nature Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This 0.5-mile nature trail wanders the whispering lush evergreens of a Canadian zone forest. It also showcases a microcosm of the environmental factors that are destroying the world’s high-elevation woodlands.

The ultimate irony may be that even as we argue the causes of global warming, these northern forests, so dependent for survival on the South’s coldest climate, are being killed by simple air pollution. That same pollution can make hiking a little harder on hazy days, and the park indeed issues pollution alerts. There’s no better place in the Smokies to experience the unfolding tragedy of what we’re doing to our planet."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Bryson City
Distance: 0.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 30 minutes
Season: Closed in winter, from Dec 1 through Mar 31.
Additional Use: Hiking
Local Contacts: Great Smoky Mountains National Park. www.nps.gov/grsm
Local Maps: USGS Clingmans Dome; TOPO! North Carolina, South Carolina
Driving Directions: Directions to Spruce-Fir Self-Guiding Nature Trail

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