Driving in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina: Lake Junaluska and Oconaluftee Islands Park

After seeing such a great exhibit at the McClung Museum on the Native Peoples of Tennessee, I had a desire to explore the history and cultures of the people who lived in this part of the country prior to European settlement and so I decided to travel to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, located in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. I knew from some fellow bloggers who lived in this part of North Carolina that it was beautiful but I was still unprepared for the beauty that I saw even the short glimpse I got of these mountains. I cannot wait to come back to this part of the country and dedicate at least a few weeks to exploring its majesties. That day though I was on a mission since I had less than a week before I was scheduled to meet friends so I only spent the day here before moving into South Carolina that night. Even though I spent most of day at the museum, I can’t help but share pictures of two of the places I came across en route: Lake Junaluska and Oconaluftee Islands Park, the latter located in the town of Cherokee where I stopped for some yoga before heading to the museum. Unfortunately I only jumped out of the car to take one picture of the lake but my, oh my, was it a stunner, framed by the Smokies.

Lake Junaluska, North Carolina

Lake Junaluska, North Carolina

Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee, North Carolina

Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee, North Carolina

Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee, North Carolina

Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee, North Carolina

Sunlight dabbling the stones underwater in the Oconaluftee River, Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee, North Carolina

Sunlight dabbling the stones underwater in the Oconaluftee River, Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee, North Carolina

Underwater in the Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee, North Carolina

Underwater in the Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee, North Carolina

Bamboo Forest, Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee, North Carolina

Bamboo Forest, Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee, North Carolina