Twentymile/Gregory Bald, TN USA 10/27/08
Gregory Bald is a mountain on the western fringe of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has an elevation of 4,949 feet (1,508 meters) above sea level. The mountain’s majestic summit makes it a popular hiking destination.
Gregory Bald is located along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, between Blount County and Swain County. It rises appx. 3,000 feet above its northern base in Cades Cove, and appx. 3,300 feet above its southern base at Fontana Lake. The mountain is located entirely within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Gregory Bald is a type of mountain known as a grassy bald. Unlike most summits in the Appalachians, which are heavily-forested or culminate in jagged peaks, grassy balds are covered by a thick layer of wild grass. Trees and other foliage are sparse. How and why a summit develops into a grassy bald is unknown. While there is evidence that Gregory Bald was a natural grassy bald, the National Park Service must currently work to prevent the summit from becoming forested.