Did you know that the Smoky Mountains has a natural phenomenon that occurs only one other place in the world?

Did you know that the Smoky Mountains has a natural phenomenon that occurs only one other place in the world?  For a couple of weeks in early summer in mid June (4ththru the 12th), a rare species of fireflies come into the Smoky Mountains to do synchronized blinking.  This species has an internal sensor that lets them know when another firefly is lit.  The fireflies can be lit for up to 6 seconds, it creates a wave of blinking lights that is absolutely amazing to see.  The only other known location that this happens is in Southeast Asia.

Fireflies are beetles. They take from one to two years to mature from larvae, but will live as adults for only about 21 days. Their light patterns are part of the adulthood mating display. Each species of firefly has characteristic flash pattern that helps its male and female individuals recognize each other. Most species produce a greenish-yellow light; one species has a bluish light. The males fly and flash and the usually stationary females respond with a flash. Peak flashing for synchronous fireflies in the park is normally within a two-week period in mid-June.

The production of light by living organisms is called bioluminescence. Many species of insects and marine creatures are capable of it. Fireflies combine the chemical luciferin and oxygen with the enzyme luciferase in their lanterns (part of their abdomens) to make light. The chemical reaction is very efficient and produces little or no heat.

No one is sure why the fireflies flash synchronously. Competition between males may be one reason: they all want to be the first to flash. Or perhaps if the males all flash together they have a better chance of being noticed, and the females can make better comparisons. The fireflies do not always flash in unison. They may flash in waves across hillsides, and at other times will flash randomly. Synchronicity occurs in short bursts that end with abrupt periods of darkness.

How can you see them? There are Gatlinburg trolleys that go to Sugarlands VisitorCenter to pick up visitors every 20 minutes starting at 7:00pm. They run June 4th thru the 12th.  The fireflies usually start lighting up around 9:30pm.  It costs $1.00 per person to ride the trolley.  It takes you to the Little River Trailhead at Elkmont.  The last trolley back leaves at 11:00pm.  No private vehicles are allowed into the Little River Trailhead after 5:00pm, unless you are staying at the campground.

Here are the rules;

  • Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on, a flashlight that is covered in red or blue cellophane to minimize white lights, keep them pointed down and turn them off when you get to your destination.
  • Carry a backpack with any refreshments you may need.
  • The only amenities available are portapotty’s.
  •  No pets or alcoholic beverages are allowed.
  • If you want to take pictures, don’t use a flash and set your aperture to f11 and take a long exposure on a tripod to get a nice glowing picture.
  • Park rangers and volunteers will be around for questions, guided walks and assistance.
  • Don’t forget the last trolley leaves at 11:00pm

One of many reasons why Timber Tops is the best choice ( Video Included )

Sometimes people have posted that we have higher rates than some rental companies in the area and this is true. However, is a very good reason why. We offer more than just cabins. We offer some of the best cabins combined with the absolute best service in the area. We have also been in business for over 12 years so you never have to worry about this happening to you after you have planned that perfect vacation to the Smoky Mountains. A must watch video 

Cades Cove Information

Cades Cove was once a remote place in the Great Smoky Mountains. Nature abounds here and the loop affords spectacular views of the mountains and fields.  Many deer call the Cove home, and many people have seen bear here as well.  One of the few ways through the Smokies and into the cove was along Indian trails. Some of those trails were improved into roads. One of those trails was called, appropriately enough, Cades Cove road. The name was later changed to Rich Mountain Road. By either name the road was one of the main routes through the Smokies between Tuckaleechee and Cades Cove.

Rich Mountain Road is about a third of the way around the Cove. It is a one way dirt road that is about 12 miles long that ends up back in Townsend.  There are a couple of nice views of the Cove along the drive and can be a good shortcut to get back to civilization.  There is another road to explore out of Cades Cove called Parsons Branch Road. This is a one way primitive road that cuts through pristine forest with opportunities to see wildlife and wildflowers as well.  There are areas where the creek cuts across the road and some nice waterfalls.  It comes out on 129 in the middle of The Dragon.

Though Cades Cove was generally a self sustaining community, pioneers bought things from Maryville such as medicine and remedies such as Camphorated oil, catnip tea, Castor oil, Epsom salts. As time went by, general stores sprang up in Cades Cove where medicine, seeds, sugar, kerosene, yard goods and hardware supplies. Products could be purchased with money or by trading products such as eggs. Still, the larger town of Maryville had a more appealing selection and so the trips from the Cades Cove continued. Many times families would sell chestnuts which grew everywhere in Cades Cove in the 1800’s.  Disease eventually killed the trees.

“Kate’s Cove” was the name of Cades Cove originally, after an Indian chief’s wife. The Cove drew the Cherokee Indians back to the area again and again because of its abundant wildlife and good hunting. Later, Cades Cove’s wildlife drew European descent frontiersmen to make it their home. They and their offspring cleared the fertile valley floor and built farms to sustain them. The pioneer’s families lived in Cades Cove for many generations before the cove became part of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Today, Cades Cove is still as full of wildlife as before but draws not hunters, but millions of Smokies visitors.

The Cove has been preserved by the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to look much the way it looked in the 1800’s. Once home to a small mountain community whose settlers came from mainly from Virginia, North Carolina and upper eastTennessee, Cades Cove is today the largest open air museum in the entire GreatSmoky Mountain National Park.

There are many primitive buildings to enjoy as you go around Cades Cove, including two churches, some beautiful homestead cabins, corn cribs, various mills, a smokehouse and barns. It has all been preserved the way it would have been back in the 1800’s.  Today, the Cove boasts a large campground, stables for riding horses, an amphitheater, a large gift shop and bike rentals.  The Cades Cove loop is 11 miles long and runs along a beautiful valley in a loop with mountains surrounding it.  It is a favorite for many families and people enjoy the hiking and biking and nature viewing opportunities.  It is a great way to take a peek at what life would have been like 200 years ago

Pigeon Forge Car Shows

Are you interested in antique cars or hot rods? Do you love chrome and engines and the smell of leather?  If so, you may want to come to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee this year for a car show!  Come and see some amazing vintage cars like Model T’s, Corvettes, Studebakers, Fords and Gold Wings. You’ll see many classics kept in pristine condition.  Here is a guide of various car shows in 2011.  See you in Pigeon Forge!

Pigeon Forge Car Show Line Up:

April 14 – 17, 2011: Grand Spring Pigeon Forge Rod Run- The Spring Grand Rod Run kicks off the car show season with classic Fords, Chevy/GMCs and Gold Wings. Thousands of classic car, truck and motorcycle enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountainseach year for the first, big Pigeon Forge car show. Pigeon Forge is a popular host to rod runs and car shows. Participants love to take their classic car or hot rod group on a Smoky Mountain scenic drive.  The participants in these car shows are so eager to get the weekend started that the Parkway and hotel parking lots begin to fill with classic cars on Tuesday of that week. The events feature more than just rare and unique autos, though. Throughout the event weekend, visitors can enjoy interactive displays presented by vendors from all over the country.  Those who enjoy the mechanical aspects of the auto world will savor the opportunity to participate in workshops and get answers to technical questions. For more information, please contact the Grand Resort Hotel Convention Center at 1-800-251-4444.

May 12 – 13, 2011: 33rd Annual F-100 Supernationals & All Ford Show-                  2836 Teaster Lane
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, 37863
US
423.623.4644
charlie@autoshows.cc or http://www.f100supernationals.com

May 19 – 21, 2011: Chevy Classics Car Show at The Inn at Christmas Place. For more information call toll free 1-888-465-9644

June 3 – 4, 2011: Pontiacs in Pigeon Forge – Classic Car Show at Music Road Hotel & Convention Center. For more information call 865-379-9595.

June 16 – 18, 2011: All Chevy Supernationals For more information call 423-623-4644, 423-623-1871, 423-465-5855.

Sept 9 – 10, 2011: Shades of the Past Rod Run XXIX at Dollywood’s Splash Country. For more information call Dan Draper at 865-995-2009 or visit www.shadesofthepast.com.

Sept 15 – 19, 2011: Grand Fall Pigeon Forge Rod Run is at the Grand Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, TN. 865-687-3976 or 1-800-251-4444.

When you come to the Smoky Mountains, don’t forget to spend some time at Dollywood.

When you come to the Smoky Mountains, don’t forget to spend some time at Dollywood. The park was built in 1986 and includes over 150 acres of fun! Here are some facts about Dollywood and what’s new for 2011. Cabins Near Dollywood

1) Dollywood opens up this year on March 26th, and closes for the season on December 30th 2011. Their calendar varies greatly, so you may want to check out their calendar at www.dollywood.com. Dollywood is located in Pigeon Forge,Tennessee, 35 miles southeast of Knoxville, off I-40 at Exit 407. You can use google maps or mapquest.com to get driving directions from your location.

2) Dollywood has an amazing entertainment attraction called the Festival of Nations.They have performers from around the world celebrating their unique music, dance, food and art. This year they are performing March 26-May 2, 2011.

3) Did you know you can get a season pass to Dollywood? If you plan on visiting the Pigeon Forge area more frequently, a season pass makes sense! If you purchase the pass before May 1st, you can save $10.00. Seewww.dollywood.com for specific prices on the passes.

4) Dollywood has an amazing number of rides in the park. Some are appropriate for children, some for adults, and beware, on some of the rides you will get wet!They have over 30 rides including rollercoasters! Check out their all new ride for 2011, the Barnstormer! This thrilling ride will swing airplanes on two massive arms going 45 mph and over 80 feet high. There is also a biplane play area and a pig pen play area for the kids below the ride. There are rides for everyone at Dollywood!

5) Dollywood has always had amazing live entertainment. This year their shows include country, bluegrass, Southern gospel, classic rock and 50’s music.

6) Dollywood also has 5 festivals throughout the year. The Festival of Nations offers five weeks of cultural events by performers from around the world. Join your kids for a fun-filled day at Kidsfest, the South’s largest children’s festival. They have a Barbeque & Bluegrass festival, featuring the biggest names in bluegrass music while you enjoy great bbq. The National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration includes gospel music and master craftsmen demonstrating their skills. And finally, enjoy their Smoky Mountain Christmas.

7) Dollywood has amazing shopping available with over 40 shops displaying apparel, home furnishings, crafts and food.

8) Make sure you come hungry to Dollywood, they have an amazing array of food choices to tempt your appetite! Everything from full service restaurants serving up southern comfort food, to booths you can walk up to and enjoy food off of a giant skillet, to ice cream, to pizza to bbq… there is a huge variety of food available for you and your family.

9) If you come to Dollywood in the summertime, be sure to check out their sister park, Dollywood’s Splash Country water park! Featuring over 23 water slides, thrill rides, a lazy river and kids playground, this park will quench your thirst for water fun for you and your family!

10) Remember, Dollywood opens on March 26th 2011. The opening day will feature the Festival of Nations and Dolly Parton herself will be making appearances around the park all day. Come to Pigeon Forge, TN and enjoy Dollywood this year!

 

Cabins Near Dollywood