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

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

Hiking in the Smokies

If you enjoy hiking, the Smoky Mountains are a great adventure. Located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains are home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country. There are many different hiking trails with different features and levels of difficulty. Some are known for their wildflowers, others lead to waterfalls or extraordinary views of the landscape. Whether you are an experienced hiker or a newcomer to the field, there is definitely going to be a hiking trail you will enjoy in the Smoky Mountains.
Before planning hiking trip to the Smoky Mountains, there are several things that every traveler should know. First of all, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open 365 days per year, 24 hours per day. This is great because it allows you to plan your trip around your schedule rather than having to find a time during peak seasons. However, it is also important that all hikers know their limits. During the winter, some of the Smoky Mountain hiking trails may not be safe to travel. Also, the park does close some of the campgrounds and roads during the winter months. If you are planning to hike during these months, contact the local park officials to see what the conditions are like before proceeding.
The Smoky Mountain hiking trails vary widely, ranging from short (less than one mile) to long (around 15 miles) and at different levels of elevation. More information about the Smoky Mountain hiking trails can be found from the park visitor’s office, where you will also be able to find maps of the trails for your reference. Knowing how to read these maps is important because you will be able to navigate through the landscape in case you get lost.
The Smoky Mountains offer hiking trails that are great for day trips, picnics, or sightseeing adventures. There are several waterfalls as well, including the Grotto, Laurel, Abrams, and Rainbow waterfalls. These locations make excellent family destinations or romantic hiking afternoons. Some of the trails also lead to wonderful views of the scenery. The breathtaking views at these locations provide excellent opportunities for photos and for enjoying the beauty of the natural environment. Wildflowers are in abundance on the Smoky Mountain hiking trails, and these can also be seen from the top of a mountain on the hiking trails.
For more experienced hikers, there are also longer trails that are great for longer backpacking trips. One thing to consider when planning a longer trip like this is safety. While there are places to park at the entrance to the Smoky Mountain National Park, it is always important to keep any valuables with you or to leave them at home. Also, if you plan on taking a longer hiking trail, it is a good idea to keep a first aid kit with you and to read your map if you feel lost. Hikers are responsible for their own safety in the Smoky Mountain hiking trails.

Brief History of the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a true American treasure. It is the most visited of all of the national parks, receiving more than 10 million visitors every year. Located on the border of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, the park was opened in 1940 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Its area is just over 800 square miles, and the nearest towns are Cherokee, North Carolina and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Before the arrival of Europeans, the Smoky Mountains were home to the Cherokee Indians. Their forced relocation on the Trail of Tears through the Indian Removal Act signed by President Andrew Jackson is one of the truly tragic chapters in American history. However, some of the Cherokees hid in what is now the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and there ancestors still populate the area today.

After the Cherokees were removed, the loggers came in and started clearcutting the Smoky Mountains like there was no tomorrow. This rapidly destroyed the natural beauty of the area, so cries began to ring out to preserve the area. In 1926 Congress authorized the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but it took eight years for the park to be established and another 6 for it to be opened.

The park is a wonderland of diversity. The climate changes as the elevation increases, and visitors to the top of the park will be in roughly the same climate as Canada. The park gets more than 55 inches of rain a year, qualifying it as a rainforest. 95 percent of the land in the park is forest, and more than a third of that is old growth forest. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has one of the highest concentrations of plant and animal diversity of anywhere in the world. There are over 10,000 different species catalogued in the park, with estimates of 90,000 more yet to be discovered.

There are many attractions that draw visitors to the Smoky Mountains. US Highway 441 runs through the center of the park, and there are many stops where people can get out and enjoy the spectacular views. Fall in particular is a popular time for people to drive through the park, as the fall foliage is breathtaking.

Hiking is one of the biggest attractions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are more than 850 miles of hiking trails for visitors to explore. This total included seventy miles of the world-famous Appalachian Trail, which summits the 6,593 ft .high Mt. LeConte in the park. The LeConte Lodge provides cabins and rooms for rent to reward visitors who summit the mountain.

Another of the very popular activities in the Smoky Mountains is fishing. The fly fishing in the park is simply spectacular. There are brook trout in the streams that are native to the park, as well as rainbow and brown trout that have been introduced.

Other popular activities for visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park include horseback riding and water tubing along the many streams in the park.

Looking for indoor fun? Indoor Fun in the Smoky Mountains

Indoor Fun in the Smoky Mountains

There are some amazing things to do in the Smoky Mountains, even indoors!  Here are just a few:

Adventure Golf 2925 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 (865) 453-9233

Flyaway Indoor Sky Diving 3106 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 (865) 453-7777

Star Tracks 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 (865) 908-1097

Ultra Zone 3053 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 (865) 428-2444

Zorb Inc 203 Sugar Hollow Road, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 (865) 428-2422

Mountain Park Paintball 454 Lonesome Valley Road, Sevierville, TN 37862 (865) 453-8171

Del Gatlin Games 1339 Ski Mountain Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (865) 430-7555

Earthquake The Ride 653 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (865) 436-9765

Fannie Farkle’s Amusement Emporium 656 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37862 (865) 436-4057

Fort Fun 716 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (865) 436-2326

Games Of The Smokies 115 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (865) 430-8449

Space Needle 115 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (865) 436-4629

Terror Ghost Shows 716 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 (865) 436-4636

Ripleys Attractions in Gatlinburg, TN  www.ripleys.com

Spin City Skate Center in Pigeon Forge, TN  http://www.spincityusa.com/