Blog Archives

Auto Touring the Smoky Mountains

auto touring

Auto touring is a great way to get an idea of what the Smokies are all about and what the area has to offer. There are many places to auto tour, but for this we will focus on the most

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Choosing a Backpack for Hiking


What backpack is the best is actually a really difficult question to answer. The truth is, there is not really a best backpack. There are good packs and bad packs, but what you need will depend on several things. First,

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Gatlinburg Sky Lift

sky lift

The Gatlinburg Sky Lift takes you to 1800 feet to the top of Crockett Mountain, far above the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg below. Work began on this massive undertaking in 1953 with the shared vision of Rel Maples and

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The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

Townsend is often an overlooked area of the Smokies, but it does have some great things to offer, including the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. This place is all about showcasing and preserving the culture of the people from the

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Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Cherokee Museum

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, NC is a great hidden gem to visit. It has been around since the 40’s and gets better every year. Often trips to Cherokee for people tends to be a trip to

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Gatlinburg Space Needle

gatlinburg space needle

There is one landmark in Gatlinburg that you can see from miles away. I am talking of course about the Gatlinburg Space Needle. The Space Needle has been dominating the Gatlinburg sky line since 1969. Like I said, it can

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Apps For Hiking The Smoky Mountains


There’s an app for that. Have you heard that a million times? Well, the Smokies are no different. It wasn’t that long ago though that there were very few apps for the Smoky Mountains. Even today, there are relatively few

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Cell Phone Etiquette on Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains


Cell Phones are everywhere. I would imagine that it would be difficult for you to find any person around you that does not have a cell phone on them. Whether it is texting, talking, checking email, or surfing the web,

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Ober Gatlinburg


Ober Gatlinburg has been welcoming guests since 1962. Back then, there was not much more there than a couple of ski slopes. A lot has changed in the last 50 years. From the addition of the Arial Tramway to the

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Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen

Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen

The Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen has been around for the last 50 years. This true Gatlinburg landmark lies in the heart of the town of Gatlinburg. It is almost exactly halfway down the strip and happens to have an easy

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Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine


Ole Smoky Moonshine has become one of the most popular destinations in all of Gatlinburg. Morning or night, you will see people coming and going from this huge store and sampling all that they have to offer. Up until a

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Sugarlands Visitor Center

Mountains 018

Sugarlands Visitor Center is the busiest visitor center in the park, receiving nearly one-million visitors each year. It is located conveniently just 2 miles from gatlinburg at the intersection of Newfound Gap Road and Little River Road. Whether you plan

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The Day Hiker

the day hiker

In a small and unassuming building right on the strip in Gatlinburg, you will find a town institution. Duck past the throngs of crowds at the Pancake Pantry and the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen and into The Village shops. Right

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The Titanic Museum

titanic museum

There are several places that are larger than life and difficult to miss in Pigeon Forge. One of the places that stands out above everything else is the Titanic Museum located right on the parkway. The first thing that catches

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Packing for a Day Hike


Most hikers will tell you to hike your own hike. That applies to what you carry in your pack. People often judge each other for what they have or do not have in their pack. At times, I like to

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Wilderness at the Smokies


Swimsuits, sun, water, pools, rock climbing, and even tanning. Are you ready for summer yet? You don’t have to wait for the temperatures to rise. There is a place you might not know about, but it has a ton to

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Camping in the Backcountry

Mountains 190

There are literally hundreds of hotels, motels, cabins, bed & Breakfasts, and campgrounds all around the national park. However, nothing beats the experience of actually staying on the trails of the Great Smoky Mountains. There is something magical about waking

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Drinking and Filtering Water in the Backcountry

Mountains 025

One of the most common misconceptions when you are out in the woods is that the water is safe to drink. Far from society, we assume the water can’t possibly be polluted. Nothing is farther from the truth. What we

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Packing for an Overnight Hike

Mountains 190

We have already covered what to pack for a day hike. Click HERE to read that post. Packing for an overnight hike is very similar to packing for a day hike, except you will need a little more gear and

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Pancake Pantry


I love the stores and restaurants in town that have been around since Gatlinburg began to really boom. They usually have a great story to go along with a great product. The Pancake pantry has been around since 1960, so

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One-Way Roads in the Smokies

parsons branch road

One-way roads are located in various places all over the national park. There is not much worse of a feeling than realizing you are on one and end up with no idea where it is going to let you out.

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Hiking With Bad or Injured Knees

Bad Knees

If there is one thing that you can expect to be punished when you hike, it is your knees. The two biggest things people complain about on the trail are knees and feet, and the two are somewhat related. Over

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Car thieves, muggers, and criminals at trailheads and campsites in the Smokies

car thief

Are you afraid of the guy at the trailhead that seems to be lurking a little too long and checking out your ’98 Camry?  Have you gotten an uneasy feeling with someone at a campsite when you are in the

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More Unnecessary Rescues Needed

winter smokies

Three men were recently rescued from the Smoky Mountains along the Appalachian Trail when they became stuck high on the mountain.  The three men set off from the southern terminus of the Appalachian trail in the Smoky Mountains at Fontana

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Great Winter Hiking

winter trees

Winter has arrived.  There are road closures that you have to watch for hourly in the Smoky Mountains as well as roads that are now closed for the entire winter season.  However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy

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Let the wildlife stay WILD!


I have seen it more times than I can count.  People from the city come to the the Smoky Mountains and get a chance to see the wonderful wildlife inside the national park up close and personal.  It is a

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Footwear for Hiking the Smoky Mountains

Hiking Footwear

Any discussion on hiking gear is always controversial.  That being said, you will find all types of footwear on the trails of the Smokies.  Are there right and wrong types of shoes or boots to wear?  Well, that depends.  The

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Snow Falls on the Smoky Mountains

snowy tree

It’s that time of year again when the temperatures begin to dip and snow and ice begin to pelt the upper elevations of the Smoky Mountains.  We have already seen road closures this week due to the conditions, and we

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