Fall 2017 Muscle Cars and Bluegrass in the Smoky Mountains

High excitement hits Pigeon Forge for the Fall Rod Run happening September 14-16, 2017. It’s 3 days and nights of cruising the strip, and muscle cars everywhere. If you want to take a break to swap muscle for music, at the same time the annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival is on just a few miles to the north.

And that’s not all, because Gatlinburg and Townsend also have some events at the same time, with more live music, lots of food tasting, and even more auto shows! It’s a happening weekend starting on Thursday – read on and we’ll sort it all out for you.

Image courtesy of the Rod Run

(more…)

The 2017 Bloggy Conference

Cabins of Pigeon Forge is delighted to sponsor the 2017 Bloggy Conference. We were fortunate that Tiffany Noth, of Bloggy Moms, came to stay in one of our cabins in the Smoky Mountains earlier this year. We are all grateful that Tiffany has been able to spread the word, as only a blogger can, that Great Smoky Mountains National Park looks as wonderful as ever, and the Smokies are open for business!

Tiffany was able to see for herself how green and lush the entire area is, and largely untouched by the wildfires of last year that gave so many people across the country the heartbreaking false impression that the whole area was ruined. If you haven’t read her great article on this, take a look: This is the Best Time to Stay at Gatlinburg Falls Resort!

(more…)

Easy Walks in the Smoky Mountains

When you visit the Smoky Mountains, there are numerous things to see and do, with numerous outdoor activities, including scenic trails to hike. But not everyone is super fit or experienced in the outdoors. Here are some easy walks you can take that will fit your schedule and your abilities, and also get you in nature and the beauty of the Smoky Mountains,

The following trails are designed for all ages and walking levels to take advantage of. They’re especially useful to know about for families, small kids, disabled or frail people – or those who just want to be lazy on their vacation time, and prefer just to stroll easily through their stay here.

Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail – source unknown.

(more…)

The Quiet Walkways of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The majestic hiking trails that stretch deep into the lush forests of the Great Smoky Mountains get all the attention, but not everyone wants to spend a whole day hiking just to get close to nature. The Quiet Walkways of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are the unsung heroes for those who are looking for a more casual trail experience, and they prove that humble doesn’t have to mean boring.

Image by J. Stephen Conn ©

(more…)

Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival 2017

Gatlinburg bursts into song – and song writing – again for the 6th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, August 16-20, 2017. This year’s festival promises to be bigger than ever. There’s live music playing in several venues around town, with close to 50 acts offering over 150 free shows as well as 3 ticketed shows headlined this year by country artist Con Hunley.

Image courtesy of Kat Speer ©

(more…)

8th Annual Smoky Mountain Cornhole Tournament 2017 in Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge sees the 8th Annual Smoky Mountain Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, August 5, 2017, held at Old Mill Square. There will be cash prizes for 1st through 3rd places in both Competitive and Amateur Divisions. Also non-cash prizes for the top 3 places in the Tailgaters Division.

Tailgaters? Okay, the competitive game of Cornhole is a bean-bag toss, except the bag is filled with corn. The 4-ft long board is on a slope, and has a hole in it. Throwing from at least 30 feet away, you have to get the corn bag closest to the hole and ideally in it. There’s a smaller board, 3 feet long, also lighter so it’s easier to carry. This is the tailgater size, as opposed to the regulation size.

Images courtesy of The Old Mill

(more…)

Total Eclipse 2017 in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Image by NASA

On August 21, 2017, a total eclipse of the sun will occur, moving on a path across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina, and passing through the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee around 1:30 in the afternoon. If you want to watch the eclipse, either in person or by live stream, here’s everything you need to know.

The entire western half of Great Smoky Mountains National Park falls within the travel of the eclipse, and rangers have organized some optimum-viewing areas inside the park. There are also numerous opportunities in other parts of the park and the region to catch this rare event, not seen in the U.S. since 1979.

(more…)

Rainbow Falls Trail

The waterfalls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are perhaps the most memorable destinations, and one of the most popular waterfalls is Rainbow Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfall in the national park. This impressive waterfall drops its water 80 feet into LeConte Creek and is named for the rainbow that appears in its mist on sunny days.

With such a popular destination, the trail to Rainbow Falls is well trafficked. It’s also quite strenuous, so you’ll likely encounter other hikers as you make your way up the mountain, including those taking brief rest stops to catch their breath along the way. The trail is 5.4 miles Round trip (2.7 mi each way) and it’s a steady climb uphill, with an elevation gain of more than 1,500 feet.

Images by Carrie Waxler

(more…)

Grotto Falls: Easy to Reach, Easy to Love

Image courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Waterfalls are one of the most popular sights and destinations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Grotto Falls is unique as the only waterfall in the park that you can walk behind – the trail passes behind the water drop. It’s a relatively short hike and you can get there and back to your rental cabin in just a few hours time.

Grotto Falls is a 25-foot tall waterfall, and a good place to practice your nature photography skills – do bring a camera. You can follow the trail behind the waterfall itself to see things from a completely different perspective, and you may meet some llamas. This trail leads to Mt LeConte Lodge, and llamas are used as pack animals to carry supplies up – if you’re lucky you may see this exotic pack train passing through.

(more…)