Category archive: Smoky Mountains

The Nature Trails of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Nature Trails of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are short and fairly easy trails developed by park rangers with the non-hiker in mind. They’re self-guiding, and some even have brochures that point out the many things to notice. Even though many of them are quite easy, and suitable for families with small children and the elderly, they all give a richly rewarding experience of nature, and present highlights of the rich diversity of the park’s natural abundance.

The Nature Trails are generally no more than a mile long. Three of the Nature Trails are so easy that we include them in our guide to Easy Walks in the Smoky Mountains. These are Fighting Creek Nature Trail, Elkmont Nature Trail and Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail – the easiest one of all, a flat and paved loop accessible for wheelchairs and baby strollers, set deep in nature.

Here are some more Nature Trails you will want to know about.

Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail – source unknown.


Quiet Walkways Along Busy Roads

Image by J. Stephen Conn ©

The Quiet Walkways of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are great for you and your family to stretch your legs during a scenic drive. They’ll also allow you to see some spots that those who stay in their cars will miss, and they’re easy enough for anyone who can walk on a trail.

The numerous scenic drives located throughout the Great Smoky Mountains are well-known by many, but fewer people are aware of the quiet walkways that are scattered across the park. These short and simple trails are easily accessible from some of the most popular roads in the area, so they make a great addition to your family’s scenic itinerary as you explore your surroundings.


Fall Events 2017: Fun in the Smoky Mountains

As summer makes its exit, there’s plenty of excitement to look forward to during the fall season in the Smoky Mountains. While the changing of the leaves creates a stunning visual environment of color drawing thousands of visitors each year, the Smoky Mountains also has a vibrant agenda of entertainment and attractions in store for all ages.

Image courtesy of Visit Gatlinburg


Viewing the Fall Colors of 2017

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is famous for its changing leaf colors during fall. Here are some of our favorite places in the area to view the stunning color displays.

The color season lasts about 6-7 weeks, from mid-September through October and into early November, with leaves turning first at the mountain tops and working their way down slope over the weeks. You can experience fall colors in different ways and at different times in the season along the park’s numerous hikes, viewpoints, and scenic drives.

View from Newfound Gap Road – image courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park


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


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!


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.


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 ©


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.