By: cotsm

Driving in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Taking a scenic drive is one of the easiest and most rewarding things you can do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With almost 400 miles of roadway in the park and the surrounding scenic area, you can drive to specific locations to enjoy, as well as tour through steadily changing vistas of great beauty…. Read more »

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail – Just Outside of Gatlinburg

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a remarkable accomplishment by the National Park Service, a slow and easy drive through nature that’s as richly rewarding as a hike or nature ramble, with beautiful scenic views, along a mountain river and through lush forest teeming with wildlife, but in the comfort of your car. Situated just… Read more »

Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

great smoky mountains national park map

The park has over 150 maintained hiking trails, offering more than 850 miles of hiking. Here’s our definitive guide to hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including a trail map of the national park, links and resources, most popular trails – AND the hidden gems, easy strolls, nature trails and best hikes…Read more »

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… Read more »

Waterfalls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has over 2,000 miles of running water, and its folded topography allows for rocky slopes at every elevation and almost literally around every corner. Water plus sloping rock equals waterfall – and the park has them in abundance. Gatlinburg is the center for visiting these falls…Read more »

The Quiet Walkways of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Quiet Walkways of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are short and relatively easy trails that lead directly from the road and plunge quickly into selected areas of natural beauty. They offer a peaceful and rewarding experience, and some of them are easy enough for any non-hiker to take a walk in the woods…Read more »

Chimneys Picnic Area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Chimneys Picnic Area is a popular section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park with parking, picnic tables, grills and bathrooms. On Hwy 441 between Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC, easily accessible from both sides of the park, it has 68 picnic sites, some directly on the riverside, and shady spots to relax in…Read more »

Little River Trail – An Easy and Fun Walk

Little River Trail is perfect for people with no hiking experience. We recommend it for families, and all ages, although not suitable for baby strollers or wheelchairs. There’s no need for hiking boots or any gear beyond a small backpack, some water bottles, and maybe some snacks. Sneakers and shorts is fine…Read more »

Little River Road: Filled With Scenic Wonders

Little River Road is best known as the road to Cades Cove from Gatlinburg. It starts at Sugarlands Visitor Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just a very short drive south from Gatlinburg and meanders along the Little River, offering spectacular scenery, overlooks, waterfalls and other natural attractions…Read more »

Fall Colors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

UPDATE: November 4, 2019 – Color is everywhere now, and sunny days to view it all in. This past weekend (2nd-3rd) was a vibrant time and also very busy with lots of visitors – hopefully you’re using our guide to Where to See the Fall Colors to get around the area. Colors are on their… Read more »

Laurel Falls: Easy, Awesome (and VERY Popular)

Laurel Falls Trail is one of the most well known hiking trails in the national park, and it leads to the beautiful 80-foot titular falls that are on many visitors’ must-see lists. This is a fairly easy trail – possibly the easiest one leading to a great waterfall. It’s a paved path that features relatively… Read more »

Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is allowed year-round, every day, from 30 minutes before until 30 minutes after official sunrise and sunset respectively. The park is one of the last habitats in the eastern US for wild trout.   The park doesn’t stock fish, but with almost 3,000 miles of running water throughout… Read more »

Camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Camping is abundant in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the options range from rugged to luxurious. Full information on the variety of options and campsites can be found at the park’s website. Here’s our quick guide to all your options. Backcountry camping involves hiking to a camp site located deep in the park away… Read more »

Chimney Tops Trail: Views Worth Working Hard For

The twin peaks of Chimney Tops present some of the finest panoramic views in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Chimney Tops trail is one of the most popular trails in the park, and yet it’s not exactly easy. Although fairly short, the trail is very steep and quite challenging, but the rewards are what people… Read more »

Rich Mountain Road: A Secluded Drive Through The Smokies

Rich Mountain Road offers an alternative way to leave Cades Cove if you want to take a break from the traffic. It’s a one-way, 7-mile journey on a twisting gravel road that leads to Townsend. The road winds through quiet forest that often features excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature photography…Read more »

Spruce Flats Falls: Beauty Worth Hiking For

Waterfalls are one of the most popular sights to visit in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you’re in the mood for discovery, one of the hidden gems of the park requires a short – but tricky – hike with some beautiful views, on a less well known trail that leads to a stunningly beautiful waterfall. This is Spruce Flats Falls trail…Read more »

Black Bears & Wildlife in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to over 1,500 black bears in the wild. With ten million human visitors each year, the park pulls off a remarkable feat keeping the wildlife wild, and the humans tame – so we guests in the park don’t damage the animals, their well being or their habitat. Everyone… Read more »

The BIG LIST: Festivals in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Festivals happen all year in the Smoky Mountains area of Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, and hundreds of thousands of people plan their visits according to particular events and seasonal activities. Here’s a calendar of seasonal festivities to help you plan your stay…Read more »

Country Tonite, the “Best Live Country Show in America”

free ticket!

In Pigeon Forge there’s one show you don’t want to miss and it’s Country Tonite. The spectacular show features a variety of song, choreography, comedy and costume, impressive for the sheer quality of the talented performances and the seamless flow of the fast-paced, dynamic show…Read more »

Pigeon Forge’s Top Dinner Shows – Our Guide to Family Fun

Try some Southern entertainment, Pigeon Forge style, at dinner shows featuring some of the nation’s top performers. Here’s a sample of what to expect. Can the Hatfields and McCoys finally solve their differences after all of these years feuding with each other? Probably not, but one thing is guaranteed – everyone in your family will… Read more »

Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner & Show

Dinner theater in Pigeon Forge has a new addition with Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures, on stage twice a day with live performances and good old fashioned southern food. The show takes place in the old Lumberjack Feud theater on Parkway, and retains the same sense of acrobatics and high-climbing scale. The new dinner show… Read more »

Smoky Mountain Opry in Pigeon Forge – Must-See Entertainment

“Variety” is too small a word to describe everything that’s happening in the smorgasbord of amazing visuals, music and acts on display at the Smoky Mountain Opry in Pigeon Forge – “America’s Ultimate Variety Show”. This show has it all, from exotic animals to special effects to comedy routines to dancing and musical numbers –… Read more »

Comedy Shows in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

Almost everyone knows about the many great music shows that play in theaters in the Smokies, but fewer people are aware that there is plenty of world-class comedy to be found here as well. Check out some of the following options for shows that will have you doubled over in laughter on your next Smoky… Read more »

Magic Shows in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

The towns and theaters of the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Smoky Mountains area are home to many types of world-class entertainment, and fantastic magic shows are no exception. Here are some of the most notable and popular magic shows in the area so you can start planning the magical entertainment for your next visit. Impossibilities:… Read more »

Family Fun at the Comedy Barn: Winner Funniest Show!

Comedy Barn

Quality entertainment, big laughs and solid productions aptly describe the dinner theater scene down in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. You and your friends and family simply can’t afford to miss some of the top-notch performances you’ll find here. But when it comes to family-friendly comedy, one venue in particular stands out: The Comedy Barn… Read more »

Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre in Gatlinburg

If you like improv comedy and admire theatrical talent you’ll love Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre in Gatlinburg. If you’ve never been, it’s a treat you should give yourself, featuring original work by a theatrical cast performing comedy “as good as any you’ll find on Broadway.” Read more »

Festival of Nations at Dollywood: The World Comes to Visit

Each year starting in March and going into April, Dollywood stages its month-long celebration of world music, food, culture and entertainment known as Festival of Nations. Reminding us that around the world, “we all smile in the same language,” Dollywood seeks out and hosts top talent acts from different countries in a lavish smorgasbord of… Read more »