Exploring Cataloochee – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cataloochee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Exploring Cataloochee

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers an endless array of natural beauty and historical landmarks, even for those who have lived nearby for years. With more than 800 miles of hiking trails, over 2,100 miles of streams and rivers, a diverse range of flora and fauna, numerous peaks, and a rich cultural history, it could take a lifetime to experience everything this park has to offer. However, there are a few hidden gems that you should definitely check out during your next visit, such as the stunning Cataloochee Valley. Nestled on the North Carolina side of the park, this picturesque valley is surrounded by high ridges and was once home to hundreds of people. Although many of the original settlements are long gone, remnants of them still remain, offering visitors a glimpse into the valley’s rich history. Keep reading to learn more about Cataloochee Valley’s fascinating past and all the incredible sights it has to offer! (more…)

Synchronous Fireflies Of The Smokies

Synchronous Fireflies Of The Smokies

Every year during the warm summer evening in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a breathtaking spectacle takes places. The night sky is illuminated with small orbs of greenish-yellow light, flickering in seemingly random patterns like twinkling stars within arm’s length. These radiant, flitting through the air, are not fairies come to take you to lands unknown, nor spirits warning you of the pending harvest. Instead, they are the equally enchanting – fireflies. For a brief two-to-three-week period during the summer, every evening in the Smokies is home to a surreal display. As these lighting-bugs attempt to attract mates before the brief breeding period concludes, onlookers from all over the world flock to the lush mountains to witness the spectacular show with their own eyes. Never heard of the Synchronous Fireflies of the Smokies before, or unsure on how you can partake in such a unique occurrence? We’ve put together a helpful guide about everything you need to know about The Great Smoky Mountains synchronous fireflies viewing in order to experience the magic for yourself this year! (more…)

Easter in the Smoky Mountains

Easter in the Smoky Mountains

Easter is a time of year that maintains varying kinds of significance for different groups of people and, consequently, is celebrated in a myriad of ways. If you’re planning on being in the Smokies during the holy holiday, there are plenty of ways to celebrate, regardless of what your typical Easter may look like. From unique church services to unforgettable bunny meet-and-greets for the kids, Easter in the Smoky Mountains will be one to cherish forever! (more…)

St. Patrick’s Day in the Smokies

Saint Patrick's Day in the Smokies

Every year in the Smokies, folks come together to honor Irish culture and history and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true Appalachian style! This year will be no different, with Gatlinburg transforming into a real-world Emerald City, several major attractions hosting special events for the holiday and Celtic music filling the air around every corner. Explore the Smokies for specialty merchandise, Celtic cuisine and drinks, as well as incredible live performances to get you in touch with your Irish ancestry. Whether you’re looking for authentic brews, good eats, fantastic entertainment or an inspired atmosphere to get you in the St. Patrick’s Day mood, the Smokies are here to provide a wonderful (and hopefully lucky) holiday outing! (more…)

Fly Fishing In The Smoky Mountains

Fly Fishing The Smoky Mountains

Imagine, it’s a mild spring morning deep in the heart of the Smokies, the sun is shining and a soft breeze gently musses your hair. There’s a glistening on the water as you cast your line into the babbling mountain stream before you – the splash of your lure breaking the water’s surface is one of the only sounds you hear. There’s nothing but you, your reel and the pure unadulterated Appalachian wilderness surrounding you as you wait for something to bite. You close your eyes to listen to the birdsong and revel in the blissful, tranquility of your fisherman’s haven. (more…)

New Attractions Coming To The Smokies In 2023

New Attractions Coming To The Smokies In 2023

The Smoky Mountains is a wonderful destination for all types of travelers – there’s something for everyone in the group to enjoy, a world-renown landscape to explore and plenty of good old Southern cooking to savor. But what if we told you that 2023 is stacking up to be one of the most exciting years in the Smokies to date? With thrilling new attractions, adventures and sites to explore all over Sevier County in the months to come, even seasonal visitors who have been to the region time and time again will find something new to experience. So, get ready for the best year yet in the Smokies by reading up on the newest and greatest attractions coming to the area in 2023! (more…)

The History And Continued Legacy Of Cherokee, NC

Practically a straight shot from Gatlinburg through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, less than a 90-minute drive, resides the community of Cherokee, NC. Located in the Oconaluftee River Valley, Cherokee is the beautiful namesake community and headquarters for the Eastern Band Of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). Upon entering the town, it’s clear that a strong connection and reverence for the rich history of the resilient and inventive native peoples who fought to remain in their homeland, remains strong. With an enduring and ever-growing legacy to explore, a rich culture to be immersed in, a breathtaking natural beauty to enjoy, it’s well worth the drive to spend a day in Cherokee, NC.


9 Things To Do In Sevierville, TN

Spend The Day in Sevierville, TN

Just a quick jaunt down the Parkway from Pigeon Forge and roughly fifteen miles from the entrance of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll find the scenic country town of Sevierville, Tennessee. This picturesque hamlet, nestled in the lush hills of the Smokies, proudly touts the title of “Dolly’s Hometown” (more on that in a bit) and strives to provide any visitor with a truly authentic Smoky Mountains experience while also showing you a quieter side of the region. From delightful adventures, to off-the-beaten-path treasures, to fantastic shopping opportunities and even historical monuments, there’s so many amazing activities to choose from when planning a day in this idyllic community. When attempting to lay out your trip’s itinerary, it can feel like an impossible task to narrow down what exactly you want to do first when there’s so many options to consider. In hopes of making the selection process a little easier, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the top nine things to do in Sevierville! (more…)

A Guide To: Wilderness Wildlife Week

A Guide To Wilderness Wildlife Week

A Guide To: Wilderness Wildlife Week

Back in 1990, Ken Jenkins, a passionate and world-recognized nature photographer, brought the city of Pigeon Forge a proposition. Ken proposed the idea of creating a unique event meant to educate, increase awareness and boost efforts in nature conservation in The Smoky Mountains region and all over the world. What started as an inspired concept was soon transformed into Wilderness Wildlife Week, a week full of educational family-friendly programs, and has been a staple event in Pigeon Forge ever since. (more…)

Five Great Winter Hikes In The Smoky Mountains

Great Winter Hikes In The Smoky Mountains

Five Great Winter Hikes In The Smoky Mountains

Imagine a scene so breathtaking, it looks as if it’s been delicately painted by Mother Nature herself. Rays of sunlight sparkle off the crystalline vegetation, seemingly suspended in time due to their icy encasements, and vistas – complete with snow-capped evergreens and lush clouds leisurely rolling past – sit unobstructed, just waiting to be admired. Although such a vision may sound like the stuff of fantasy novels and dreamscapes, this whimsical living tableau can be experienced right here in the Smoky Mountains! Though the majesty of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be enjoyed and marveled over at any time – winter brings a new kind of magic to the park that can only be experienced during those frigid months. (more…)