I found this farm by accident back in 1998 when I stayed for a week by myself in a cabin. I got bored (imagine that) and wandered... til I found horseback riding! It's on the way into Dollywood, kind of off back by itself... follow the signs for horseback riding til ya get to the farm. You'll be taken on an hour long ride, past lakes & streams, up up and away, until you reach the top of the (breaktaking) mountain.
It's called Walden Creek Stables --- they have bonfire rides, overnight rides, wild rides, family rides, short rides... they can accomodate, and they match the rider to the horse very well.
Take the kids, or just go by yourself... either way it's a wonderful way to see the mountains' beauty if you don't have a convertible, and you can balance yourself atop a horse!
If it were not for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg would most likely be a small, isolated, mountain community. The only industry here is tourism, catering to the needs and desires of 10 million visitors a year who come to America's most visited National Park.
Admittedly, one reason the Smokies is so popular is because it is within a day's drive to half the population of the United States. But that alone doesn't draw visitors. The 500,000 acres of the Great Smoky Mountains, equally divided between Tennessee and North Carolina, comprise some of the highest and wildest peaks in the eastern United States. They also happen to be one of the most beautiful spots on earth. The Smokies is a place of lush greeness, with more varieties of flowering plants and trees than in all of Western Europe. It is also the home to Whitetail Deer, Elk, Red Wolves, Wild Boar, River Otter, Black Bear and numerous other species of wildlife.
More than 850 miles of hiking trails wind through the mountains, and there are even more miles of fishable streams. Those who explore here discover hidden waterfalls, restored pioneer farmsteads, and beautiful mountain vistas in abundance. To learn more about the Smokies see our Great Smoky Mountains National Park tips under North Carolina.
I was not aware of how much there was too see on this drive. This one way loop is a great place to see some restored houses of early Smoky Mountain Settlers and hikes to water falls. Be sure to hike to Grotto Falls. It's a fairly short hike and you can make there and back to the parking area in an hour. The neat thing about Grotto Falls is you can walk behind the falls. Be sure to take a camera with you as this is a wonderful waterfall to worth remembering in your photo album.
One of the houses along the way states on a sign in front that it was painted "All Three" colors "Sears" offered to sell at the time. How lucky we are to have the choices we have today.
This is a very nice 1 hour drive through the mountains that should be done by a vacationers to Gatlinburg. Grutto Falls is just off the road and along the trip you will see old houses that have been vacated since the N.P. came in years ago. Take a left a redlight #8 and follow go stait and in a mile you are in the N.P. for a nices drive. Be avare the the TRAIL IS NOT OPEN IN THE WINTER.
Take a step back in time and see some of the history of the Smoky Mountains. The cabin was built in 1859 and inhabited by a family with 11 children; one of the girls and all of the boys left and moved out of the area, and 6 sisters stayed in the cabin for the rest of their lives.
This is a neat place to spend an afternoon. To get here from Gatlinburg, drive into the Smoky Mountains National Park and turn towards the Sugarlands Visitor Center ** might want to take a rest stop here, not too many "real" toilets after this ** Go past the visitor center and drive maybe 5 miles? and look on the right for the sign for Metcalf Bottoms. Turn in there and follow the signs for the Little Greenbrier School. Park in the parking lot for the school and check out the school and then go up the hill to see the Walker Sisters' cabin. From the school, the cabin is a 1.1 mile hike. It is a beautiful walk through the woods, and although there are some bumpy parts in the road, I pushed my grandson in his stroller.
Little Greenbrier School was built in the early 1880's and first classes were held January 1, 1882. Some kids walked as far as 9 miles to attend school.
To get here from Gatlinburg, drive into the Smoky Mountains National Park and turn towards the Sugarlands Visitor Center ** might want to take a rest stop here, not too many "real" toilets after this ** Go past the visitor center and drive maybe 5 miles? and look on the right for the sign for Metcalf Bottoms. Turn in there and follow the signs for the Little Greenbrier School. While you are this close, you can hike up to see the Walker Sisters' cabin; it is a 1.1 mile hike from the school parking lot.
Emerts Cove is in the small community of Pittman Center. Emerts Cove Covered Bridge spans the MIddle Prong of the Little Pigeon River, in Pittman Center which is NE of Gatlinburg.
Frederick Emert, of German descent, was a soldier in the American Revolution. He and his wife Barbara Ann settled in this cove after the war and lived their life here.
This bridge was built in 2000 as a remembrance to the values of mountain life.
The tilt of the roof, the shakes on the roof all reflect the local traditions of the surrounding area.
If you're of the looking for a long, breathtaking hike, then try the hike to Mt. LeConte Lodge. Depending on your starting point (Motor Nature Trail, Clingman's Dome or Newfound Gap) you are guaranteed views that are spectacular. If you plan your trip far enough in advance, spend the night at the lodge. Otherwise, relax on the porch on a very comfortable rocker, enjoy the view while getting a 2nd breath, then eventually start your hike back down!
It is a real ghostwon located six miles from Gatlinburg in the Smokey's. The people were forced out of the town in the 1980's and is really neet to see. If you are there in June you can see Fireflies in unison and it is absolutely stunning.
When you are in Gatlinburg, if you look behind Reagan Terrace on the hill you will see what looks like a fort. It is called Fort Fun. Up on that hill there are 2 putt-putt golf courses. Both are lots of fun to play.
Go into the arcade at the entrance to the courses and tell them you want to purchase the unlimited golf package. For $12.95 for each person in your group you will have unlimited access to the two courses during your stay in Gatlinburg.
Drove to Cataloochee area of the Smoky Mountain Ntl park one morning. The road is very windy, narrow, and treacherous. The elk were sent to the area several years ago. There are pamphlets available that say the elk only are out a lot during the early morning or evening. Of course we were there around noon and so didn't see a one. The trip out of the Cataloochee area by way of going towards Cosby Tenn was even more treacherous. We entered the Cataloochee area by way of the Maggie Valley area. This would have been a shorter way out also.
We just spent our first Holiday at Gatlinburg and although it was very busy, it was worth it because they had a really great New Years Eve Party. The Space Needle had a big Ball Drop at Midnight with wonderful fireworks. It was really beautiful and we were able to watch it from our balcony at the Ramada Inn Four Seasons. It is really a good idea to stay in a downtown location if visiting at a busy time of year. Any other time I would suggest a cabin in the mountains. It slows down there after New Years and you have the place to yourself.
Check out Gatlinburg's Arts & Crafts Community located on an 8 mile loop along Glades Road and Buckhorn Road beginning at stop light number 3A on US 321 at the East edge of town. A large collection of shops showcasing various types of craft and art work. A great way to spend the day while driving through the beatifull area.
If you are intrested in building a Log Home one day you should stay in a cabin while you are there. Then you should go to Hertiage Log Homes in Sevierville Tn to tour a home. The Home they have there is a large log home. You can buy a dream book that will show you the different homes that they have. You can also pick your own floor plan and they will be able to draw up the plans for you. I know I can never afford one this size however they have log home plans to meet everyones needs.
This is a neat thing to do in Pigeon Forge. First of all, the dinner consists of things you can eat with your hands (chicken, corn, etc.). You eat dinner while they are putting on a western show and then they have live interactions from the audience.