The natural beauty of Tennessee is reknown, but do not become so lulled by the beauty that you forget about your own safety.
The photo of me on the rocks in the stream at Cumberland Mountain State Park looks quite tranquil; it was quite tranquil on the day that we were there in October. However, in the spring, the amount of rainfall is substantial, and the creeks often flood and run rapidly. Do not walk on the rocks at that time!
Anytime there are rock formations, as in this park, you must be aware of the dangers of slipping. Wear good hiking shoes, and stay alert.
In the summer, there are plenty of mosquitoes, so be sure to protect yourself with a mosquito spray with Deet.
Even though there are large hardwood trees in the forests, still wear a hat in the summer months to protect yourself from damaging UV rays.
Anytime in the woods, be aware of tics who attach themselves to your scalp and/or skin. After being in the woods, have someone inspect your hair and scalp.
Don't become paranoid, but do be careful.
...don't forget to buy beforehand something to eat, beacause you won't find any store on the territory of a park. Your travel may take you about 2-3 hours. I suppose it is enough to get being starving.
By the way, on the territory the Cades Cove Park there are many nice places to have a picnic. So you can enjoy views chewing your sandvich.
Don't forget that deer are under government protection so you have no right to hunt. I know you even didn't have such idea, but who knows the human's mind esp. when one is hungry!
When you ask for a trail map don’t expect anything great! I’m not still very, familiar with Americans maps and all the service I can get but as somebody said “Man learns by mistakes”. And I am not definitely any better J. Those info maps are not accurate at all. I was looking for a trail a few miles from the right spot. Now I learned to ask for “topographic” maps for which I find better use.
If ranger tells you that certain trails are not hiked heavily, don’t trust him. He can’t know everything. But it is for sure if you start before 8 a.m. you can enjoy the trail on your own!
As we cruised Interstate-40 to and from the Great Smoky Mountains, I kept the speed close to the limit. We noticed two or three vehicles pulled over by the State Police. However, that is only common sense. We had no problems at all in Nashville, everyone was friendly and it was safe to walk around at night (in fact I was surpised at how little pedestrian or car traffic there was in the city even during daylight hours!).
Bears can smell food in your car too! Be careful if you camp in the area. The state parks have food lock boxes to keep your food in and the bears out. If you feed the bears, they get into trouble and either get shipped out or shot.
Memphis has some very POOR and DANGEROUS sections to the city. You can go from a very nice neighborhood and the next block will be crawling with criminals. I have been robbed several times with the thinking with false security. Please keep and eye on your surroundings.
the pine tree have suffered tremendously this past two years...most are dead and are weak and can fall over at any minute...so please be aware of this...also look out fer the copper heads, bob cats and black bears
The Police in most of Tennesse will not bother you unless you are doing something incredibly stupid because tourism is the industry. Be careful on the mountain roads because they tend to have sharp curves. Highway 321 between Townsend and Gatlinburg is a road that should not be traveled if you have a large motorhome because the curves are so sharp that you can not make it through them. On the other side of Gatlin burg it gets even worse. You will find road signs that show the road making a complete circle (this is a sign that you will want to take a picture of because no one will belive you when you tell them about it). This is not a joke the road actually travels over itself.
(New photo from my recent trip) There are different kinds of critters in the various regions of the USA. There are a lot of different kind of insects in Tennessee, different ones than we have in Michigan. I haven't been bothered by any except mosquitoes. There are also many different kinds of wildlife (animals and birds). Again I haven't been bothered by any, but just be careful if walking in the woods especially at night, carry a stick or something to protect yourself just in case. Also, when driving through the state, especially through the Smoky Mountains, keep an eye on your gas gauge, and make sure your car is in good shape before you leave for the trip. In summer, make sure your air conditioning is recharged. They don't get much snow in winter, but freezing rain is more commmon. Do not drive in the mountains when freezing rain is forecast!
Y'all might come back home with a southern drawl! And you might get back home and say, what am I doing up here? You might want to give it all up for the simpler, more peaceful life in Tennessee (This is my parents second home, looking out into the front yard, and our heart's home as well, new photo from my recent trip)!
Traffic in Gatlenburg and Pigean Forge can be a problem especially on weekends and in the fall. If you prefer peace and quiet over congestion, tour buses, and outlet malls, go to Townsend and Cades Cove. On the otherhand, if you enjoy music shows, themeparks, and the crowds that go with them, then Pigeon Forge and Gatlenburg are better choices.
Also, if in the Smokey Mtn Nat'l park DO NOT FEED OR APPROACH BEARS! The bears may look cute, but they are wild animals. A lady was killed by a bear last year. Black bears are not generally dangerous. This was the first fatality in the park's history. Yet, wild animals must be treated with respect and caution. Feeding bears makes them lose their fear of people and increases the risk of harm to hikers and the bears themselves.
Avoid the Denny's near the airport ... wow, worst restaurant experience of my life! Just the filth was bad enough. But food never arrived, and coffee came cold, without spoons or sugar, etc. We walked out ... I've never done that before.
Union Station Hotel was very beautiful and room was very spacious with a great, comfy bed. The...more
I was booked at the Peabody for a conference there; but when I arrived (at nearly midnight) they...more
This hotel is with out a dought the best that we have ever stayed in around Gatlinburg. The rooms...more