Gatlinburg Area Info
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Wind your way through the forest, alongside the flowing river on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Located just a mile from Gatlinburg, this 5.5 mile loop is quite popular among the many folks that travel to the mountains. The loop travels along the mountain streams and you can see many preserved log cabins, a grist mill and other buildings. There are also pull – offs for the folks that want to park and hike a trail. Two of the most popular hikes are Grotto Falls and Rainbow Falls. Grotto Falls is a 2.6 mile that takes you to a 25 foot high waterfall that you can walk behind. It is a nice and leisurely hike. Rainbow Falls is roughly 5.4 roundtrip and is one of the national parks most popular hikes. It is considered moderately strenuous. If you tough it out, the reward is well worth it!
Cades Cove is one of, if not the most, popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains. People often see deer, black bears, coyotes, ground hogs, turkey and more. It is, by far, one of the best places for travelers to see the National Park wildlife.
It normally takes 2 – 4 hours to travel the 11 mile loop at Cades Cove. It is a one way loop, but does have pull – offs for motorists to use when stopping to view wildlife, scenery etc. There is a lot of history surrounding the Cades Cove area. Cherokee Indians hunted the area before the first Europeans settled in between 1818 and 1821. In 1830, the population of the cove was 271.
Along the loop, you will find three churches, log houses, a working grist mill, barns and many other 18th and 19th century buildings. You can pick up an inexpensive guide at the entrance to Cades Cove. You will love learning the history that lurks around every bend and curve in the loop. There are many hiking trails that lead you to other structures and waterfalls. The most popular trail is Abrams Falls. It leads you to a large volume waterfall. The hike itself is 5 miles roundtrip.
If you love to bike, be sure to visit Cades Cove on a Saturday or Wednesday morning. The park keeps the loop closed to motorists until 10 A.M. from May to September. Also located in Cades Cove is a campground, horse camp, visitor center and gift shop.
Chattanooga is about 1.5 hours from Pigeon Forge. You can easily make a day trip to the city known for it’s “rock coming to a point.” It is more commonly known as Lookout Mountain. Travelers can see many extraordinary rock formations, see an enclosed waterfall and you can even travel by train to the top for some incredible views! If heights are not necessarily your ideal vacation, you can visit the Tennessee Aquarium, Creative Discovery Museum, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, Ruby Falls and so very much more! Chattanooga is a city filled with wonder, art and the possibility of tons of family memories.
Cherokee is known as one of North Carolina’s favorite vacation destinations. Nostalgic shops offering tomahawks and blowguns, homemade candy stores, zoos, theme parks, river wading parks, gold mining and hiking are just a few of the things you can enjoy. There is also Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and, of course, the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Step back in time at the Oconaluftee Indian Village and experience what life was like in the 18th century.
Who doesn’t want to go horseback riding in the Great Smoky Mountains?! It is such a fun way to see and experience the Smokies. A few of the many stables for vacationers to enjoy are Sugarlands Riding Stables, Smoky Mountain Riding Stables and the Cades Cove Riding Stables. Saddle up on your next trip to Pigeon Forge and put Smoky Mountain horseback riding down as a new experience for you and yours!
If you are looking for a fun family activity for all ages, then Ober Gatlinburg is probably the place for you. In the winter, you can enjoy snow tubing, skiing, ice skating (open year round) and snowboarding. Some other activities Ober Gatlinburg offers is the Alpine Slide which descends on one of two 1800′ tracks through the woods and ski trails, Wildlife Encounters where you can see bears, river otters, bobcats and more, an arcade, carousel, chair swing, mini golf, kiddie land and a maze. In the warmer months they also offer a raft ride. There is just so much to do and you can’t forget the Chair Lift! The views are breathtaking!