The Smoky Mountains have so much to offer in the summer time, make sure you don’t miss these great programs to enjoy the park this summer! The National Park hosts all these great activities!
Cades Cove Mill Area Walk Learn about Cades Cove on this ranger led walk through several of the historic structures that were important in the community. From 12:00 – 12:30 at the Cades Cove Visitor Center/Cable Mill area halfway around the Cades Cove Loop Road. Dates: 7/31/2010, 8/5/2010, 8/7/2010, 8/12/2010, 8/14/2010
Legends of the Cherokee Join a ranger for an introduction into Cherokee history, lore, and rituals. Every Monday Weekly through 8/9/2010. From 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM at the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Whose Poop`s On My Boots? Grab the kids and meet a ranger to get the scoop on animal skins, tracks, and…poop! Make your very own track and scat bandana! Meet at the Collins Creek Picnic Area pavilion at 2:00 PM every Thursday Weekly through 8/12/2010.
Blacksmith Demonstrations Learn the art of blacksmithing and why it was important in the Cades Cove community. Located at the Cable Mill Historic Area Blacksmith Shop, halfway around the Cades Cove Loop Road from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, dates: 7/31/2010, 8/1/2010, 8/14/2010, 8/15/2010
Cataract Falls Walk Take an easy stroll to a beautiful waterfall and learn more about the Great Smokies. Meet at the Sugarlands Visitor Center any day through 8/14/2010 at 11:00 AM
The Forest Pharmacy: Myth, Magic, and Medicine Join a ranger under the stars at Elkmont and discover the past and present uses of local flora. Every Sunday Weekly through 8/8/2010 from 9:00 PM to 9:45 PM at the Elkmont Campground Amphitheatre
WILD by Design A talk and hands-on demonstration about the wild things in the park. Dates: 7/30/2010, 7/23/2010, 7/31/2010, 8/1/2010, 8/4/2010, 8/6/2010, 8/7/2010, 8/8/2010, 8/11/2010, 8/13/2010, 8/14/2010, from 2:30 PM to 3:00 PM at the Cades Cove Visitor Center/Cable Mill area halfway around the Cades Cove Loop Road.
Even You Can Play The Hog Fiddle! Join a park ranger to learn about the hog fiddle (a.k.a. the mountain dulcimer), and master two tunes on it —guaranteed or double your money back! Wednesdays at 11 AM at the Mountain Farm Museum, adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the entrance to the park on U.S. 441.
A Stitch in Time. Learn about quilting and make a quilted potholder as a keepsake from your visit to the Smokies. Thursdays at 10 AM and 10:40 AM at the Mountain Farm Museum adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the entrance to the park on U.S. 441.
Fishy Facts. Take a short walk near the Oconaluftee River to learn about some of the park’s native fish species, some older methods of fishing, and streams in the park. Fridays at 11:30 AM at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the entrance to the park on U.S. 441.
Oconaluftee River Trail Walk. 45-minute guided walk. Saturdays at 11:30 AM at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the entrance to the park on U.S. 441.
Coffee with a Ranger: Hemlock Horrors. Join a ranger for some coffee and chat about the fate of the hemlock trees in the park. Sundays at 10 AM at Smokemont Campground three miles past the N.C. entrance to the park on U.S. 441.
Hike: Where the Waters Sing. Pack a snack or lunch and water and join a ranger on a moderate 3-mile round-trip hike along Bradley Fork to Chasteen Creek Falls. Sundays at 11:30 AM at Smokemont Campground three miles past the N.C. entrance to the park on U.S. 441. Meet at Bradley Fork trailhead on the D-loop.
Smokemont History Walk. A one-mile hike to a cemetery and learn about the people and rich history of the Smokemont area. Mondays at 11 AM at Smokemont Campground three miles past the N.C. entrance to the park on U.S. 441.
House of Salvation, Education, and Damnation. Join a Ranger and discover how old-time mountain religion met spiritual, social, and community needs. Wednesdays at 1 PM at Smokemont Baptist Church near the entrance to Smokemont Campground three miles past the N.C. entrance to the park on U.S. 441.
Woodhicks & Misery Whips Nature Walk. Discover the profound impact the industrial boom in America had on the Great Smoky Mountains on a one hour walk. Saturdays at 7 PM at Smokemont Campground three miles past the N.C. entrance to the park on U.S. 441.
The Smokies at Twilight: Sunset Hike. Join a Ranger on a short walk to experience this remarkable area in all its glory. Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots and bring a flashlight. Mondays at 7:30 PM at Clingmans Dome. Meet near the bulletin board.
Anikituwahgi: The Cherokees of the Appalachians. Learn about the inhabitants of the Qualla Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, as we discuss aspects of their past and present. Try your skill with an authentic Cherokee blowgun. Tuesdays at 10 AM at Collins Creek Picnic Area five miles past the N.C. entrance to the park on U.S. 441.
Lunch with a Ranger. Bring your lunch and join a ranger for some noon-time conversation. Ask questions, share your experiences, and make new friends. Tuesdays at noon at Collins Creek Picnic Area five miles past the N.C. entrance to the park on U.S. 441.
Safe Hiking in the Smokies. Learn about hiking safety practices, including changing weather conditions in the Smokies, appropriate dress, and what should be in your backpack. Wednesdays at 12:30 PM at Newfound Gap parking area.
“I Hiked the AT!” Join a park ranger for a two-hour walk along part of the Appalachian Trail. Discover the beauty and secrets of this high elevation ecosystem. Thursdays at 10 AM at the Newfound Gap parking area.
*Theres still more! Check out the National Park’s website for even more cool activities!
Whether your idea of outdoor adventure is an open-window drive, a family raft trip on the Pigeon River or a multi-day backcountry trek, the NOC’s experienced staff will share their knowledge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and recommend specific activities that fit your style of exploring. NOC’s Great Outpost is the newest Gatlinburg outfitter for adventures, and is located at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In fact, it’s the park’s next-door neighbor. If you came to Gatlinburg looking for that experience in the mountains, be sure to start at NOC’s Great Outpost, the gateway to Smokies fun!
Gatlinburg and the Smokies offer so many outdoor opportunities that it’s hard to know where to start exploring. At the NOC’s Great Outpost Basecamp, they will help you make the two most important decisions: 1) What kind of adventures are appropriate for your group and 2) How to embark on those adventures. Every outing requires planning to be successful, and that’s where you can turn to us. We can set you up for some DIY fun or connect you with a reputable guide. It’s easy, fun and fast.
The NOC’s LEED-certified store is worth exploring too! They offer all the outdoor essentials and apparel you might need to enjoy the outdoors alongside cool in-store attractions like an indoor climbing wall, a free kids play area and a Smokies-style swinging rope bridge.
This 4th of July weekend I had the pleasure of taking a family white water rafting trip! After many sign ups and back outs we loaded up the cars with 12 people to take on the rapids of the Pigeon River. My uncle planned the trip and picked the outfitter from our very ownPigeonForge.com, so we started to make the trip to Outdoor Adventures Whitewater Rafting.
Our group of 12 was made up of kids and adults ages 15 – 50, so you can only imagine what was going on between these mothers, sons, cousins and friends. After the long drive from Townsend to Hartford we finally made it and were ready for a day on the river, of course at this point everyone was still bickering about who got to ride on the boats together. When they assigned us our guides, we split and it was instantly a competition between the two boats! We all put our gear on, helmets, life jackets and paddles, loaded the bus and were off to the top of the upper Pigeon River. Some were nervous about falling out and some were telling stories about how they have fallen out before, but all in all everyone was ready to go!
My raft’s guide, Ashley, was awesome! She took us through the class III and IV rapids with ease and made the whole trip so much fun. Of course we had to stop and laugh at the other raft getting stuck on a rock and there was lots of splashing when the two rafts got the slightest bit close to each other.
After the 2 hour trip down the river we made it off the rafts with only a ripped bathing suit, wet clothes and smiles all around. It was a great trip! But, it didn’t stop there, after we ate our packed lunch the kids were not ready to go home. There is a fun “swimming hole” not too far from where you put the rafts in on the North Caroline line. The “kids” (ages 23 and under) decided to take one car and check out Midnight Hole. We took directions from some of the guides and easily found the spot. You park your car and it’s a 1.5 mile hike to Midnight Hole, after much complaining about walking we finally made it! It was a beautiful waterfall with a huge rock to jump off. The water was FREEZING, so after a couple jumps that took your breath away and a few flips, we were ready to head back to Townsend.
I can’t forget to mention this cool, very authentic, Smoky Mountain treasure. We just had to stop and get fresh squeezed lemonade that was delicious, and take a picture of cou
Looks like a crew of lumberjacks is getting ready to descend on Pigeon Forge. A tourism operator from Alaska just bought over 4 acres of land between the Parkway and the stalled Belle Island Village project who has plans to open a lumberjack-themed attraction next year. The attraction will dig deep into the pre-1940s timber lifestyle of the Smoky Mountains and will center on the theme of two families that are great friends until the tragic day when “a couple of the lady folk are killed by a tree, and they’re not sure quite who is responsible.” Explains, Rob Scheer, president and CEO of Lumberjack Sports International. So, “The basis of the whole attraction is that the two feuding families compete to decide which family has to leave the mountains forever,” he also added.
Scheer had looked into developing a lumberjack attraction in the area more than 20 years ago. His firm also operates the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Story in Ketchikan, Alaska. Scheer has high hopes to open the Pigeon Forge attraction by next June.