Summer has arrived and it is HOT! Make sure you don’t get stuck out in the heat while enjoying some of your favorite activities such as hiking, biking or even just strolling the parkway in Pigeon Forge.
If you do decide you would like to venture out into the Great Smoky Mountains on ahike, bike ride or camping trip make sure you try to stay close to a river to cool off. There are a lot of great hikes with beautiful waterfall views that would be perfect for a summer hike. You can stick your toes in, or jump on in for a swim! There are also great outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting and tubing down the river that are fun for the whole family! Not really the outdoorsy type? Well you can enjoy the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains in the comfort of your air conditioned car! There are numerous scenic drives where you can spend an hour or all day driving through the mountains!
If you are spending the day checking out the Pigeon Forge Parkway you should take advantage of the bumper boats and air conditioned attractions and arcades. You will find numerous fun attractions up and down the parkway that are fun for all ages.
Ole Smoky Distillery is eager to debut the first legal moonshine distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee! The distillery will open July 2 at 903 Parkway for moonshine tastings and distillery tours that will feature an authentic working moonshine still. The distillery also has a museum for guests to enjoy, including photographic and narrative exhibits that highlight the history of moonshining in East Tennessee.
Joe Baker, Tony Breeden and Cory Cottongim, partners in the distillery, were excited to get the ball rolling last year after a new Tennessee law passed that eased restrictions on distilleries. Since moonshining in the mountains of East Tennessee has been such a part of the Smoky Mountain history what better way to show the public a little “glimpse of what the mountains have to offer,” says Baker.
The moonshine assortment for sale includes: original unaged corn whiskey moonshine, apple pie moonshine, sweet tea moonshine and peach moonshine. The moonshine will be sold in mason jars just as it has been done (illegally) for many years. Specialty products such as moonshine cherries will be available during the holiday season. They want to produce the moonshine as close to the original as possible. The corn used to make the moonshine will be from local farmers, and they plan to keep the prices low.
Join us for the Grand Opening events on July 2 that will include free distillery tours and moonshine tastings for adults over 21 and moonshine for sale. Cheers!
The Duggars, stars of TLC’s series “19 Kids and Counting” joined us here in Pigeon Forge last week for the third time in just over a year. This time they were spotted at the Parrot Mountain and Gardens attraction, home to hundreds of exotic birds. Jim Bob Duggar and 18 children enjoyed the day marveling and learning about the birds at Parrot Mountain with friends and Knoxville residents, the Bates family. They even got a private tour from the attraction owner, Fletcher Hollingsworth who demonstrated the talents of the very well trained birds.
The only thing missing from the trip was mother Michelle and the newest addition to the family, Josie. They didn’t make the trip because baby Josie, was just released from a stay in the hospital last week.
The Duggars enjoyed their stay in Pigeon Forge and their time at Parrot Mountain. We hope they continue to visit us here in Pigeon Forge and it sounds like they will! Jim Bob Duggar says, “We’ve been coming here for years and I’m sure we’ll keep coming, we love it here.”
PigeonForge.com loves to hear about your vacations and favorite stories, so occasionaly we will be asking for visitors to submit their stories on something that has happened to them while vacationing in Pigeon Forge. This visitor, Sandy Bloom, tells us about her encounter with a famous Smoky Mountain black bear.We just returned from a beautiful week’s stay in the great Smokies. We were six girlfriends sharing a condo in Sevierville, and we visited Cades Cove a total of eight times in the week. During our eight visits we saw a total of 30 bears!! We couldn’t believe it….thrilled beyond belief! One time we could see a mother and 3 small cubs out in the field….I got a ‘decent’ picture of one of the babies standing up. Our last trip, though, was the most memorable. We saw a mother and 2 cubs approximately 15-20 feet off the road — we couldn’t stop and take pictures, there were two rangers keeping everyone moving, not allowing us to pull over in the spaces provided….we knew this was for the bears’ safety as well as ours, and even though we didn’t get pictures it’s a memory we’ll have forever. A little later down the road traffic was at a total standstill for a little while, then slowly began moving. We were about three cars back when we were told there was a mother bear and one cub that had stopped traffic by crossing the road, her two other cubs were still on the other side, and she wasn’t happy. I just don’t understand people — they were outside their cars running up to the cubs, telling their kids to “go look at the bears,” and getting closer and closer. Finally the two cars in front of us drove off and we pulled up a little closer, but not directly next to any of the bears….we rolled our windows down and we leaned out to take their pictures. It looked like the mother was taking the one cub to safety, and the other two were trying to get to her….one teenage girl knelt down in front of the lead cub and leaned in to take its picture!! However, when she did that it swatted at her and she fell backwards, jumped up, and said “I’m outta here!’ Then everyone finally began backing up so the bears could cross. They crossed in front of our van, and we got some great shots through the windshield.
As always, Cades Cove was breathtaking, and all the bears were just extra perks. The “new” road is so nice, and we’ll return as often as we can. Although we want to live in the Smokies but can’t, every night we’re there in our dreams.