(LINKS TO VENUES ARE IN BOLD, GREEN PRINT)
Tennessee is known for great people, great food, music, and beautiful landscapes. There’s also hidden gem that might escape your list of things to do if you’re coming for a visit – the Great Smoky Mountains.
Tennessee has beautiful, mighty mountains deep within its territory. They may not be as high or majestic as their Western counterparts, but they offer a lot of beauty and activities for visitors and locals alike. And The Smoky Mountains are much older than the Rocky Mountains, too! Best of all, these mountains are in one amazing national park where you can spend as much time as you want!
Hiking in Smoky Mountains isn’t like climbing a mountain. You can expect to find lush, gentle trails sprawling throughout the rolling terrain.
There are over 800 miles of trails that you can choose from. These range from a mild walk in the park to a more strenuous hiking experience.
The state is known for a variety of foliage, much of which exists right in the mountain system. You will have plenty of shade and greenery to observe with the chance of seeing some local wildlife along with birds, insects, and small mammals. You may come across black bears.
Hiking is a great way to get around to the various sites and spots in the mountains. Lost, historic mountain communities, historic cabins, and other local attractions will await you after a couple hours or a whole day of hiking.
If you want something a little bit more strenuous or that will cover more ground, then biking may be just for you. Many local communities and businesses will offer affordable bike rentals that you can reserve for a half or full day adventure. Whether it’s mountain biking or a simple tour through the woods, you can find a variety of terrain to bike on.
One popular trip is on the Cades Cove Loop Road. This is an 11-mile long loop road that goes around a gorgeous wildlife meadow. Cades Cove one of the best places in the Smoky Mountians to see wildlife!
The National Park Service closes the road to traffic every Wednesday and Saturday morning until 10 A.M. during the summer months. This means you can hike or bike without road traffic, allowing you to take in the unique sights and sounds of your surroundings. Be sure to take lots of water and perhaps even a picnic to have a true outing.
There’s plenty of water to be found in the Smoky Mountains if you’re interested in a more wet and wild adventure. Several streams and rivers course through the mountains, many of which are suitable for rafting activities. This is a great option for large groups or families spending a few days in the mountains.
Most rafting adventures are led by an experienced guide employed through a touring company. The best way to set up an adventure is to contact My Bearfoot Cabins and let Pat help you with choosing an experienced rafting company.
When you’re on the water, you can expect a variety of challenging rapids and serene straightaways. This will keep the experience new and unique as you switch from heart pounding moments of adventure to calm, breathtaking views that pass your raft.
Please contact Pat, owner of My Bearfoot Cabins, and she will ask all the correct questions and recommend a rafting company for the best experience for your group.
The Smoky Mountains are home to a variety of people, many of whom have spent their entire lives in the region. This has led to many local attractions and spots popping up within the region. To get a true, authentic Tennessee experience, it’s good to visit at least one or two of these attractions.
One of the most well-known attractions is the Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park. This park offers a variety of climbing walls, ATV tours, and rope courses. There is even a well-known zip line system that will take you into the trees. The park is friendly for people of all ages and caters to thrill seekers and families alike.
Hillbilly Golf is another great option for the family, especially if you want some down time in between the more intense activities. This miniature golf course set along the gentle hills of the Smoky Mountains. They have two 18-hole courses, each with unusual obstacles. This Appalachian-themed attraction is a must see on your Smoky Mountain Vacation!
For those looking for some food and shopping, there is a great assortment of local businesses to visit. Sparky’s Glassblowing is a little shop located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee where you can watch skilled artisans create beautiful glasswork using fire, air, and decades of skill. The shop also has plenty of souvenirs and glasswork to take home with you.
With so many shops and attractions, there isn’t a way to feature all of them here. Please browse through all the blog posts and attractions on the My Bearfoot Cabins site.
Bush’s Baked Beans Tour
You’ve probably seen their famous commercials, involving a dog bent on “spilling the beans” to the world about the business’s secret recipe. Bush’s Beans is known all over the nation for a wide variety of canned beans. It just so happens that they started and are based right out of Chestnut Hill, Tennessee.
This is an excellent opportunity to tour their history and manufacturing process up close. They have a museum where you can learn all about how the company started and began to thrive over the years. There is also a tour of how each bean comes into existence and becomes canned food.
Enjoying Smoky Mountains TN
All of this is just the start of what Smoky Mountains has to offer visitors. The best way to get the most out of your experience is to plan everything out and try out a variety of activities. You won’t be sorry. Pat and Don Kirchhoefer, owners of My Bearfoot Cabins will help with your itinerary, so send an email, text, or call. Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ the My Bearfoot Cabins Facebook page.
When you Escape to Times Past with My Bearfoot Cabins, you can be assured of an experience that guarantees memories for a lifetime.
Pat and Don Kirchhoefer, owners