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Old 02-19-2019, 07:06 AM   #1
Hawkpuppy 1
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Default Smoky Mountains Natl Park?

Who's been? Wife and I are looking to go there this May for our 6 year anniversary trip. Looks like an really cool park with lots of trails and things to do. Anyone have insight on where the better places are to stay, ideally where to fly into? Looks like Gatlinburg is a main area on the east side? Please share up any places to be sure and see in the park and other things that are worth doing there.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:18 AM   #2
Phillip Fields
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We normally stay in Townsend, it is about 30 miles from Gatlinburg and is much quieter. Its right at an entrance to the park and is about 11 miles from Cades Cove which is a must see.

http://www.abouttownsend.com/
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:33 AM   #3
TCB
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My Dad was born/raised in the Smokies. Ashville is an interesting town and the Biltmore is pretty cool. Cherokee has lots of stores and good shows on the history of the Cherokee Nation. Lots of tubing, fishing, hiking opportunities throughout.

Don't discount North Georgia as well. Several towns that draw a lot of tourist. You can fly into Atlanta and it's only a 2-3 hour drive up to Western NC.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:18 AM   #4
hunting270
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We were there in April when all the dogwood and things were blooming and it was beautiful. I have a friend that has a cabin in Gatlinburg. Check out Elk Springs Resort. Her cabin is called “ A Touch of Class”
We stayed in Pigeon Forge on our way home DC and had fun. If you have kids that’s the place to be.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:23 AM   #5
Kelmat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Fields View Post
We normally stay in Townsend, it is about 30 miles from Gatlinburg and is much quieter. Its right at an entrance to the park and is about 11 miles from Cades Cove which is a must see.

http://www.abouttownsend.com/
We rented a cabin in Townsend several years ago. Had a great time and not a bad drive to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:15 AM   #6
pervis
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Been going there since I was a kid. Go to Cherokee and get some tickets to unto these hills. It's a play out on in a outdoor ampatheatre in the evening. We usually stay in the newfoundlodge right on the river. It's cheap. Theres looking glass falls, theres sliding rock in brevard. Theres tourist type stuff in Gatlinburg. We usually grab chips and salsa w a margarita at this rooftop place, and people watch. Theres cases cove as mentioned, theres chimney rock where last of the mohicans was filmed. Theres dollywood and opryland in pigeon forge w all kinds of carnival type stuff in pigeon forge. Theres harahs casino in Cherokee. You can PM me I can think of more..
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:39 AM   #7
cwbow
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We did the train ride and whitewater rafting, stayed in Gatlinburg in a cabin. Hiking in the Smoky, touring Cades cove, went to the top of the Dome, and seen Bears, Elk and other wildlife while driving through the park. Everything is kind of close together. So not a lot of wasted time in a car.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:48 AM   #8
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Whatever you do, bring your patience for when you are stuck behind the trucks and ragged campers
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:57 AM   #9
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This place is a hikers paradise. My wife and I went in early May last year. I couldn't walk enough to enjoy the park, but lots of stuff to see in the area. Not that many roads going through the park, I liked the gravel roads that didn't have much traffic. If you are into fly fishing, lots of rivers for that. We stayed in a cabin in Townsend also. I hate the crowds, Townsend is so much more laid back than Gatlinburg.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:21 AM   #10
bullhead44
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pigeon forge and gatlinburg are tourists central. very crowded. We took our camper and stayed in an RV park just outside pigeon forge. Cant remember the name of it, but it had a creek running through it and it was a peaceful and quiet place to stay. As others have said, the Cherokee area is not as crowded and you can see the same basic scenery there. The roads in and around the park are narrow and can get congested. It a beautiful area of the country.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelmat View Post
We rented a cabin in Townsend several years ago. Had a great time and not a bad drive to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg.
We stayed in a cabin in Townsend last September and loved it. Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg are very crowded.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:39 AM   #12
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Tagged
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:48 PM   #13
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Great info so far. Will have to look at Townsend to stay. Plan on mostly just being in the park hiking and fishing/wildlife photography
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:36 PM   #14
bobby314
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Following. This is on me and my wife's bucket list.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:01 AM   #15
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Anyone else have any input while in the park? Not looking at stuff so much outside the park and don't have kids so just wife and I going....
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:30 AM   #16
jared_bays
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Default Smoky Mountains Natl Park?

We spent almost a week in Pigeon Forge back in November, over the Thanksgiving holiday. We did all the touristy stuff, Ober Gatlinburg, drove through Cades Crossing, Ripleys Aquarium, wax museums....all if it. The best meals we had were at Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. If you do go into the Natíl Park, keep you head on a swivel. Theres quite a few if these boys hanging around. And dont try to be a hero like this lady, had to be the dumbest thing Ive ever seen someone do around a wild animal.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:35 AM   #17
Patton
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When my brothers and I went, we were there for the white-water kayaking. We hit the Chatooga, Ocoee, and Nantahala- incredible water.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:02 AM   #18
AntlerCollector
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It will be there again in early May. My son attends college in Maryville and will be graduating Saturday May 4th. Gonna take a few days to enjoy it. It's beautiful Country
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:10 AM   #19
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Make sure you get a PLB- Personal Locator Beacon, don't leave the group. And try not to fall in any portals or mess with Bigfoot.

If you need any more tips check out David Paulides' books.

Enjoy the trip.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:15 AM   #20
Red Man
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We went last summer. It was pretty awesome. Saw several bears. If you are able to hike some of the waterfalls, you will not be disappointed. My kids (4&7) loved it. Old Mill had some great food. Zip lining was pretty fun. We stayed in a cabin just south of Pigeon Forge and found it to be a great deal. One of my favorite vacations ever. And pigeon forge is a redneck paradise in my eyes.
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