So here we are at day four, as I said in my first post a few days back most stays are only 3-4 days in length and it’s hard to fit everything in. I hemmed and hawed about how to spend your final day in the Smoky Mountains. If this is your first trip to the Smokies there is something you need to see.
Once again lets eat breakfast at the cabin to start the day. After the two previous days you could probably use a break from spending money.
Let’s go climb in the car and head south on the parkway into the National Park again, we’re heading to Newfound Gap. If you’ve never been there the view is spectacular. A trip over the Newfound Gap Road has often been compared to a drive from Georgia to Maine in terms of the variety of forest ecosystems one experiences. Starting in Gatlinburg, travelers climb approximately 3,000 feet, ascending through cove hardwood, pine-oak, and northern hardwood forest to attain the evergreen spruce-fir forest at Newfound Gap (5,046′). This fragrant evergreen woodland is similar to the forests of New England and eastern Canada.
The Appalachian Trail (AT) crosses over Newfound Gap Road and straddles the state line between North Carolina and Tennessee for most of its length through the park. If you’re like me you can walk the entire width of the AT and not break a sweat (I’ll let you think about that one).
Just south of Newfound Gap, the seven-mile Clingmans Dome Road climbs to within 0.5 mile of Clingmans Dome the highest peak in the Smokies. From the large parking area at the end of the road, a 0.5-mile trail climbs steeply to an observation tower at the “top of old Smoky.” Hiking to the top of Clingmans Dome is not easy, you’ll understand why they have benches every 10 steps (okay, I’m exaggerating but they have a lot of them).
While driving back to Gatlinburg pay attention to the Chimney Tops area where the wildfire in 2016 started. You can still see traces from the fire…..very sad.
Heading back into Gatlinburg, don’t miss the Arts and Crafts Community. The largest group of independent artisans in North America. This historic 8-mile loop has been designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. Established in 1937.
These artisans whittle, paint, sew, cast, weave and carve to create original collectibles such as candles, baskets, quilts, pottery, jewelry, dolls, ceramics, leather, stained glass, wearable fashions, fine photography, frameable art, restaurants, cafés, tea room, soda fountain and candy shops.
Now if you have time or the energy for one more hike….let’s check out the first 1.5 miles of the Ramsey Cascades trail. Ramsey Cascades is one of the most strenuous hikes in the Smokies but for the first 1.5 miles it’s a very tame logging road and it follows a beautiful cascading river.
Are you hungry? Here’s a couple of places to stop for lunch near the Greenbrier section of the Smokies. The Hungry Bear BBQ and Smoky Mountains Shakes and Dawgs. I think the pictures tell the story.
Finally, on your last day in the Smoky Mountains let’s take in at least one Dinner Show….Dolly Parton’s Stampede! Filled with friendly North and South competition, thrilling horse riding stunts, spectacular special effects, phenomenal musical productions plus a mouth-watering four-course feast complete with a delicious dessert!
Well, there you have it. Four days and we haven’t even scratched the surface of everything you can do in a day in the Smoky Mountains. Go-Carts, Mini-Golf, Escape Rooms, more shows and attractions.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these longer than should be allowed posts by us this week. We hope you plan to come to the Smokies and see all that we have to offer. Most of all, we hope you choose Dancing Bearfoot as your home base while you’re down here.
That brings us to the end of our fourth day in the Smoky Mountains. On Day 1 we visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Day 2 we visited Dollywood and on Day 3 we hit many of the most popular attractions in Pigeon Gorge and Gatlinburg and on Day 4 we saw specacular views, the Art & Crafts Community and a great little hike.
Looking for more ideas about where to stay, what to do and places to dine? Check out our full website www.dancingbearfoot.com
Thank you for reading! See you soon!