Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Events in Gatlinburg, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains

Wild Flowers and Waterfalls

Grotto Falls in the SmokiesIt is Spring again in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and along with spring comes green leaves, beautiful wild flowers, black bear cubs, high flowing waterfalls and much more. This is a great time of year to explore the trails of The Smokies. The wild flowers are in full bloom. The streams, rivers and, waterfalls are at full capacity due to our abundant spring rainfall. Female black bears are out to show off their most recent offspring.

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Cabin Feature, Cabins near Dollywood, Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains

Top 5 Reasons to Stay In a Gatlinburg Cabin During The Winter

Everyone knows about the spring flowers, the subtropical summers and, the fall foliage season but, what about wintertime? Here are 5 of the best reasons to visit Gatlinburg and stay in a cabin during the wintertime.

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Ramsey Cascades water fall in the Smoky Mountains.
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Great Smoky Mountains

Water Falls and Swimming Holes of the Smokies

Summertime is a great time to visit the waterfalls and swimming holes of the Smokies. On average, June, July, and August have highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s. These warm and humid conditions make it the perfect time to put on your swimsuit and take a dip in the pristine waters of the Smokies! There are numerous areas inside the national park to spend the day cooling off in the 65-degree waters. That’s right, 65 degrees! On a day when the temperature is 90 and the humidity level is 90%, you won’t want to get out of the water. Check out a few of the most popular waterfalls and swimming holes in the Smokies:

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white trillium field of flowers
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Family vacations in the Smoky Mountains

Spring time in Gatlinburg, TN

If you are looking for a quick getaway and are not sure where to go, check out Gatlinburg, TN. Right now is the perfect time to visit. The summer crowds are not yet here but, all the beauty of Gatlinburg and The Great Smoky Mountains National Park are here. Here is what recently had to say about Gatlinburg.
“With its charming, quaint old buildings in the center of town, its dramatic mountain backdrop and the only ski resort in Tennessee, Gatlinburg has become a popular tourist destination for regional fun-seekers. Located on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg benefits from its location as a tourist draw and reinforces it with attractions such as an aerial tramway, an aquarium, whitewater rafting, hiking, and even a haunted house. But let’s not kid ourselves: as pretty and irresistible (as) the town is, the real draw in this part of Tennessee is the nature. ‘The wildflowers around Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are absolutely spectacular in the spring as they burst with wildflowers at their peak,’ says Zain Habboo, National Geographic’s director of travel.”
That is some pretty high praise from a very recognized source but, not a suprise to someone that actually lives here. May in the Smokies is one of my most anticipated times of year. Also for someone visiting here, this time of May before Memorial Day weekend is probably the most affordable time to visit us.

Great Smoky Mountains

Smoky Mountains National Park hikes in a nutshell by Adam

I would like to introduce you to our areas best kept secret. Once you get through Sevierville then Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg you will enter The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I am born and raised in Sevierville and feel so blessed to have the national park in my back yard. My dad exposed me to this great escape every chance he had. I found myself on the trails pondering what nature is. I found that my definition is the equal of spirituality. Once outside of the hustle and bustle of town there is serenity, quiet, and insight to all blessings and problems as well. There are so many options and skill levels to choose from. You can see waterfalls or rise above and see what seems to be a never ending view of mountain tops peeking through the clouds. For beginners I recommend the Gatlinburg Trail. You can park at The Happy Hiker at traffic light #10 and the trail head is located across the street behind the water treatment plant. This trail will take you to the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Just before you get to the visitors center there is a waterfall called Cataract Falls, a must see. While you are there go through the visitor’s center. There you will see wildlife and have Park Rangers on duty to help you plan your ideal hike. If you are looking for intermediate hiking, check out Alum Cave Bluff. This trail will take you to the highest peak in the Smokies, Mt. LeConte. Last but not least, for the strenuous hike I recommend Chimney Tops Trail. This hike is great but will wear you out. At the top of the Chimneys there is a huge rock to walk out onto for the added experience of standing on a mountain side peak. I highly recommend any hike in the park. You do have park rangers available to you at the Sugarlands Visitors Center to assist you in finding the perfect hike for you! Next time you are in our area I would encourage you to go to the Smokies, find a trail, park your car, and take a hike!  And Best of all, they are FREE!!!!  They also allow you to spend time with your friends & family and make memories that last a lifetime! – Adam

Laurel Falls in the Smoky Mountains
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Great Smoky Mountains

Smoky Mountain Recommendations courtesy of Janelle

Weekly Recommendations by Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rental Staff– Janelle

Favorite Restaurant:
My favorite place for lunch is The Old Mill Pottery House Café. It is in a neat little village, and I really like all the shops there. There is an ice cream shop, a pottery shop and an old fashioned toy store. The food at the Pottery House Café is really good, and you can sit outside by a waterfall and eat your lunch.

Favorite Attraction for Kids:
Ripley’s Aquarium is a lot of fun if you have kids. The kids love the cross-walk where you can see the sharks and fish pass by. There is also a little cafeteria there, and you can walk along the river on River Road when you are finished at the Aquarium. The aquarium is well-suited for children of all ages.

Great Shopping Deals-The Burkes outlet in the Belz Outlet Mall is a good place to find great deals on clothes and home décor. The Carter’s children’s store in the red roof outlets is also a great place to get children’s clothes, because the whole upstairs is 50-70% off. You can’t get those discounts at the other children’s stores. I also like the Arts & Crafts community in Gatlinburg. It is a neat drive, and there are a lot of shops to see.

Favorite Trail in the National Park:
I like the Laurel Falls trail, because it is a nice hike and would be good for almost anybody. Plus, it is right there by the Welcome Center, which makes it easy access.

– Janelle

Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the park and parking at the trailhead is limited. The area is especially busy on weekends year-round and on weekdays during summer. Laurel Branch and the 80-foot high Laurel Falls are named for mountain laurel, an evergreen shrub which blooms along the trail and near the falls in May.

The trail is 2.6 miles roundtrip and considered moderate in difficulty. The trail is paved and is suitable for strollers.   Access trail: Laurel Falls Trail

Trailhead: From Sugarlands Visitor Center, turn toward Cades Cove on Little River Road and drive 3.5 miles to the trailhead where there are parking areas on both sides of the road.

Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals

Great Fishing Hole and Park for Families and Kids

Herbert Holt Park, located on the right, as you are coming into Gatlinburg, is a subtle quiet park hidden away from the bustling city. It features a pavilion, play area, walking trail, and free fishing for kids under 12 in the river! The pavilion can be reserved, please call the Gatlinburg Community Center for reservations.  The city of Gatlinburg is the only city in Tennessee which stocks the rivers weekly with Rainbow Trout to provide the experience of trout fishing for visitors and locals alike. There are very few cities in the nation that spend resources to stock animals for the enjoyment of the population, and Gatlinburg is one of them. Gatlinburg also provides many children’s fishing areas to allow children to participate in one of the great outdoor traditions of the Smokies. The trout-stocking project began in 1980 and continues strong today. In 2005, Gatlinburg ordered a large upgrade of their trout farm, ensuring a steady supply of trout for city waters.  Anywhere from 35,000 to 45,000 fish ranging from 8-14 inches long are placed in Gatlinburg streams annually. The trout hatchery is located at Herbert Holt Park, just past the Gatlinburg entrance from Pigeon Forge.