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cabin near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

cabin near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Old May 10th, 2010, 09:41 PM
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cabin near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We plan to be in that area for about three days in late Ocotober, and I've decided that a cabin with a view would be more fun than a hotel. So, I started looking around--OMG, I'm overwhelmed!
I'm willing to sort through listings, but I'd like a little help narrowing down the area. From the research I've started to do, Pigeon Forge doesn't seem to hold much appeal--it looks like Wisconsin Dells on steroids. Our goal is to do some driving and hiking within the park--but we're not campers. I imagine we'll want to go into Gatlinburg for dinners. If I contact a rental agent or look at vrbo, what area do I say that I want? Thanks!
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Old May 11th, 2010, 07:24 AM
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it really depends if you have children or not. if you need family things to do than the pigeon forge, gatlinburg area is your best bet. if you dont have kids i would avoid this area like the plague. it is possible to stay outside of gatlinburg and sneak down for dinners. but to go anywhere you will still have to fight through the crowds. pigeon forge and gatlinburg in late october is like being in a two lane road with 40000 of your closest friends. The hiking in the smoky mountains is great and there are plenty of different places to access them from. townsend is an option. there is plenty of rental stuff. there would just be less restaurants and entertainment.

if you are looking for privacy and dont have your kids with you avoid the resort type cabins. because you will be able to see in your neighbors kitchen. Dancing Bear Lodge in townsend and Butterfly Gap Retreat in Maryville are great for getting away from it all.

One option would be to look at the area between townsend and pigeon forge on hwy 321 it is pretty calm and you could sneak into pigeon forge for dinners and entertainment, but still access the park through townsend.

hope this helps.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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Great information--thanks! We'll avoid Pigeon Forge and resort cabins, look on Hwy 321 near Townsend.

We won't have our kids with us, and even if we did, they're 33 & 36! So, it's just two travellers in our early 60s.

I didn't see anything we wanted to do in Pigeon Forge, and in Gatlinburg, only the Arts & Crafts loop. But the primary reason for our visit is the park--could we get a good feel in two days? I think we'd like to drive the Newfound Gap Rd, Cades Cove loop, see Clingman's Dome, stop along the way and do some hiking.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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You can get a feel in two days. Clingman's Dome is crowded and so is cades cove, but they are must sees. try to hit them early in the morning less crowds and more wildlife. Depending on your hiking abilities there a lot of great hikes. Go to the Sugarlands visitor center by Gatlinburg or the townsend visitor center for the best info.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 08:15 AM
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We've stayed in Townsend several times, it's MUCH nicer than Pigeon Forge, and it's not that far of a drive to get into Pigeon Forge for dinner -- better to fight the traffic one or two evenings, than every day. It's also close to Cade's Cove and several nice hiking trails. You can also ride horses there, or on certain mornings, rent bikes.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 08:23 AM
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Check out Oak Haven Resort...great cabins
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Old May 16th, 2010, 09:05 AM
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Thanks, I'll check out Oak Haven and cabins in Townsend. I don't think we'll to need to go into Pigeon Forge for dinner--I'm sure we can find places to eat in Gatlinburg.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 09:44 AM
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abram, be sure to drive the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. It's beautiful.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 11:19 AM
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iceeu2, that's definitely on our list.

I looked at the website for Oak Haven, and it sems to be in Pigeon Forge, so we'll pass.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 12:56 PM
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abram, you are missing the best cabins in the area(there are ways to navigate and by pass Pigeon Forge). If you are determined to stay away from Pigeon Forge, then stay in the Townsend area, and like, radiomixme, I would stay at Dancing Bear Lodge. The people at the welcome center in Townsend are very hospitable. Call them and ask about cabin rentals in the area. There's also lots of cabins on hwy. 321 between Townsend and Pigeon Forge. You can still turn back and not get into the Pigeon Forge crazy traffic to get to Gatlinburg and the park. Have fun, it's a beautiful area.

If you can spend a large amount of money, then go to The Blackerry Farm in Walland, TN blackberryfarm.com
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Old May 16th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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I don't mind missing the best cabins in the area, and I don't choose to spend a large amount of money. Dancing Bear Lodge is way more than I want to pay.

Thanks for all the input; I've learned a great deal about what area would suit us.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 04:57 AM
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The Arts and Crafts area is great because you can access it from highway 321 and avoid the chaos of driving in through Sevierville. There is also access to the park at the Greenbrier entrance, which is beautiful with the little pigeon river nearby. Highly recommend Cades Cove but go early, like 8am to miss the traffic and see the wildlife (they tend to go away during the day). I stay at Elk Springs Resort http://www.elkspringsresort.com - the cabins are newer and have great reviews. They are right in the Arts in Crafts Community.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 06:43 AM
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Cades Cove is, by far, my favorite spot in the Smokies.
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm

Be sure to make time to at least drive the loop.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 06:54 AM
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My favorite experience in that (general) area is to raft the Nantahala -

http://www.wildwaterrafting.com/nantahala.php

http://www.noc.com/whitewater-rafting/nantahala-river/

Those are actually in NC and would be a 2 hour drive from Cades Cove. It doesn't sound like how you want to spend your 3 days in the Smokies, but I thought I'd just toss it out there.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 07:00 AM
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From one of those links, I found this article from Charleston Magazine about rafting the Nantahala -

http://www.charlestonmag.com/charles...fresher_course

I didn't know about these cabins, but it sounds like something you may enjoy -
http://www.watershedcabins.com/treehouses.phtml

And I'm definitely going to check out the Yurt Village mentioned in that article -
http://www.fallingwatersresort.com/yurt_village.htm
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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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Abram, if you are headed towards Chattanooga after this as it seems, I would recommend the scenic route. Over the mtns 441 Newfound Gap (maybe hitting Clingmans Dome on the way) then down towards Robbinsville (nothing to see there) and taking the Cherohala Skyway. This is a must see. It winds thru some of the most remote country in the eastern US.

The Joyce Kilmer Forest is near where it starts. You could take an hour or so to hike thru it for the giant trees before getting on the skyway. Not Sequoiah sized, but impressive nonetheless.

http://cherohala.org/

From Tellico Plains where it ends, head south on TN 68, another scenic route, then west on 64 (Ocoee Byway) to Chattanooga. Yes, this is some driving, but you won't see much if you don't get out and about away from Townsend area. I wouldn't miss it-and it'll take you right to Chattanooga.

If there is a lot of traffic going to Cades Cove turn around and skip it before it turns into one-lane, one-way. It's not worth the hassle at all when it's crowded and there is no way back once it becomes one-way. If you are there during the week, it'll probably be fine.

The Roaring Fork Loop is nice, but wooded and no scenic vistas. However, it's still worth it. A nice, fairly easy hike is the one to Grotto Falls. It tends to be a pretty popular one since it is not a strenuous ascent like many other hikes in the Smokies. The hemlock forest it passes thru is worth it by itself.

http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/grotto.htm

Finally, if you do come down 441, you might want to check out Mingo Falls. (Google it). It's one of the best in the area. It is a short detour off 441 and a very short, but steep walk up a 150 or so steps to see it. Well worth it, doesn't take long.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 01:16 PM
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We have booked through Sunset Cottages in Pigeon Forge and we're going back in two weeks. I like the ease of searching their cabins for exactly what you want (for instance, privacy with a view, non-smoking, etc.) and the reasonable cost. We did go into Pigeon Forge to get the keys and again for groceries. Found it horrendous. Our cabin was several miles outside town, up in the hills, fairly close to the Arts and Crafts area. We drove through it to get to Gatlinburg.

We really enjoyed the Roaring Forks Motor Trail, and did not like Cades Cove at all. We did get to see a bear there, but the traffic was bumper-to-bumper, and the line would stop whenever a deer was in view. We are planning to give it another try, early in the morning. We did enjoy the picnic area at the end of the Cades Cove drive. Have fun!
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Old May 17th, 2010, 01:31 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions; they'll really help me plan this segment of our vacation.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 07:38 PM
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Copying below from another post here about the Smokies so I apologize if you've already read it.

Townsend is great if you want to spend alot of time on the Cades Cove side (west) of the park. If you want to see Gatlinburg and south (New Found Gap road, etc) then it's quite a drive to get from Townsend.

Check Chalet Village

My family and I have travelled to the Smoky Mountains almost every year for over 20 years. I love staying in Gatlinburg (yes, there are ALOT of cabin choices in Gatlinburg) because of the proximity to the National Park. We spend 99% of our time hiking in the park and I want easy in and easy out. That said, I HATE driving through Gatlinburg - who doesn't?

For the last few trips (including one coming up next month) we are staying with Chalet Village. www.chaletvillage.com The great thing about their site is they list the cabin address so you can google it to see exactly where it is.

The majority of their cabins are in what is known as the Chalet Village area of Gatlinburg and with the right map you can drive from your chalet to Light #10 in Gatlinburg, turn right and be in the National Park. Or get yourself to the Gatlinburg bypass and not hit any lights in town.

We've stayed at #756 Leconte's Misty Glow 2 years in a row now and the view is SPECTACULAR. It's also very close to one of the Chalet Village pools which you get to use. I gave my kids (17 & 6) a choice of Leconte's Misty Glow again this year or Myrtle Beach and they both picked the cabin. We loved it.

Another rental company that looks good (though I haven't stayed with them) is Jackson Mountain Homes. One thing I did was check all the cabin rental companies with the Better Business Bureau and both of these get good ratings.
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Old Jun 1st, 2010, 05:03 AM
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I'm also looking for a cabin to rent for July in that area (or on the NC side). You are right that it is very overwhelming. So many choices! I didn't find as many places overlooking a lake as I expected. If I can't find a place overlooking a lake then overlooking a valley is my next choice. Some cabins are in the woods, which is fine, but my preference this trip is someplace with a great view of a lake, valley, or mountains.

There are so many cabin rental companies and individuals it's hard to know which ones are good. Any suggestions?
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