Murphy, North Carolina activities

Old Apr 20th, 2007, 12:37 PM
  #1  
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Murphy, North Carolina activities

Hi!

My family is going to this area in August. My parents have already been and have plenty of ideas for stuff for all of us to do, but I would like to research on my own.

Can you point me to sites with more info? I don't seem to be doing very well will google.
Thanks!
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 08:06 PM
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Search specifics on nearby towns -- Bryson City, Franklin, Maggie Valley, Cherokee, etc.

The Cherohala Skyway runs through the region. There are waterfalls, hiking, the Great Smoky Mountains NP, Cherokee casino, it depends on what you like to do and how far you want to drive.

Ghost Town in the Sky theme park in Maggie Valley is reopening this year after being closed for a few years. If you have kids they may enjoy it.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 08:02 AM
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You didn't say what kind of activities you are looking for when you visit North Carolina in August.....so here's a suggestion if you want a little bit of adventure and don't mind getting dirty. (Also, some of the other folks reading this board might want to do this when they head towards the mountains...)

There is a unique group of rockhounds called MAGMA (Mountain Area Gem and Mineral Association) that goes out gem hunting and rock collecting almost every weekend of the year. Part of their uniqueness comes from the fact that the club requires no membership dues, has no organized meetings, etc. All they do is get together and go out to collect amazing specimens for their collections.

They absolutely welcome newcomers with open arms, showing them the ropes, teaching them what to look for and how to get it out of the ground. I've even seen many of them hand very nice things to children in hopes of encouraging them to embrace and learn about this fascinating activity. You do NOT have to be a member of the group to join them on a dig.

Sometimes there are small fees charged by private landowners to allow digging on their property, but quite often the only expense involved in going gem hunting with MAGMA is the gas it takes to get there.

Some of the digs take place out near Murphy, Franklin and Highlands. Others are a bit further away.

Here's a link to a page of fieldtrip reports, replete with photos of some of the members and many of their spectacular finds.

http://www.wncrocks.com/magma/fieldtrips3.htm

Just a warning....there are literally HUNDREDS of lengthy reports to browse through, so it may take a bit of time to get the full picture of how active and successful this particular group is.

If you contact them in advance, they'll make sure you get great directions to a dig site or to a meeting place so that you can carpool.

It's not for everybody, but for many people (especially those with children) it can be a truly unusual and rewarding way to spend a day or two in the mountains. And there's a good chance that you'll go home with a fantastic souvenir from the mountains that you found yourself!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Wow! Thanks! One of the only reasons DH agreed to go was because of gem hunting so I will totally look in to that.

As for what type of activity, I really don't care. I was just hoping someone might be aware of some websites with info about any type of activity.

There are no kids, just me and DH (27), my parents and my grandmother. But we don't all have to do the same thing at the same time.

I found some info about the Smokey Mountains park and some other things. Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 02:47 PM
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Is Ghost Town in the Sky worth it? My mom found that website and was interested. There doesn't seem to be much info on the website yet.
Thanks again!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 07:16 PM
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Ghost Town is reopening this year after a couple years of being closed. We feared the property would be sold to condo developers. However the park is getting a MAJOR overhaul. The roller coaster has been rehabbed (it was scary to ride before, from a safety standpoint). New rides are being added. The chairlift and incline railways have been replaced (you access the park via one or the other).

Ghost Town is a great place to take the kids and spend the afternoon, or at least it was before they closed. I suspect it will be a lot more fun with all the work and money they've put into the park the past few months.

From memory, rides include: scrambler, bumper cars, the aforementioned roller coaster, a dark "mine" walkthrough, umbrellas, pirate ship, two different swings (terrifying -- you swing out over the side of the mountain!), round-up, kiddie rides, small train, Tilt-A-Whirl, and others. Brand new this year is a drop tower.

There are a couple shows and a handful of shops. Gawd, the Can-Can girls were AWFUL. That's still a favorite running joke in my family. But the best show was Cherokee Indians showing different native dances and costumes. I hope they keep that in the park.

We've taken the kids in our family (now teenagers) to the park many times and they've had a ball. At the time, the park wasn't very crowded and they could ride a lot without standing in line. My guess is that park attendance will be heavy this year with the reopening, but it won't be anything like your typical Six Flags afternoon.

Keep checking the Ghost Town website. The park doesn't open until May. Hopefully they'll get more info up there soon.
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