Need Smokey Mountains suggestions

Old Jul 17th, 2002, 08:00 PM
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Need Smokey Mountains suggestions

Our family will be visiting Knoxville in early August and will have a few days during that time to stay in or around the Smokey Mountain National Park. I plan to rent a cabin for 3-4 days. Could anyone recommend a specific area away from the hype (Dollywood) and near a nice clean lake/stream? We are from the desert and would enjoy being around water for a few days.
Old Jul 17th, 2002, 10:10 PM
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When we went to the Great Smokey Mts. we stayed at a campground in Townsend. They call Townsend the Peacefull Side of the Smokies. There was a river that ran behind our campround. I don't know if there were any cabins there.

Old Jul 18th, 2002, 09:46 AM
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Townsend is definitely the place for you. It's quiet and not too touristy. Try the River Rat and see "The Shannons" for a cool ride down the river. It is hot and humid at that time- beware.
Old Jul 18th, 2002, 10:32 AM
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I tend to prefer the Cosby side of Gatlinburg. The area down 321 toward Cosby offers peace and quiet, yet there is a quick route to get to the Artists Community, along with sneaking in Pigeon Forge/Sevierville the back way (416) if you wanted to. I stay at a resort called Bent Creek. It is located on a Gary-Player-designed golf course and it right on the edge of the National Park. They offer cabins and condominiums, have a couple of pools and overall, is a very nice resort. A couple of resorts next to it would include Brandywine, Deer Ridge (very nice), and Cobly Knob Cabin Rentals. This area is not far from Greenbrier and also has a handful of decent restaurants. Greenbrier, along the Little pigeon River, also offers some nice camping areas if you like to do that sort of thing.

The Townsend area is nice, and it is close to Cades Cove. However I find it a little too quiet out that way, with a modest amount of things to do. This of course, is my own personal taste.

Wherever you decide, I hope you enjoy the area. It has been a favorite vacation spot of mine since I was a young boy. Make sure you schedule in a hike or two. BTW - I love visiting during August. Notice how it will be an instant 10-degrees cooler the moment you enter the National Park.

Happy Trails,

Old Jul 18th, 2002, 01:32 PM
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I would recommend looking into the Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley, NC, close to the North Carolina entrance to Smoky Mountain Park. My husband and I stayed there a number of years ago and we loved it. (We would love to go back some day.) The ranch itself is up in the mountains and you can either stay in the main lodge or one of the cabins on the property ... we stayed in a cabin, but the main lodge is also very nice. There are "family-style" meals at the main lodge (breakfast/dinner) where you can experience some of the best home-cooked meals that you have ever had. There was a pond on site stocked with trout (that the kitchen will even cook up for you if you catch), and an outdoor pool. And of course, the main focus of the ranch is horse-back riding ... real trail rides (1/2 or full dayguides rides) up into the mountains. You do not need to be an experienced horse back rider for these rides - Just let them know and they will outfit you with the appropriate horse for your abilities. The ranch is in a beautiful area, definitely a world-away from Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Dollywood.

Check out their website for yourself at There is a photograph on that site overlooking the ranch and you can see how pretty the area is. You can also check out their location map which indicates the route there from Knoxville ... looks pretty easy to get to.
Old Jul 20th, 2002, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. We're looking forward to seeing this part of the country, especially after the long drought here in Arizona.
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