Let it Snow!

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We are happy to say that Ober Gatlinburg is up and running! Ride the famous Aerial Tram from Downtown Gatlinburg up 2.1 miles to the Ski Resort and Amusement Park as a great way to kick off your day. The views are astonishing! Once at the top, there are a variety of activities for all members of the family. They feature an indoor ice skating rink, arcade, carousel and wildlife encounters that are perfect for anyone not wanting to brave the elements.

They have a outdoor Alpine Slide and a Ski Mountain Coaster for family friendly outdoor activities. Ober has also opened up Snow tubing, which has been a huge hit for anyone ages 3 and older. It’s just like sledding but you don’t have to walk back up,  Ober has a “magic carpet” that takes care of that! If you have little ones, they also offer a Cubbies Snow Zone for the kids to play. Entry is free with an area/lift ticket.

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The slopes will resume regular operating hours following the start of the 2016/2017 season. Ticket prices vary on amount of days and equipment rental. The resort starting blowing snow last week and already has a base of over 15″ on most of their runs. Of course, you’ll have to check the forecast daily. And with 10 different trails and 7 different lifts, you’re sure to find one to suit your needs.

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

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April Showers Bring May Flowers!

 

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Spring has sprung in the Great Smoky Mountains! With the spring rains filling the rushing river and the flora starting to come alive, now is the time to come experience what the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is all about.

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The rain has lent a hand in shaping our areas most beautiful waterfalls. In fact, here in the park we can get so much rainfall that it’s nearly equal to that of a temperate rain forest! While the water is still gushing, come see the numerous waterfalls in our area! If you’re not ready to brave the elements just yet, we have a few autumn waterfall 250x vertwaterfalls you can drive right up to. These include The Sinks, Meigs Falls, and Place of a Thousand Drips. If you’re not afraid of getting out there, then stop by our personal favorites. Some of the shorter trails include Laurel Falls, Indian Creek Falls, and Grotto Falls. If you’re ready to make a day of it, check out Rainbow Falls or Ramsey Cascades. Don’t forget to prepare with hiking essentials before you go! If you need some tips check out one of our other blog posts here.

 

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With the rain feeding the river, the river is feeding the Park. It’s still early in the season but the blooming has begun! The spring ephemerals that are popping up now won’t be here long, they die off around the end of April, so you’ll have to hurry if you want to catch them! The most prominent in this area would be the trillium, of which we have 10 different species. Several types of orchids, fire pink, bleeding heart, and violets are a few other the other prominent ephemerals also. The Red Maple’s flowers will be a brilliant red along with the bright white of the Dogwood trees.

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We’re kicking off the season with our 66th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage starting April 19 and going through April 23, 2016. These five days are full of over 150 guided walks, instructional workshops, and demonstrations. Sign up here if you would like to attend this years Pilgrimage. We do recommend either downloading the wildflower checklist or purchasing a wildflower book for the area.

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 865-430-3366. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

Will You Be Our Valentine?

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It’s no surprise that Gatlinburg was named the “Wedding Capital of the South” according to Destination Wedding Mag. Gatlinburg is teeming with romance around every corner, making it the perfect place to spend your Valentine’s Day Weekend! If you’re looking to settle down and spend a relaxing weekend inside with your sweetheart, or get out there and have an adventure, look no further!

 

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ERA In The Smokies has many cabins to enjoy a romantic weekend in. If you’re looking for a heart shaped jacuzzi and wood burning fireplace, Cub Path is perfect for two! Cozy Chipmunk Haven is a great escape for couples looking to get away from the world. Adventure lovers will appreciate the awesome views from the hot tub of Southern Comfort.

 

Plan your Valentine’s Dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. These are the local favorites for a couple’s night out.

  • Bistro 109
  • 3 Jimmy’s Restaurant
  • Cherokee Grill
  • The Peddler
  • Greenbrier Restaurant
  • Alamo Steakhouse
  • Melting Pot

 

Itching for an adventure? A whimsical hike through the Smokies would be a perfect getaway. Visit our list of day hikes in the area to see which one would best fit your preferences. If you prefer to drive, head over to Cades Cove to see the beauty from inside your car. Early birds should catch the splendid sunrise at Newfound Gap. Don’t forget to pack a lunch to enjoy a picnic in the woods! Be mindful and don’t forget to practice the Leave No Trace guidelines.

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If the outdoors aren’t your style, why not treat yourself to a nice massage or spa day. All About You Salon & Spa is running several specials for this weekend. Even featuring one All About Him! If you want to stay in for the weekend, try out Gatlinburg Mobile Massage, where they come to you!

holding hands sxcMarried couples who want a little something special should end the weekend with a renewal of your vows. Gatlinburg is home to several Churches and Chapels who offer more than just marriage services. Rev. Captain Jimmy C. Maples will come to you! He offers in cabin weddings and vow renewals and more. Bring back the romance with a ceremony of celebration for your anniversary or even ‘just because’!

 

 

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 865-430-3366. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

 

 

 

 

Snowed In? Snow Day!

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Here in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, we experience our fair share of snow days. While getting out of school or work is exciting, spending the day inside can be a bore. We’ve come up with some activities that are perfect for a good snowy day.

Make Snow Cream!

Snow Cream is a delicious treat that you can’t get all year long. Kids 10890636_1572602209620477_2098604635_nlove getting involved in the kitchen -especially if they get to bring snow in the house! All you need is milk, vanilla extract, and some clean, fresh snow. We recommend setting a big bowl out once the snow starts falling. Once you mix everything together add in any toppings you would like. Sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut, and honey are some favorites.

Do Yoga!

Yoga is a great way to warm up on a snow day. Practicing yoga has many benefits. These include increased blood flow, boost in immune system, boosts metabolism, and much more. Loosen up after walking around with all those layers from playing in the snow. Try out some basic poses like the Mountain Pose, Tree Pose, and Downward Facing Dog.

Make it a Spa Day!

There’s nothing more relaxing than a day at the spa, but no one wants to trek out into the snow to do so! Grab some ingredients from your pantry and put together some DIY spa treatments. Combine coconut oil, honey, and lemon juice for a fantastic face mask. For a hair mask use 1/2 a ripe avocado and mix it with coconut oil and vitamin E oil. After throwing snowballs all day, your hands will want some love too. Mix coarse sugar with lemon juice and coconut oil for a silky hand scrub.

Set up a Photoshoot!

10525552_347616358767131_1087180128_nGrab any type of camera and head for the pretty white blanket that has covered your yard. Snow makes for such a fun backdrop to candid
photos. Have someone snap several pics of you tossing up the snow,
trudging through it, shaking a tree to cover yourself, the possibilities are endless! The lighting on snow days is perfect for pictures so even if you’re just using your phone, there’s bound to be a good one!

Build a Fort!

Tap into your inner child and break out the extra pillows and sheets for nostalgic purposes. Everyone loved building forts as kids and now that we understand construction a little better it’s a great time to get your creative juices flowing. You can get really creative with all of those left over boxes from Christmas and put together a cardboard fort. Just attach some tape to secure them together. Mr. McGroovy’s sells boxes of rivets to help bring your creation to life. They also have tons of downloadable plans if you’re not up for designing your own.

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Play Outside!

Of course playing in the snow is the best part about snow days! Step your snowball game up by using a ball press. You can also get a snowball launcher to have even more fun! Build a snowman, snow bear, or any other snow creature that may be native to your area. Grab a sled or a tube and find the nearest hill to spend hours entertained or even just plop down and make a snow angel.

 

Now that you have a day full of activities planned, go ahead and get started! Enjoy your day full of snow!

 

 

LOGO with text This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 865-430-3366. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

♪ ♫ ♪ It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… ♪ ♫ ♪

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Here in the Great Smoky Mountains we like to kick off the winter season with our annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. It’s the 40th anniversary of this tradition and around 60,000 people come from all over to join us for the parade. Our Grand Marshal for this year’s parade is celebrity Rachel Grant. So grab a chair and some hot chocolate and get ready to be dazzled!

Dollywood also has a Parade of Lights daily throughout the theme park. Along with that, they have the Smoky Mountain Christmas show schedule, meet and greet with Rudolph and Friends, and the Timber Canyon Festival of Lights.

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If you still want more, we’ve got you covered! With our Winter Magic lights set up from Gatlinburg all the way to Sevierville, we have an array of lights and displays to help get you in the holiday spirit. These feature animals and critters native to the area and historic scenes for the holidays. To view the entire loop, reserve yourself a seat on the Trolley Ride of Lights here.

Stop by Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland at the Smokies Stadium to drive at your own pace through their orchestra of lights. Just tune your radio station to theirs and enjoy the musical light show in the comfort of your vehicle. At $25 a carload for the show and free access to Santa’s Village it’s the perfect way to end your day.

Santa’s Claus-et in Gatlinburg has also put on their own little musical light show. They just moved locations to a new building right in town near Traffic Light number 3A. It’s a great place to shop for the holidays and enjoy the magical light show at the beginning of the Arts and Crafts loop.

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 865-430-3366. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

15th Annual ERA for MDA Golf Classic

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ERA In The Smokies is sponsoring their 15th annual ERA for MDA Golf Classic on September 11, 2013. The golf Classic and Live Auction will occur Wednesday, September 11 at Bent Creek Golf Resort on Highway 321 in Gatlinburg, TN. Lunch will be served at 11:00 am, and players will tee off at noon. Teams will be made up of four golfers and players may bring a pre-made team or come alone and be placed in a team. The fee to play in the fund-raising tournament is $100 per player and includes lunch, green fees, cart fees, an embroidered golf shirt, goody bag, dinner and entrance to the live auction held after the tournament. Players will also have the opportunity to win a new car from Taylor Ford in Waynesville, NC during the Hole-In-One Competition.

ERA In The Smokies sponsors the MDA Golf Benefit to raise money to send local children living with Muscular Dystrophy to MDA Camp Discovery in Gainesboro, TN. 100% of the profits of the Benefit and Live Auction go to send local children to camp- no administration fees.

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What is MDA?

MDA is a non-profit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases, specifically muscular dystrophy, by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education. Muscular Dystrophy is a group of genetic diseases in which muscle fibers are unusually susceptible to damage. These damaged muscles become progressively weaker. Most people who have muscular dystrophy will eventually need to use a wheelchair. Symptoms of the most common variety of muscular dystrophy begin in childhood, primarily in boys. People who have muscular dystrophy may have trouble breathing or swallowing. Their limbs may also be drawn inward and become fixed in that position- a problem called contracture. The heart and other organs may also be affected in some varieties of the disease. There is not cure for muscular dystrophy, but medications and therapy can help slow the progression of the disease.

“MDA campers dream about summer camp all year and often say it’s better than Christmas; some even say it’s changed their lives. Almost all campers agree that it’s “the best week of the year””

MDA camp offers a fun and safe outdoor experience, along with opportunities to engage in a variety of activities such as horseback riding, swimming, adaptive sports, arts and crafts, camp dances and much more. However, if you talk to some of the campers about their experience, they will tell you that the real benefits are the lifelong friendships, the increased self-esteem and confidence and the chance to spend at least one week of the year in a place where physical disabilities are the norm rather than the exception. MDA staff and volunteers assume all camper care, including physical and emotional support, allowing parents much-needed time to attend to their own need and, in some cases, spend some special time with the camper’s siblings.

Businesses or individuals may sponsor a golf hole for $100; signage for the Hole Sponsors will be present at the Hole sponsored on the day of the event. Items and/or services of value are needed for the Live Auction. All sponsors are recognized in the participant program  available on the day of the event. To become a sponsor or player, please call (865)430-3366.

Waterfalls in the Smokies

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Few experiences in nature are more rewarding than taking a beautiful hike knowing there is a majestic waterfall waiting for you at the end. Waterfalls are commonly formed when a river is young at the time when the channel is often narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock erosion happens slowly while upstream erosion occurs more quickly. As the water increases its velocity at the edge of the waterfall, it picks up material from the riverbed. The erosion capacity is increased when whirlpools created in the turbulence as well as sand and stones carried by the water stream. These whirlpools cause the waterfall the carve deeper into the into the bed and to recede upstream. Many times over a period of time, the waterfall will recede back to form a canyon or gorge downstream as it recedes upstream and will carve deeper into the ridge above it. The rate of retreat for a waterfall can be as high as one and a half meters per year.

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Waterfalls normally form in a rocky area due to erosion. There is usually a deep area just below waterfalls because of the kinetic energy hitting the bottom. Often, the rock stratum just below the more resistant shelf will be of a softer type, meaning that undercutting due to splashback will occur here to form a shallow cave-like formation known as a rock shelter under and behind the waterfall. Eventually, the outcropping, more resistant cap rock will collapse under pressure to add blocks of rock to the base of the waterfall. These blocks of rock are then broken down into smaller boulders by attrition as they collide with each other, and they also erode the base of the waterfall by abrasion, creating a deep plunge pool or gorge.

There are many waterfalls that are just a short hike away here in the Smokies, these include:

  • Laurel Falls- This 80 foot high waterfall is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the smokies. Located just a few minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, this trail is paved making it stroller, wheelchair and walker accessible.
  • Grotto Falls- Easily walk behind this 25 foot high waterfall just minutes from Gatlinburg off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This trail is 3 miles round trip and should take around 2-3 hours to complete.

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    Grotto Falls

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Laurel Falls

  • Abrams Falls- This 5 mile roundtrip hike along Abrams Creek is moderate, but worth it. The large amount of water creates a very deep pool, but swimming is not allowed because of the dangerous currents. This hike is in Cades Cove.

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    Abrams Falls

Ramsey Cascades- At 100 feet, this is the highest waterfall in the park. The water collects in a small pool where salamanders can be found. This is a strenuous 8 mile trip  will take 5 to 7 hours to complete, but the reward at the end is worth it. To get there drive 5.9 miles from Gatlinburg on 321, then turn right at Greenbrier, at mile 3.2 turn left at the sign for Ramsey Cascades onto the bridge that crosses the Middle Prong and drive 1.5 miles to the parking area.

  • Hen Wallow Falls- At the bottom of the 90 foot high waterfalls you can often find salamanders. During a very cold winter, the falls often freeze to form a beautiful ice formation. At 4.4 miles roundtrip, this hike is moderate in difficulty. Access this hike at the Gabes Mountain Trailhead at the Cosby Picnic area.

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    Hen-Wallow Falls

  • Mingo Falls- Just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can hike this moderate set of wooden stairs .4 of a mile to this waterfall. The access trail is at the Pigeon Creek Trailhead. From the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, drive south toward  Cherokee on US 441 and take the second bridge to the left and drive 4.5 miles to Mingo Falls Campground where the trail begins.

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    Mingo Falls

  • Rainbow Falls- A rainbow is visible on a sunny day when the mist creates a canvas. This 80 foot high waterfalls creates an impressive ice formation in the winter .This hike is 5.4 miles roundtrip and moderate in difficulty. The access trail is at the Rainbow Falls trailhead in the Roaring Fork area. From the Gatlinburg parkway, turn at traffic light #8 and follow the Historic Nature Trail into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Continue past Noah “Bud” Ogle cabin to the Rainbow Falls parking area.

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    Rainbow Falls

Waterfalls in the Smokies you can drive to:

  • Meigs Falls- The pull off for this waterfall is along Little River Road 13 miles west of the Sugarlands Visitor Center. This waterfall can be easily missed while driving so be sure to watch carefully for it!
  • Place of 1,000 drips- From the parkway in Gatlinburg, turn at traffic light #8 and follow the Historic Nature trail in the park. Take the Roaring Fork Motor Nature trail and continue to stop #15 at the falls.

These waterfalls are breathtaking, but make sure to hike prepared with plenty of water, snacks and hiking essentials in case of emergencies.