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.

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Day Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

Click here for Easy Summer Hikes!

There are many different trails to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ranging from easy to moderate to strenuous. Whether you’re looking for a quiet forest walk and wildflowers or a hike by the river to an amazing waterfall, there is a hike for everyone! Here are a list of the hikes you can complete in a day.

  1. Alum Cave- Features views and interesting geological features. 4.4 miles roundtrip and moderate in difficulty
  2. Charlie’s Bunion- 8.0 miles roundtrip
  3. Spruce-Fir Trail- Located in Newfound Gap/ Clingmans Dome, 0.4 miles roundtrip
  4. Laurel Falls- Located in Elkmont, 2.3 miles roundtrip and features a historical waterfall and stream
  5. Little Brier Gap- Located in Elkmont, features the Walker Sisters Place and is 2.3 miles roundtrip
  6. Grotto Falls- Located in Gatlinburg/ Mt. Leconte, features waterfalls and is 2.6 miles roundtrip
  7. Schoolhouse Gap- Located in Cades Cove/ Townsend, features a quiet forest hike and wildflowers and is 3.8 miles roundtrip
  8. Baskins Creek Falls- Located in Gatlinburg, features waterfalls and is 3.0 miles roundtrip
  9. Andrews Bald- Located in Newfound Gap/ Clingmans Dome, features panoramic views and is 3.5 miles roundtrip
  10. Porter’s Creek Trail- Located in the Greenbrier area, features waterfalls, streams, flowers and an old growth forest, 4.0 miles roundtrip
  11. Abrams Falls- Located in the Cades Cove area, features waterfalls and is 5.0 miles roundtrip
  12. Little River Trail- Located in the Elkmont area, features streams and seasonal wildflowers, 4.9 miles roundtrip
  13. Meigs Mountain Trail- Located in the Elkmont area, quiet forest hike, 4.6 miles roundtrip
  14. Hen Wallow Falls- Located in the Greenbrier area, features waterfalls, 4.4 miles roundtrip
  15. Huskey Gap (Newfound Gap Rd)- Located in Gatlinburg, features a quiet forest walk and is 4.2 miles roundtrip
  16. Chimney Tops- Located in Gatlinburg, features panoramic mountain views and is 4.0 miles roundtrip
  17. Cucumber Gap Loop- Located in Elkmont, features streams and seasonal wildflowers. 5.6 miles roundtrip
  18. Grapeyard Ridge Trail- Located in Greenbrier, features a historical Injun Creek steam engine wreck and is 5.8 miles roundtrip
  19. Deep Creek Headwaters- Located in Newfound Gap, features a stream and is 5.8 miles roundtrip
  20. West Prong Trail- Located in the Cades Cove area, features a stream and quiet forest walk, 5.4 miles roundtrip
  21. Curry Mountain Trail- Located in the Elkmont area, features a quiet forest hike and is 6.4 miles roundtrip
  22. Sugarland Mountain Trail (lower)- Located in the Elkmont area, features a quiet forest hike and is 6.0 miles roundtrip
  23. The Jump Off- Located in Newfound Gap, features panoramic mountain view and is 6.5 miles roundtrip
  24. Bullhead Trail- Located in Gatlinburg, features views and interesting geological features, 5.9 miles roundtrip
  25. Sugarland Mountain Trail (upper)- Located in Newfound Gap, features views and solitude, 7.0 miles roundtrip

It is important to always hike prepared. Here is a complied list of things to bring with you on each day hike in the Smokies during the Summer months.

  • Backpack, daypack or fanny packhike gear
  • Rain/Wind shield
  • Supportive Footwear
  • Extra socks
  • Extra clothing
  • Gloves
  • Water: full canteens, water bottles or hydration pack
  • Extra food: high energy snacks
  • Map and/or guidebook
  • Compass
  • Pocket knife
  • Flashlight
  • Whistle
  • Watch
  • First Aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun protection
  • Toilet paper (in a plastic bag)
  • Money/ ID

Suggested/ Optional Gear:

  • Hiking Pole
  • Bandana
  • Notebook with pencil
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Cell phone
  • Napkins
  • Zip seal plastic bagsAbrams Falls Trail

Include in basic first-aid kit:

  • Roll bandages
  • Triangular bandages
  • Ace bandages
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Sterile compresses
  • Adhesive tape
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Miscellaneous band aids
  • Twine
  • Tweezers
  • Safety Pins
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Latex gloves
  • Tissues
  • Plastic bags
  • Small mirror
  • Antibacterial soap/wipes
  • Eye drops
  • Burn Ointment
  • Sunburn lotion
  • Disinfectant cream
  • Decongestant and Antihistamine tabletshiking-first-aid-kit
  • Anti-acids
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Aspirin/ Ibuprofen
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Diarrhea medication
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Poison ivy cream/ cleansers
  • Bee sting kit
  • Snake bite kit
  • Heat/cold packs
  • Personal information/ contact person
  • First-aid manual

Safety tips:

Never hike alone, give a family member or friend your hiking itinerary and estimated time of return, always stay on the designated trail, don’t hike too quickly pace yourself, start early, check the weather forecast before heading out, know where to get emergency medical care, watch for signs of heat exhaustion, don’t pack too heavily, never approach wild animals, and remember to always have fun!!

Spring Break In The Smokies

Click Here to Subscribe by Email!This year at Spring Break, don’t follow the crowd to the beach, follow the fun to the Smokies!

Go Swimming in the SmokiesGo Swimming

At Spring Break in the Smokies, the outdoor pools usually aren’t opened yet, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on swimming!
Indoor Swimming Pools– There are two indoor swimming pools in the area that can accommodate you for just a couple dollars per person. The indoor swimming pool at the Gatlinburg Community Center is open every day, even in winter and spring. Check their website for hours of operation and prices. The Pigeon Forge Community Center also offers an indoor swimming pool. Hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Friday- 8:00am – 8:00pm; Tuesday, Thursday- 6:30am – 8:00pm; Saturday- 10:00am – 5:30pm; Sunday- 1:00pm – 5:30pm. The Day fee for non-residents in $6.59 and includes access to the entire community center, including basketball courts, racquet ball, bowling, and more. Call 865-429-7373 for more information.
Indoor Water Park– There is an indoor water park as well, with a little bit of extra watery fun! The Wild Bear Falls Water Park in Gatlinburg “is the ultimate indoor/outdoor water park experience. Not only is there 60,000 sq ft. of watery fun for kids and adults, the water park also features an entry-level pool for toddlers. For those that are in need of a break from the water or want to recharge, there is a snack bar, gift shop and an arcade on the mezzanine level. High above the fun, the mezzanine also permits you to take in the action below or keep an eye on your family.”

Visit a Theme Park

Dollywood opens on March 23 this year, with endless opportunities for family fun! On hot days, water rides are available. Roller coasters and rides provide plenty of thrills, including the still new Barnstormer and Wild Eagle Rides. The Festival of Nations is hosting the Cirque Shanghai. Shopping, shows, food, and dozens of children’s activities round out the experience. ERA In The Smokies can help you with discounted 2-day passes if you stay in one of their cabins or chalets!

Enjoy the Spring Weather and Wildlife

Hiking To Chimney TopsPerfect Hiking Weather
Thousands of people flock from far and wide to enjoy all the amazing hiking trails of the Great Smoky Mountains. While a novice might expect summer to be the best time for hiking, anyone who has been hiking in summer knows that spring and autumn are the best seasons for hiking by far. In summer it can get quite warm, and when one is hiking, this increases the body heat as well, and can work up quite a sweat! In the spring, the beautiful color of new leaves fills the Smokies, the birds and animals are flitting about, the wildflowers are coming out in profusion, and the temperature is perfect. On a perfect spring day, it may seem just a bit warm down in the town of Gatlinburg, but as you climb in elevation in the Park to get to the trails, the temperature will drop a bit. When you get out of your car to begin the hike, you will probably feel a bit chilly. Just put on a light jacket, and start hiking! Within about ten minutes, you will likely be getting pretty warm again. Just remove your jacket, tie it around your waist, and continue on your hike! See some more hiking tips.
Waterfall Season
In spring, the frequent rainfall and melting snow contribute to gorgeous, roaring waterfalls! If you are one of those people for whom waterfalls hold a mesmerizing attraction, the Smokies is the place for you! From small cataracts cascading along the side of the road, to huge falls of 50 ft or more, the Smokies are riddled with waterfalls. Meigs Falls and Place of a Thousand Drips are accessible by car-ride, and tons of others are available by hikes, long or short!
Wildflowers
There are wildflowers for every season, but none holds such a profusion of color and scent as spring-time! If you visit us during the last weekend in April, you can take advantage of the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage to assist in your discovery of our spring wildflowers! “The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is an annual five-day event in Great Smoky Mountains National Park consisting of a variety of wildflower, fauna, and natural history walks, motorcades, photographic tours, art classes, and indoor seminars. Most programs are outdoors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, while indoor offerings are held in various venues throughout Gatlinburg, TN.”

Have a Boardwalk Experience

Both in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the main strips play host to such a variety of attractions, a walk down either could keep you entertained for days! The term boardwalk brings up images of shopping, eateries, ice cream, fudge, mini-golf, go-karts, shows, and more! Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer all this and more.

See a Show

There are so many show here in the Smokies, you could never see them all! Some of our favorites fall loosely into three categories, although most shows contain all three elements in some degree!
Comedy
Sweet Fanny Adams
“On your next visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, head for Pat & Don MacPherson’s Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, Gatlinburg´s ONLY Musical Comedy Entertainment Attraction and the OLDEST Purveyor of Professional, Live-On-Stage, Original Musical Comedies, outrageous humor and hilarious fun in the Smokies.”
Comedy BarnThe Comedy Barn
“The Comedy Barn® Theater, located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee , is the award winning family comedy variety show in the Smoky Mountains. Our show features magicians, fire-eaters, jugglers, ventriloquists, clean family comedians, live country and gospel music as well as fun barn yard animals.”
Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud
“Howdy! Welcome to the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge. You are just in time for the big ole barn dance tonight and boy, is it gonna be a wild one. Seems somehow someone invited BOTH the Hatfields AND the McCoys to the party! Everyone knows just how well those two families mix so you might be able to guess just how busy our newly elected sheriff is gonna fair in the next few hours.”
Action
Dixie Stampede
“Searching for family fun and adventure during your vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee? Join Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN for a family feast and fantastic show fun for all ages. Filled with friendly North and South competition, thrilling horse riding stunts, spectacular special effects, phenomenal musical productions plus a mouth-watering four-course feast complete with a delicious dessert!”
Lumberjack Feud
“Pigeon Forge has a new attraction, and it’s not your ordinary dinner show. With competing ESPN Lumberjack Athletes, you won’t want to miss the “Rowdiest Good Time Dinner Show in the Smokies!”
Music
Smoky Mountain Opry
“The Smoky Mountain Opry is the area’s largest musical variety show featuring music from Big Band Swing through today’s country.  See the most talented cast of singers, dancers, comedians, and musicians the Smokies has to offer! Marvel at our special effects, laser lights, pyro, giant video screens, dazzling costumes, and high flying musicians!”
Smith Family Dinner Theater
“Since 2004, the theater, located at 2330 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has been treating visitors to a stage show heavily steeped in Southern music and culture. For two hours each performance, the Smiths charm their audiences with their unique brand of music and comedy in an intimate, familial style.”
Country Tonite
“Looking for true Pigeon Forge entertainment? Look no further as we are celebrating our 16th Spectacular season in Pigeon Forge, Country Tonite launches a BRAND NEW PIGEON FORGE SHOW – which means new production numbers, new choreography, new lighting effects, new side-splitting comedy, and new costumes.  Country Tonite’s 2013 season promises to surpass all expectations as they combine your favorite country classics with hot new country hits and hilarious country comedy in this fast paced show.”

Hollywood Wax MuseumSneak In Some Educational Fun
Hollywood Wax Museum
“Come Play with the Stars! The all-new Hollywood Wax Museum is part of the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center entertainment attraction at 106 Showplace Boulevard in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. If you’re waxing for fun in the Smoky Mountains, get into the action with your favorite stars at the largest Hollywood Wax Museum in the United States. From Michael Caine to Michael Jackson and Lucille Ball to Lucy Lui, you’ll find classic and current stars ready and waiting to take pictures with you. In addition to posing with the stars, you’ll learn about their pets, pet peeves, accomplishments, charity work and more. The two-story Pigeon Forge Hollywood Wax Museum also includes themed tributes to film genres including western, action, romance, sci fi, comedy, and horror. The Wax Museum near Dollywood in Pigeon Forge brings you into the world of celebrities like never before.”
Titanic Museum Attraction
“Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge is a half-scale, permanent, three-deck reproduction. The museum houses 20 galleries to display hundreds of authentic, priceless Titanic artifacts that were either carried from the ship and into lifeboats by passengers and crew or were found afloat soon after the sinking and quickly salvaged by rescue boats.”
Wonderworks
“WonderWorks Pigeon Forge began as a Top Secret research laboratory on a remote island in the Bermuda Triangle. As legend has it, the world’s greatest scientists – led by Professor Wonder – were given the task of creating a man-made tornado and harnessing the POWER of it. During this experiment, something went awry and the power of the tornado was unleashed throughout the laboratory. This created a swirling vortex that was strong enough to rip the laboratory from its foundation. It was carried thousands of miles away and landed upside-down on the top of a theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Remarkably, all of the experiments remained intact and functional.”

Enjoy the View
This area is famous for it’s gorgeous mountain views. There are multiple ways to enjoy the view, including just driving down the road!
National Park Scenic Overlooks
Take a drive through the National Park and you will find several pull-offs at various scenic overlooks. Take a few minutes at each one to take in the view and take a view pictures.
Get up High, Stay Close to Town!
Take the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway and enjoy the view all the way up to the top of Ski Mountain. The view from the parking lot at the top is phenomenal in its own right! Ride the Gatlinburg Sky Lift to a height of 1,800 ft on Crockett Mountain and fin another spectacular view. Ride up 407 feet in a glass elevator to the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, which affords a 360 degree view of the surrounding city and mountains!
Take a Hike, Take a Picnic
An especially great way to enjoy the view is to be a part of it! Hike up to the top of one the peaks in the National Park and gaze out at the beauty surrounding you. You’ll be hungry by the time you get up there, so be sure to pack a small lunch to enjoy when you arrive! Our favorite spots for a mountaintop picnic are the top of the Chimney Tops Trail and Charlies Bunion Trail.
Check out the view from the hot tub at Southern Comfort!Rent a Cabin With a View
The best way to enjoy the view is from the deck of your very own Smoky Mtn Cabin! Sit out with your favorite drink and your favorite person and relax. Or jump into the hot tub and feast your eyes from there. Just imagine, getting up each morning to the spectacular vista of the Great Smoky Mountains, taking your lunch out on the deck, reading a book in a rocking chair in the fresh air, soaking in the hot tub while listening to the crickets and all with those beautiful mountains right in front of you! Sigh…. heaven! The folks at ERA In The Smokies can help you find just such a cabin to make your Spring Break the best one ever!

Gregory Bald

Visit Gregory BaldOne of our staff members visited a very special place in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that few people ever get to see: Gregory Bald. Gregory Bald is a 10 acre grassy bald on the Tennessee – North Carolina state line in the western part of the Park. The only way to access the bald is by hiking to it via Gregory Ridge Trail (5 miles) or Gregory Bald Trail (4.1 miles). When originally built in the 1930’s, the Appalachian Trail crossed Gregory, but it has since been moved.

What is a Grassy Bald?

A grassy bald is basically a mountain with a field on top. The origins of these balds are unknown and there are several different sides to the debate. Most balds are believed to be man-made and were originally kept open by livestock grazing. Today many grassy balds are kept open for their historical value, by mowing or grazing. On other balds, the forest is gradually moving back in. If you are interested in the history of grassy balds in the Smokies, we found an interesting online book discussing the topic.

Stay with ERA In The SmokiesIn addition to Gregory Bald, there are several other grassy balds in the Smokies: Russel Field, Spence Field, Silers, Andrews, Parsons and Hemphill Balds. Of these, only Gregory Bald and Andrews Bald are maintained by the Park Service. Learn more about the restoration of native vegetation and landscapes in the Park.

Of all the grassy balds in the Park, Andrew’s Bald is probably the shortest hike. From the Clingman’s Dome parking lot, hike for 1.7 miles on Forney Ridge Trail and you will find yourself standing on Andrews Bald. Although this trail is relatively short, it is fairly rocky and is not for everyone!

The southern Appalachians have several other grassy balds outside the Smokies. Just over an hour away, Max Patch is a grassy bald in the Pisgah National Forest that can be driven to for easy access. Another popular grassy bald to visit is Roan Mountain, which is maintained through grazing.

Azaleas

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The most stunning thing about Gregory Bald is the azaleas! Azaleas are flowering shrubs closely related to Rhododendrons. Every year in mid-to late June, the azaleas of Gregory Bald bloom in a full spectrum of colors! It really is a beautiful sight!

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When our staff member was up there, she was told it was a little too early for the peak bloom. As you can see, a lot of the azaleas were budding, but not yet in full bloom. Actually she thought the buds were just as beautiful as the flowers!

Visit the Great Smoky Mtns National Park!

The most common azalea species in the Park is the orange flame azalea,which grows at a wide range of elevations. Other azaleas in the Park are sweet azalea, pink azalea, and clammy azalea. On Gregory Bald, many of these species hybridise to produce a rainbow of different colors!

If you ever get a chance to hike up to Gregory Bald and see these beautiful flowers, you will be glad you made the trek, because this place is quite spectacular!

ERA In The SmokiesThis 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 area.

Destination: Gregory Bald!

Azalea on Gregory BaldLast year I visited a very special place in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that few people ever get to see:  Gregory Bald.  Gregory Bald is a 10 acre grassy bald on the Tennessee – North Carolina state line in the western part of the Park.  The only way to access the bald is by hiking to it via Gregory Ridge Trail (5  miles) or Gregory Bald Trail (4.1 miles).  When originally built in the 1930’s, the Appalachian Trail crossed Gregory, but it has since been moved. 

What is a Grassy Bald?

A grassy bald is basically a mountain with a field on top.  The origins of these balds are unknown and there are several different sides to the debate.  Most balds are believed to be man-made and were originally kept open by livestock grazing.  Today many grassy balds are kept open for their historical value, by mowing or grazing.  On other balds, the forest is gradually moving back in.If you are interested in the history of grassy balds in the Smokies, I found an interesting online book discussing the topic.

grassy baldIn addition to Gregory Bald, there are several grassy balds in the Smokies: Russel Field, Spence Field, Silers, Andrews, Parsons and Hemphill Balds.  Of these, only Gregory Bald and Andrews Bald are maintained by the Park Service.  Learn more about the restoration of native vegetation and landscapes in the Park.

Of all the grassy balds in the Park, Andrew’s Bald is probably the shortest hike.  From the Clingman’s Dome parking lot, hike for 1.7 miles on Forney Ridge Trail and you will find yourself standing on Andrews Bald.  Although this trail is relatively short, it is fairly rocky and is not for everyone! 

The southern Appalachians have several other grassy balds outside the Smokies.   Just over an hour away, Max Patch is a grassy bald in the Pisgah National Forest that can be driven to for easy access.  Another popular grassy bald to visit is Roan Mountain, which is maintained through grazing.

Azaleaspeach azalea

The most stunning thing about Gregory Bald is the azaleas!  Azaleas are flowering shrubs closely related to Rhododendrons.  Every year in mid-to late June, the azaleas of Gregory Bald bloom in a full spectrum of colors!  It really is a beautiful sight! yellow-orange buds

When I was up there, I was told I was a little too early for the peak bloom.  As you can see, a lot of the azaleas were budding, but not yet in full bloom.  Actually I thought the buds were just as beautiful as the flowers!pink azalea

The most common azalea species in the Park is the orange flame azalea,which grows at a wide range of elevations.  Other azaleas in the Park are sweet azalea, pink azalea, and clammy azalea.  On Gregory Bald, many of these species hybridise to produce a rainbow of different colors!

If you ever get a chance to hike up to Gregory Bald and see these beautiful flowers, you will be glad you made the trek, because this place is quite spectacular! 

ERA In The SmokiesThis 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 area.

Springfest 2011

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesDon’t miss the chance to watch the Smokies bloom into Spring brilliance while enjoying all the colors, crafts, food, history, and fun of the Smoky Mountain Springfest! Springfest includes a wide array of activities and events to delight and satisfy your springtime cravings!

Easter Arts & Crafts ShowEaster Arts & Crafts Show

What would the Smokies be without our Arts and Crafts Community? Come to the Easter Arts & Crafts show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, Wednesday, April 20, through Saturday, April 23 to inspire the creativity in your own soul, and take home some of these beautifully crafted items to grace your home, office, or other organization!

Ober Gatlinburg Easter Sunrise ServiceOber Gatlinburg’s 13th Annual Easter Sunrise Service

What better way to experience a glorious Easter Sunrise than from high on the slopes of the Smoky Mountains?! Join us for Ober Gatlinburg’s Easter Sunrise Service enhanced by the beauty of the surrounding mountains! Free tram rides to the mountain top begin at 6 a.m. and continue in 15 minute intervals until the service begins at 6:30 a.m. Complimentary parking at the resort will be provided for those who prefer to drive. A breakfast buffet will be waiting and available at the Ober Gatlinburg Restaurant from 7 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.

Ribfest & WingsRibfest & Wings

Join us as we entice summer to come more quickly by filling the streets with the smell of hickory-smoked barbecue and the sounds of live entertainment! Vendors from all over the Southeast will come together on Thursday, April 28 to show off their secret sauces and succulent meat at this unforgettable street party! Don’t miss out!

Wildflower InformationThe 61st Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage & Greener Living Expo

As wildflowers bloom, join the Wildflower Pilgrimage for more than 150 different hiking tours of trails ranging from easy to strenuous, exhibitions, demonstrations, classroom lectures and delightful motor excursions into the wonderful season of spring in the Smokies. The Wildflower Pilgrimage is set to run Tuesday, April 26 through Sunday, May 1.ERA In The Smokies Realty & Rentals!

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

Wildflower Pilgrimage

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesJoin us in Gatlinburg as we celebrate the beauty of spring at the 61st annual Wildflower Pilgrimage! This great event, featuring hikes, workshops, exhibitors, and artists will take place from April 26th through May 1st 2011.  Online registration just started!  Plan your trip to Gatlinburg now!

About the Pilgrimage

Programs

Wednesday through Saturday, there are all sorts of walks and hikes scheduled, with something for everyone!  Take a short easy walk on the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, a wildflower hotspot (program #4).  If you are up for something more rigorous, sign up for the Road Prong Trail Wildflower Hike (program #27), a 5-mile moderate to strenuous trek starting at Newfound Gap.

Be prepared and download a printable Wildflower Checklist.

If you would like to learn about something other than wildflowers, there are plenty of opportunities for that too!  Take a Fern Walk (programs 5, 35, 77, 129), a Bugs and Butterflies Walk (program # 45), or a Black Bear and Wild Hog Walk (programs: 19, 37, 74, 112).

Interested in history?  Maybe you should sign up for Cultural History of Elkmont (program #50) or History Walk in the Fighting Creek Community (program # 119).

Download a 2011 Wildflower Pilgrimage brochure to see the full schedule of hikes and workshops offered.

 

Exhibitors, Artists, & Merchants

Exhibits, Artists & Merchants

Visit the gallery of exhibitors, artists, native plant vendors, and merchants at Mills Conference Center.  No registration is needed to check this out! Doors will be open to the public:

Tues:          5 – 9 pm
Wed – Fri: 8 am – 9 pm
Sat:             8 am – Noon

Photography Competition

Photographers are invited to enter the 2011 photography competition.  Entry categories include: 1. Flora  2. Fauna  3. Landscape  4. Youth Produced.

Winners for each category will be determined by the votes of registered pilgrims.  Read more Details of the Photography Competition.

Register Now

Registration

Adult Registration is $50 for 1 day and includes as many programs as you can squeeze in.  Two or more days is $75.  I plan on paying $75 and signing up for as much as possible!!!

These courses fill up quickly!  You can wait and register on-site at Mills Conference Center, April 26-30, but we recommend registering online.  Online registration is available now through April 20th.

REGISTER NOW!

See you in April!

ERA In The SmokiesThis 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 area.