Dip Into Autumn: Taste the Traditions of the South

Buttermilk biscuits, fried green tomatoes, cornbread, country ham, sorghum molasses—these are but a few of the mouth-watering staples of Southern cuisine. In the Smokies, especially during the early settlement of the area, southerners took great pride in their cooking. Before many of the ingredients we now take for granted became available, cooking required a touch of resourcefulness. Utilizing simple ingredients, the first families of the Smokies whipped up delicious...

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Into The Laurel: Hiking Laurel Falls Trail

Laurel Falls Trail remains one of the most visited hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and for good reason. The trail is a relatively easy hike; in 1963, the trail was paved and graded due to erosion, which made the trail more accesible. This trail is abundant with laurel for which it is named. The trail, in total, is 4 miles, but hikers reach Laurel Falls in 1.3 miles. After Laurel Falls, the trail winds to the summit of Cove Mountain and Cove...

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The Unusual and Spectacular Charlies Bunion

Charlies Bunion is a unique, popular hike in the Smoky Mountains. Hikers climb 1,600 feet in elevation in the 8-mile round trip hike. At its highest point, the trail rises to 5,565 ft in elevation. Named after its great stone protrusion, which juts from below the summit, Charlies Bunion remains a favorite for hikers, with breathtaking views and a rare, tree-less summit. Mother nature carved Charlies Bunion. Mountain fires in 1925 blazed a destructive path, destroying trees...

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Smoky Mountain Halloween Activities To Scare Your Socks Off

The Smokies is full of superstitions: haints, boogers, and ghosts galore. In the 20th century, when families inhabited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, folklore grew like wildfire. Locals told stories, traveling to a neighbor’s for a quick respite, telling tall tales of their encounters in the mountains. Storytelling is still part of the culture, but now the Smokies is home to Halloween attractions, ghost walks, and much more. The following is a list spooky...

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Shutdown: A Few Tips

After the partial government shutdown furloughed non-essential government workers, visitors to the Smokies were left wondering if they would be unable to see the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during their visit this fall. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is “technically” shut down, but that doesn’t mean visitors are left empty-handed. One advantage the Smokies has over other national parks is that its free to enter; therefore, no toll booths...

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