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Old 03-06-2015, 07:15 PM   #1
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Great Smokey Mountain National Park

We are thinking about visiting the "Smokey" area in the summer. We have a 27 ft. AS with a 21 ft. Ram TV. Looking for suggestions: 1. good campgrounds (level with full hookups); 2. good day hikes from moderate to strenuous (we like views); 3. interesting historic sites; 4. any other must sees in the area.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:08 PM   #2
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If you have never traveled the Skyline Parkway and Blue Ridge Parkway, it would be a good time to do so. The Blue Ridge ends at the Smokey entrance on the NC side.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:42 PM   #3
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This is a nice spot in Townsend.....the quiet side of the Smokies. Just 15 minutes to Cades Cove or about 30 minutes to Gatlinburg. You can use it as a base camp and explore from there.

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Old 03-06-2015, 10:53 PM   #4
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We had a great time in the Smokey's during the fall and did some great hikes. Let me recommend you pick up a small pocket book: $8 well spent: Best Easy Day Hikes Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Best Easy Day Hikes Series): Randy Johnson: 9780762748365: Amazon.com: Books

It's the book we referenced.

Grotto falls was a nice challenging yet moderate hike:




Clingmans dome is also a good one with amazing views but you need to go early because of weather.





We are returning in May and considering staying here: Creekside Cabins In Cherokee NC - Campgrounds In Cherokee NC
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:03 AM   #5
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A beautiful place.

Be sure to drive Cades Cove.


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Old 03-07-2015, 08:55 AM   #6
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This is the park that has synchronous flashing fireflies, they start out randomly and the synchronize. Awesome sight. June would be the best month to see them, but they post dates and have a bus to where they are. BUCKET LIST!
Tour Park Detail - FIREFLY EVENT, Tennessee - Recreation.gov
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:15 PM   #7
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Wanderer, try the Alum Cave Bluff trail 5 mile round trip hike if you want a hike with a view. It's located half way up Hwy 441 (Newfound Gap road) and has spectacular views near the Bluff. The trails also goes up another 2 1/2 miles past the bluff to Mount Le Conte Lodge for those who have reservations to stay over the night.
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flygrrl View Post
This is the park that has synchronous flashing fireflies, they start out randomly and the synchronize. Awesome sight. June would be the best month to see them, but they post dates and have a bus to where they are. BUCKET LIST!
Tour Park Detail - FIREFLY EVENT, Tennessee - Recreation.gov
Leonie

This sounds like an absolute bucket list!! Thank you for sharing! My granddaughter would LOVE to see this!


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Old 03-07-2015, 08:18 PM   #9
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Great Smoky Mountains

Hi,
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is a lot of fun. It is a relaxing way to see some beautiful mountain scenery.
Great Smoky Mountain Railroad
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:33 PM   #10
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The "Smokey" area is a pretty wide swath, with LOTS of opportunities for hiking and exploring. Your request for full hookups will limit many of your camping locations to more private campgrounds, which is not bad, but you lose some exceptional locations (lie Elkmont by way of example).

One area I might recommend would be the Asheville (NC) area. Or Damascus (VA) area and the AT (Appalachian Trail) and the VA Creeper. Or the VA Highlands (Airstream) campground near Floyd, VA. Or...
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:43 PM   #11
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This is such a perfect thread for us...we are hoping to be there in September, and all of this information is so very helpful. Thank you in advance for all of this information.
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:49 PM   #12
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If you want to stay in absolutely the finest campground in the Smokies, it has to be Twin Creek in Gatlinburg. It has been rated 10-10-10 for many years. It is the cleanest, best kept campground you can find. It is a family run campground and the owners live on site. They don't allow any shenanigans, therefore it is a nice quite family campground. They have a trolly stop, so you don't even have to drive if you don't want to. There is a very nice Food City across the street. All roads and sites are paved with concrete patios. You need to make reservations in season, they usually stay full, it is not a large CG. Heated pool and hot tub that are spotless just like the bath house. Tell Mary that The Duke sent you, she will get a kick. CG is only about five miles from National Park entrance. Close to all the best eating places. It's not the least expensive but the best never is. Is it?
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:39 AM   #13
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I am thrilled to hear about the campground in Gatlinburg Duke! Looks nice! We stayed at Tremont around Townsend last year. Had a spot on the creek and it was very nice, but there were walnut trees EVERYWHERE and they were dropping their "nuts". When they hit they make a mess and would wake us up during the middle of the night!


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Old 03-08-2015, 08:40 AM   #14
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I stayed at Riveredge in Gatlinburg last summer and it was also very nice. Lake Powhaton is a great campground near Ashevile, NC if you go that direction. There is plenty to do and see every direction - whether you want beautiful scenery and nature or cheesy tourist attractions. Just be prepared for traffic and crowds in summer.
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