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Old 06-09-2017, 07:38 AM   #1
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Smoky Mountains Camping After Forest Fires?

So, I have a wedding in Hickory, NC at the beginning of July. I would like to spend 5 days touring the Smokies with our family of four (2 boys, Stella (lab)) before the wedding. Will probably like to stay near Gatlinburg area, and prefer hookups vs. boondocking. Twin Creek RV resort looked nice. I have done some research online, but all camping information is pre-fire.

So, can anybody give me current information on what impact the fires have had on the area? Camping, wildlife viewing, sight seeing, hiking etc...
Is it still worth going? I think it would be educational for my kids to see the impact of the fires..Wife thinks it could be a bust

Campground recommendations and kid (5,11) activities appreciated!
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:12 AM   #2
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There over Christmas and it was minimal most of the problems was way up in the mountains outside of Gatlinburg between Gatlinburg and pigeon Forge very little effect on the views and hiking most of the Smoky Mountain area. I would assume now that summer is here you would be hard-pressed to notice much of the damage on the forest floor yes there were some trees that were burned but mostly in residential in remote areas
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:32 AM   #3
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Any input on camping in the Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg area?
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:00 AM   #4
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Townsend KOA is nice
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:34 AM   #5
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Townsend area had very little damage and is away from most of the hustle and bustle. Several nice campgrounds there. I had a good experience at Mountaineer Campground.
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:31 PM   #6
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We live a short distance away and own a cabin that was in one of the fire areas; fortunately a neighbor saved his cabin and ours.

Hiking: some of the trails are still closed, but there are more than 900 miles of trails in the GSMNP. Unfortunately, a few closed are very popular, but many glorious trails are fine. The website for the park will give you updates on trail status. 100's of volunteers have been working hard to clear fallen trees, repair foot bridges, and re-shape trails.

Camping: All park campgrounds are open although Elkmont is still having some issues. There are so many campgrounds in Sevier County (Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Pigeon Forge) that are open that you will not have any trouble getting in to a good one. I could make recommendations but I'd need to know more about what you're looking for in a campground. They run the spectrum in privacy, amenities, and location.

Gatlinburg: The passage of six months has resulted in tremendous changes. In many places you won't realize the destruction because the effort to remove the burned structures has already been done. You may notice some remaining foundations but the recovery efforts have been immediate and intense. Everyone in this area realizes how important the GSMNP and surrounding communities are to us all and I could not even list all of the organizations, religious groups, families and local businesses that have pitched in to help. In other words, no one waited on the federal government to do anything.

Only a couple of the wedding chapels were destroyed. All of the entertainment venues in all 3 towns are now open. The visitor centers for the Park lost their gift shop inventories and warehouse merchandise to the smoke. (Here at home, 20 minutes away, we had days we could barely breathe). But most of that merchandise has been replaced. Yes, some of the popular restaurants burned, but many good ones remain. Again, it just depends on what you like.

Most of the time you're here you'll never realize that we had more than 7,000 separate fires over an area covering from Newfound Gap all the way down to Chattanooga. You'll have a wonderful time!
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:17 PM   #7
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We like Big Meadow Campground in Townsend for camping with full hookups. Very nice, clean and safe.
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:23 PM   #8
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Mal,
Don't try to cross the mountains pulling your rig on The Dragon. (Hwy 129). Unhitch and go back to see it but don't try to tow on it.
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfrere View Post
Mal,
Don't try to cross the mountains pulling your rig on The Dragon. (Hwy 129). Unhitch and go back to see it but don't try to tow on it.
Great advice! That's the kind of inforamation that I will put to good use. Never heard of "The Dragon" before our post.
I wish someone would have told me the about "Teton Pass" before I went up and down 6 miles of 10% grade
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:24 PM   #10
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Smile

We pulled out FC27 down Dragon Tail last fall. It's not that big a deal. Just pull off occasionally to let the sports cars and motorcycles go by.
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:56 PM   #11
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Read about the Tail of the Dragon on www.dangerousroads.org then decide for yourself. Who wants to pull a rig at a limit of 30 mph where commercial vehicles are no longer allowed, and the next flatlander might slam his touring bike in to your expensive trailer? I live here and I don't even drive my car on it anymore.

Just saying.....
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:01 PM   #12
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I wish someone would have told me the about "Teton Pass" before I went up and down 6 miles of 10% grade
I unhitched and drove that in my truck. I couldn't even imagine doing it with the camper in tow!
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:49 AM   #13
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We stayed at a campground called Up The Creek RV Camp two years ago. Campsite was clean and reasonable. The owners were very helpful (we had some car trouble and had to extend our stay a bit). It was close to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinberg. We had our dog with us, and the campground was fine with that. Lots to do in the area. Just be prepared for a LOT of traffic. Happy Camping!
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:56 AM   #14
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We stayed in Pigeon Forge last month (May 2017) at Pine Mountain RV Park and loved it. Everyone's taste is different but this is a really clean, well landscaped, and well run park. The WiFi was the best I ever encountered in an RV park. We also stayed 2 nights in Elkmont by the river and that was nice too in stark contrast to Pine Mountain!

Pine Mountain RV Park 411 Pine Mountain Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
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