Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on November 29, 2016
No doubt that if you've been on social media or been watching local or even national news over the past couple of days, you've heard about the raging wildfires in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the neighboring communities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, this really hits close to home, considering that we're located on a wooded mountainside just a couple of miles from the southern border of Pigeon Forge. The good news is that right now, our property has only been affected by strong winds. We were planning to be closed most of this week anyway, since we're now on a weekends-only schedule, but as far as whether we'll be open this coming weekend or not, it's a little too early to tell. We recommend calling us later in the week at 865-429-9004 to see what our status is.
Of greater concern right now, though, is the damage being done to homes and businesses in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas. Fortunately, contrary to some early reports, attractions like Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies seem to be safe for the moment. The Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in downtown Gatlinburg did suffer fire damage to some of its structures but not all of them. In fact, most of downtown Gatlinburg has survived the onslaught of the fire so far.
Sadly, some Gatlinburg attractions like Hillbilly Golf were destroyed, as were dozens of private and rental homes in communities like Cobbly Nob, Chalet Village and Wears Valley.
Here in Pigeon Forge, the fires threatened Dollywood theme park and the Dollywood DreamMore Resort but neither has been directly impacted by the flames. Several cabins near the theme park were damaged or destroyed, and the park itself did suffer some wind damage (although not fire damage). Parrot Mountain, another popular Pigeon Forge attraction, located near Dollywood, also is intact at last report.
If you had plans to visit the area this week or this weekend, you might want to seriously consider rescheduling. Some areas are safer than others, but right now, there are concerns about keeping roads clear for fire and medical responders, and authorities are also asking everyone in the area to stay off their cell phones unless it's an emergency. Needless to say, the air quality is not good right now either, and many businesses that weren't affected by the fires are still closing until the situation is fully under control.
If you'd like to help those who have been affected by the fires, there are several ways to contribute. The American Red Cross is accepting donations at www.redcross.org/donate, and you can sign up online to volunteer after the fires have been extinguished.
Kroger supermarkets in East and Middle Tennessee, northern Alabama and southern Kentucky are partnering with the Red Cross to collect money to provide aid to those affected by the fires. Customers can donate any amount they wish when checking out with their purchases.
Several other area businesses are also organizing relief efforts. These include Remote Area Medical, Knoxville Pays It Forward, the Knoxville Expo Center, Yassin's Falafel House, Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Grill and Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 at Turkey Creek. These efforts include collecting water and clothing for those affected by the fires. In addition, those displaced from their homes have access to temporary relief shelters like the LeConte Event Center in Pigeon Forge.