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 March 1, 2022
This week, we're getting an early taste of spring thanks to some beautifully sunny skies and mild temperatures. It's conditions like this that have us looking forward to launching our 2022 season at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in the very near future. But it also has thinking about all the other great outdoor opportunities that lie ahead as we head into warmer seasons.
Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most popular warm-weather activities in this area, and there are several hiking destinations that are perennial favorites among visitors. However, we're going to tell you about a few national park hikes that are considered unique for their features and natural surroundings. A couple of them are also quite popular, but the other two may just inspire you to set out on brand-new trails to discover a new gem. Any of these hikes would be the perfect companion outing the next time you come to the Smokies to zip line Gatlinburg, TN.
The good news about this unique manmade feature within Great Smoky Mountains National Park is that it doesn't require nearly as much legwork as some of the other options we're sharing. Start at the trailhead of Little River Trail in the Elkmont section of the park. Only 100 feet down the path, look for a small side trail, which will lead you to a stone bridge spanning a creek. With its whimsical arched construction and abundant moss growth, you might almost expect to see a troll hiding out underneath. But no worries; the national park got rid of all the trolls decades ago.
Here's another site that doesn't require a ton of hiking, but if you're lodging on the Tennessee side of the national park, it will probably require some driving. From Gatlinburg, take U.S. 441 south toward Cherokee, NC. Just before you reach the state line, take Clingmans Dome Rd. to the actual Clingmans Dome observation tower, which is 6,311 feet above sea level. There's plenty of parking, and from the lot, just follow the half-mile-long trail that leads to the top of the tower. It is a steep hike, but the views are worth it. On clear days, you can view points as far away as 100 miles, and you'll also enjoy 360-degree views from the crest of the Great Smoky Mountains. It's a must-do activity.
Thematically, this would be a fitting destination to go with a trip to the Troll Bridge. But the two locations aren't exactly near each other. For House of the Fairies, take the Twin Creeks Trail, which is a 4.5-mile out-and-back hike. When you pass the Resource Center, look for a small side path, which will take you to the House of the Fairies. The interior and exterior and made of moss-covered stone and looks like something from a storybook.
Now we're getting into some serious hiking mileage, but the Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower remains one of the annual bucket-list hikes in the Smokies. Via the Low Gap Trail, the round-trip length of the hike is 11.9 miles. The early part of the trail is highlighted by mature hardwood forests, but the going is steep and relentless. About five miles in, you'll reach the spur that leads to the fire tower, an octagonal structure that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and used by park rangers to look out for wildfires until the 1960s. It was fully restored in 1995 and remains a popular destination for its 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains.