It seems like just a few days ago that we wrapped up our 2022 season here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. But our winter hiatus has already flown by, and after a couple of months of riding out the cold weather, we're preparing to get the party started for our 2023. We're checking out all our zipline cables and support structures and safety gear so that we'll be ready to give our guests the ride of a lifetime.
If you've ziplined with us in previous years or even if you've done any zip lining in Tennessee at any other location, you know what it's like to ride that steel cable, zooming past the treetops with the wind in your face and your feet dangling as you fly as high as 150 feet above ground level.
How many new businesses have recently opened - or will be making their debut in 2023 - in the Great Smoky Mountains? So many that we've devoted our past three blog posts to introducing you to many of them. And we're still not done. We're back again this week with yet another rundown of attractions, restaurants and more that will be fresh faces on the tourism scene to those of you visiting the Smokies this year. Hopefully, this will inspire many of you to plan a journey who might not have otherwise come to the mountains. Or for you diehard Smokies vacationers, we hope we've given you a whole bunch more new reasons to come back and see us again.
For the past two weeks, we've been passing along information about the many new attractions, restaurants, lodging providers and other types of businesses coming to the Great Smoky Mountains in 2023. From Gatlinburg to Sevierville, we've introduced you to a host of destinations you might consider including in your next trip to this area, and this week, we're going to tell you about a few more. Hopefully, these lists will inspire you to dig deeper as you plan a trip to our beautiful mountains this year.
Every year, a host of new attractions, shops, restaurants and lodging providers make their debut in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and 2023 is no exception. We've already seen several businesses open their doors for the first time this year, and many more are expected to come on line as the year progresses. In last week's blog post, we introduced you to a few brand-new attractions and restaurants, some of which are already up and running and some of which we won't get to experience for a few months.
If you've ever vacationed in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg or Sevierville, then you know that none of those cities are content to rest on their mountain laurels. In the Smoky Mountain tourism business, there's always something new around the corner to excite visitors, and 2023 appears to be no exception to that rule. From attractions to restaurants, folks traveling to the Smokies this year will see a lot of new stuff. So whether it's your first time in the mountains of East Tennessee or your hundredth, you're sure to experience something you haven't before.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has long been one of the few national parks in the nation that doesn't charge an admission fee. That was actually one of the stipulations attached to one of the early land donations that led to the park's creation. But the days of completely free use of the most visited national park in the country are soon coming to an end. As of March 1, a special tag display will be required for anyone wishing to park their vehicle inside the national park.
The good news is that parking passes won't be needed if you're just planning to drive through the Smokies or if you plan to park somewhere for fewer than 15 minutes. So you can still pull over and enjoy the view from a roadside vantage point, or if you intend to run into a visitor center just to use the restroom facilities, that's OK too. Also, if your plan is to simply drive the Cades Cove Loop Road without stopping for any length of time, no parking tag is needed for that. Finally, drivers who display a handicap tag or license plate are not required to also display a parking tag, and that applies to both the Tennessee and North Carolina sides of the national park.
With Valentine's Day only a couple of weeks away, we thought this might be a good time to come to the rescue of any of you guys or gals who are scrambling to come up with a unique way to wow your special someone this year. No worries; it's not too late to put together a romantic Smoky Mountain getaway that will go down as one of your all-time great Valentine celebrations. Any of the following suggestions will earn you points for sure, or if you're really motivated, you could incorporate more than one of them and gain instant status as Significant Other Of The Year.
Just last week, officials in Great Smoky Mountains National Park reported nine inches of snow at Newfound Gap and 16 inches of snow on Mt. LeConte in the wake of the winter storm that recently passed through the area. That's bad news for travelers interested in visiting Clingmans Dome (that road is closed anyway) or hiking to the summit of Mt. LeConte.
But all that white stuff is a welcome arrival for the folks up at Ober Mountain. Although the attraction has fun things to do all year long, it started out as - and is best known as - a ski resort. In fact, it's the only one in the state of Tennessee. And all that recent snow not only adds up to a healthy base on the ski slopes, it also signals that it's cold enough for the resort to manufacture its own snow if the natural stuff happens to slack off.
By now, most people who live and/or vacation in the southern United States have probably been to, or at least heard of, the Buc-ee's chain of convenience stores. The company got its start in Texas in 1982, but in recent years, it has undergone exponential expansion through the country, particularly in the Southeast U.S. The Crossville, TN, store has been open for a few years as has the one in Calhoun, GA. These are the two that most East Tennesseans might be familiar with as they travel west and south. If you're not already familiar with the chain, just imagine the old Stuckey's convenience stores that were popular in the '60s and '70s - but on steroids.
Now that the holidays are behind us, and families are back into their work and school routines, life seems to be getting back to normal for a lot of folks. Here in the Smokies, things have slowed down somewhat. Dollywood, as well as a lot of the music theaters and outdoor attractions (like Smoky Mountain Ziplines), are on their annual winter hiatuses. But that doesn't mean you need to wait until spring to come play in the mountains.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in America, receiving some 9 million guests each year. While many of those people enter from the North Carolina side of the park, as well as through other entrances on the Tennessee side, most access the park through the Gatlinburg entrance, which is only a couple of miles from Sugarlands Visitor Center - a great starting point for any adventure one might plan within GSMNP boundaries.
We're within days of ringing in 2023. Although our year is merely an astronomical unit of measurement, based on the earth revolving around the sun, there's something symbolic about flipping the metaphorical calendar from December to January that instills many with a sense of hope and renewal. It's a time for saying goodbye to the not-so-great parts of the previous year and starting clean with a fresh slate, a time for New Year resolutions and approaching life with a new perspective.
If there's one thing most people like, it's saving time, especially when it comes to minimizing time spent behind the wheel while on vacation; that frees up time to do the fun stuff that you went on your trip for in the first place.
To that end, we started sharing, in our last blog post, some insider tips about some time-saving routes for traveling to and around the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. In that previous installment, we focused more on alternate routes for getting TO the Smokies, ones that can often help travelers avoid waiting in gridlock traffic for hours on end.
There are a lot of great reasons to visit the Great Smoky Mountains. But if there's one universal down side to the whole experience, it's the traffic. Even in the traditional off season, it can be slow going on the main arteries, especially the Parkway running through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
However, there are ways to minimize the bumper-to-bumper crawling if you know which routes to take - or which ones NOT to take at certain times. That's why we're going to make your day and share a few secrets when it comes to the routes that folks around here take to get around on the busiest of days. This may ruffle a few feathers among locals who would just as soon keep that information on the down-low. But we want our Smoky Mountain visitors to have the best time possible, which means spending less of it on the road and more of it doing fun stuff.
For kids, Santa Claus is a pretty important dude come the holidays. After all, he's the guy that's going to deliver the good stuff for Christmas morning, so it never hurts to get in on his good side and make sure he has you down on his Nice list. Remember the scene from the beloved holiday movie A Christmas Story, when Ralphie visited Santa at the department store so he could ask for that all-important Red Ryder BB gun?
If you have little ones who are getting a little antsy about this time of year, this might be a good time to line up a visit with the big guy himself. It can help reassure a young Santa believer, but truth be told, it's just a fun thing to do this time of year. A one-on-one with St. Nick can rekindle seasonal spirits, and depending on where you find him, there might be candy or photo opps involved.
Some of you may not remember those days, but once upon a time, winter was considered the off season in the Smokies. Very few businesses stayed open. There were hardly any events taking place. You might spot some Christmas lights here and there, but for the most part, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville turned into cold-weather ghost towns, hibernating until signs of life re-emerged in spring.
And while it's true that visitation during those months still isn't quite the same as it is during the peak tourism months of summer and October, Winterfest did manage to narrow the gap quite a bit. For more than 30 years now, the main communities of the Smokies have been celebrating winter and the entire holiday season with a months-long festival that has managed to turn the entire region into a year-round destination. When it comes to the off season these days, it's game on.
This year, you could celebrate the Christmas holiday in the same old places and in the same old ways if you choose. You could go to those same boring parties and play Dirty Santa for the 100th time. Or perhaps you could watch A Christmas Story on TBS for the billionth time.
Or maybe this season, you could amp up your holiday game with a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. From Sevierville to Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg, we could point you in the direction of dozens of places that would make this year's Christmas celebration more special than it already is. This week, we'll get you started with five must-visit destinations in the Smokies if you visit this season, whether it's just for the day or even a whole holiday week.
Some of you may not remember those days, but once upon a time, winter was considered the off season in the Smokies. Very few businesses stayed open. There were hardly any events taking place. You might spot some Christmas lights here and there, but for the most part, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville turned into cold-weather ghost towns, hibernating until signs of life re-emerged in spring.
And while it's true that visitation during those months still isn't quite the same as it is during the peak tourism months of summer and October, Winterfest did manage to narrow the gap quite a bit. For more than 30 years now, the main communities of the Smokies have been celebrating winter and the entire holiday season with a months-long festival that has managed to turn the entire region into a year-round destination. When it comes to the off season these days, it's game on.
Sometimes, Christmas shopping can be hard, especially when the person you're trying to buy for is one of those people who has everything they could ever need or want. Plus these days, a lot of our homes have so much stuff in them that we're either running out of comfortable living space or we can't even keep track of all the possessions lurking in all those closets and storage areas anymore.
This year, consider buying experiences for your friends and loved ones instead of another relic that's very likely to wind up getting ignored or donated to charity in the not-so-distant future. Experiences have a lot of advantages. They show that you've put thought into the gift, and in many cases, they're experiences that the recipient can share with people that he/she cares about - possibly you!
We've devoted the past two blog posts to talking about how to stay safe when you're hiking the trails of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (or anywhere else, for that matter). So at this point, you probably assume you know everything there is to know about trail safety, right? Wrong, granola breath! This week, we're going to wrap up this series with just a few more items to keep in mind before you take on that next trek in the national park or the hiking destination of your choice. We're offering a collection of general tips and reminders to keep in mind when you're actually on your hike, courtesy of Smoky Mountain Ziplines. (At our Gatlinburg zip line attraction, we understand how important safety can be when enjoying the great outdoors in the mountains.)
Late autumn is a great time to visit Smoky Mountain Ziplines. And if you're trying to come up with even more fun things to do, Gatlinburg is the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In our previous blog post, we introduced you to the topic of trail safety when hiking in the national park. With more than 800 miles of trails to explore, the park is known for its wide range of hikes, from wildflower trails to soaring mountain peaks. Considering some of the rugged terrain involved as well as ever-changing climate conditions and the varying levels of hiking experience among the millions who visit the park every year, safety should be a priority when embarking on an outdoor trek.
Autumn is a big season for hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park's 800 miles of trails offer seemingly endless paths by which outdoor enthusiasts can explore the rugged beauty of the mountains (especially during the fall color change) and witness the spectacle of features like meandering streams, majestic waterfalls and even historic structures from the 1800s. (Hiking in the park is the ideal companion activity to visiting our Smoky Mountain ziplines.
It may not be one of the first things one associates with a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, but gospel music has deep roots here. From music theaters to theme parks to convention halls, the many music venues of the Smokies have a long history when it comes to that particular genre. It's always been popular among the millions of people who visit the area each year, so it should come as no surprise that there have always been so many opportunities to hear it, whether it's a traditional gospel quartet or a more modern take on a classic sound.
As our foliage transforms into a more beautiful spectacle with each passing day, East Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains region have suddenly turned into one of the most scenic places in the nation to ride ziplines. Our Pigeon Forge zip line is starting to see an uptick in seasonal visitation as more and more people travel to the Smokies to experience the mountains and the great outdoors in autumn. And it just so happens that Smoky Mountain Ziplines delivers on all fronts, from breathtaking views of rugged peaks to some of the most thrilling zipline action in the area.
Before we take you on a whirlwind tour of some of the most amazing zipline tours to be found in the world, we'll start by telling you that for most of them, you have to travel to some pretty far-flung locations. Even many of the ones in the United Stated require a journey of some significance just to get there. And that doesn't even touch on the many featured zipline companies that are located all over the planet.
If you thought we had already fully exhausted our exploration of theme parks in the Great Smoky Mountains, then think again. We're back with one final installation of previews of some of our favorite family-fun destinations.
While many may have differing opinions about what constitutes a theme park, we've narrowed our definition to that of a single location that offers multiple rides, attractions and vendors, in many cases under the umbrella of a unifying theme. We have omitted a number of what we consider to be “family amusement centers,” businesses that do offer several onsite attractions but consist of activities like bungee towers, slingshot rides, go carts, miniature golf, arcades and bumper cars.
Last week, we started a two-part roundup of the many theme parks that visitors now have access to in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. If you ask a random person on the street to name all the theme parks in the Smokies, it's very possible that the only answer you'll get is “Dollywood.” But the fact is that a number of attractions fall under the theme-park umbrella, and we've seen that number grow in recent years. Any of these destinations would be the ideal complement to a visit to our Smoky Mountain zip lines.
For many years, theme parks weren't exactly a common sight in the Great Smoky Mountains. Dollywood (and its predecessors - Silver Dollar City, Gold Rush Junction, Rebel Railroad) and Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort were practically the lone holders of that title for decades. Smaller theme parks have come and gone over the years too (anyone remember attractions like Magic World or Porpoise Island in the '70s and '80s?), but none of them enjoyed the same popularity or longevity as its bigger-name rivals.
If you haven't had a chance to visit us yet this year, there's still plenty of time left to schedule one of the most fun outdoor experiences to be had in the Great Smoky Mountains. In fact, we'll be running tours all the way through the fall season, and between the more moderate temperatures and autumnal colors to come, one might argue that our best days of the year have yet to arrive.
But we don't want to just run our tour groups through like machinery. We want each of our guests to have the best time possible, so with that in mind, we're going to offer you our recommendations for ways to make the most out of your canopy tour in the Smokies. Just follow these guidelines, and we can almost guarantee that you'll walk away already itching to schedule your next tour.
Summer has traditionally been the biggest season for weddings. But although only a couple of weeks remain in this summer, any time of year can be a great time to get married when you're in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The Smokies are known as the Wedding Capitol of the South, thanks to an abundance of wedding chapels and vendors, not to mention being one heckuva scenic location for a romantic honeymoon.
These days, you can really make an event out of a destination wedding in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville, TN. Even before the ceremony itself and the ensuing honeymoon, the bride to be and her posse can create fun memories starting with a bachelorette party in the mountains. This week, we've got a bunch of ideas to spark your imagination and help you plan an unforgettable event you'll never forget.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a rarity within our country's national park system. It's the most visited of them all, and it's one of the few that doesn't require an admission fee. That was a stipulation attached to one of the early land donations that helped create GSMNP in the early decades of the 20th century.
And although admission fees per se still won't be required in years to come, folks planning to visit the national park next year will have to fork over a few dollars for the privilege of parking within it. Park supervisors have created the Park It Forward program, which will institute parking fees and also increase camping fees beginning in 2023.
This may not have made the national news, but here in East Tennessee, reports of a new roller coaster coming to Dollywood in 2023 were practically the number-one headline. News of the attraction started coming out a couple of weeks ago, and since then, Dollywood fans and roller coaster enthusiasts alike have been buzzing about what's in store next year.
The ride is called Big Bear Mountain, and when completed, it will be Dollywood's longest roller coaster, measuring 3,990 feet in length, reaching speeds of up to 48 miles per hour and standing at a peak elevation of 66 feet off the ground. The expansion will take place in the Wildwood Grove section of the theme park, and it will represent the largest single attraction investment in its history. The price tag: $25 million.
There's a restaurant for almost every imaginable style of cuisine in the Great Smoky Mountains. Between Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and other surrounding communities, you'll find eateries serving up everything from down-home Southern classic to foreign delicacies to ethnic cuisines like Indian, Asian and even breakfast-only places.
One of the most popular types of food in the Smokies is barbecue. That's to be expected since barbecue is a Southern staple, especially in summer. It's the food of cookouts and picnics; it's practically intertwined with Southern culture itself. With that in mind, we'd like to take you on a quick tour of just a few of the many barbecue restaurants you'll find when visiting the Smokies. Many have a lot of items and dishes in common, but each is also unique in its own right.
For many people, Christmas is regarded as “the most wonderful time of the year.” For many parents of younger children and teens, however, the most wonderful time of the year is right now, August, when the kids are heading off to take on a new school year wearing backpacks stuffed full of notebooks, pens and calculators.
If you're not sure how to fill the vacuum suddenly created by the absence of kiddos, we have a few ideas for some fun and creative ways to fill the void on at least one of those days. If you're a stay-at-home parent who suddenly has more time on their hands, or you just need to take a day off from work to blow off some steam, the following are all suggestions for things you can do in the Great Smoky Mountains - whether you're venturing out by yourself or sneaking off for a getaway with the spouse - that will hopefully both relax and recharge and enable you to handle all the after-school drama that's sure to come.
At least once a year, we like to share information about bears - specifically, the black bears that live in the Great Smoky Mountains. This is an important subject, because as tourism has grown in the Smokies over the years, so has the number of incidents of interaction between bears and people. Sometimes, these encounters have resulted in harm, and even death, to humans. But more often than not, they spell trouble for the bears involved. In some cases, they can even lead to the animal's death.
Many of our first-time customers at Smoky Mountain Ziplines have a lot of questions for us, especially if they've never been ziplining before. Some of their questions are about ziplining in general, while some are about the specific way we do things here at our attraction. So this week, we thought we'd cover some of the fundamental dos and don'ts of ziplining.
There's no doubt that water parks are a top travel destination in the Smoky Mountains each summer. Temperatures can be quite menacing this time of year, and when you add humidity to the situation, the result is often lots of days where it's hard to do much outside without needing a way to cool down. In that regard, water parks are naturally one of the first solutions to come to mind. They have all kinds of slides and other fun features that are guaranteed to bring smiles to faces while also helping visitors beat the heat.
If you read our blog post from last week, you know that we gave you the scoop on some of the best ice cream shops in the Great Smoky Mountains. From Sevierville to Gatlinburg and everywhere in between, the communities of the Smokies have a lot to brag about when it comes to offering visitors a tasty way to cool off in the summer.
This week, we're going to continue our frozen tour of dessert delights by sharing a few more ice cream destinations that you might want to consider visiting on your next trip to the mountains. Grab your spoons; it's time to hit the road…
There are just some things you HAVE to do on a Smoky Mountain vacation. Visiting the national park and playing miniature golf are just a couple of examples of outings that always seem to go hand-in-hand with a trip to the Smokies. Here's another you can add to the list: going out for ice cream. Vacations are a time to take a temporary break from the cares of work life and home life and responsibilities like cleaning and exercising and adhering to a diet. That must be why ice cream is such a go-to thing to do when you're out of town.
When someone mentions the Great Smoky Mountains, what's the first animal you think of? Most people would likely answer “black bear.” That makes sense, since the black bear is practically the living symbol of the entire region. A significant population of them exist in the wild in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
One animal that's not likely to come to mind quickly is the llama - a domesticated, camel-like critter that's indigenous to the South American continent. But believe it or not, llamas have become a more frequent site in the Smokies thanks to their ability to travel in mountain terrain. They don't exist in the wild here; it's not their native habitat. However, there are places you can go where you can visit these unusual creatures and learn about their role in Smoky Mountain tourism.
We're well into summer now, the busiest time of year in the Great Smoky Mountains. Folks from all over the world travel here to spend time in the national park and to drink up the unforgettable views that the mountains provide year 'round.
But unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you might have noticed that gas prices are on the high side. That has left a lot of families thinking twice about their vacation plans this year. After all, spending more at the pump has the potential to negatively impact how much they can allocate toward that big family trip to the Smokies.
There are lots of things you can do in the Smokies all year long - music shows, attractions, outlet mall shopping and even visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But there are some things you can only do in summer, and one of them is visiting a waterpark.
Now that vacation season is well upon us, we'd like to tell you about the waterpark opportunities you'll find in the Smokies. The area's two largest parks are only open for a little more than three months each year, but during that brief and sunny window, they deliver a lot in the way of summertime fun that's geared toward helping guests keep their cool.
We recently paid a visit to one of our Pigeon Forge neighbors - Downtown Flavortown, the new mixed-use entertainment venue owned, in part, by TV host, entrepreneur and food personality Guy Fieri. It opened earlier this spring, but we only recently got a chance to swing by the food-and-fun destination, which is one of the anchor tenants at The Tower Shops at the Mountain Mile on Teaster Lane.
Even though it was a weeknight, the place was pretty busy, although not as busy as I suspect it will be now that we're past the Memorial Day holiday and into summer officially. We had about an hour wait, but the hostess on duty informed us that they do take reservations, which few area restaurants do. We definitely recommend taking advantage of that option should you decide to visit.
We're into the full swing of zipline season here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. We're heading into Memorial Day weekend, which is the unofficial start of the summer travel season, so we're ready to shift into high gear as we welcome visitors from all over the country.
That's great news for everyone, but if you're considering doing some ziplining with us this season, you should know that we require all guests to book their tours in advance. It helps us allocate our staff accordingly, and it also keeps you, the potential guest, from showing up only to find that we're booked solid for the time slot you were hoping for.
Have you had a chance to visit us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines yet this season? If not, you're missing out on our amazing zipline canopy tour and some of the best spring weather we've seen in a long time. But there's still plenty of time this spring and summer to work us into your vacation-travel plans.
And once you've had a blast on our ziplines, Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountains National Park should be the next priorities on your itinerary. One specific destination we highly recommend is the Abrams Falls Trail in the Cades Cove area of the national park. We've had a chance to do this one lately ourselves, and we think it's a great mid-range hike for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. And the waterfall payoff is well worth the journey.
Last week, we introduced you to a couple of ideas for how to combine vacation time with fitness time. And no, the two concepts don't have to be strangers. If you take our recommendations to heart, and perhaps even use a little creativity, you can discover a number of ways to get in some exercise while you're living it up in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. In fact, check out last week's post for more information on how to incorporate hiking and swimming specifically into your visit to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Vacation time is a time to relax, unplug and get away from the everyday hassles of work and/or housekeeping. It's an escape to a setting that offers new experiences, new sights and even new foods to try. And whether you're traveling alone or with the whole family, a vacation is ideally an opportunity to take it easy.
But taking it easy doesn't have to mean lying about like a slug for an entire week. In fact, getting in some physical activity on your vacation is not only good for you, it can enhance your travel by helping you maintain your energy levels and keeping your digestive hormones in balance. And if you decide to loosen your dietary restrictions when you're on the road, the least you can do is find ways to burn off some of those calories.
If you've visited our attraction, you're already familiar with our canopy tour and hopefully have some good memories of what it's like to ride some of the best ziplines in the area. It's a combination that's hard to beat - ziplines, Smoky Mountains and a beautiful spring day. Those are just a few of the reasons to book a tour with us and experience the Smokies in a way that most visitors don't get to.
People use all modes of transportation to get to the Great Smoky Mountains. Most drive their own car, truck or SUV. Some fly and rent ground transportation. Many visitors to the Smokies, however, prefer the two-wheel approach to touring the scenic mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. If you're a motorcycle owner and are thinking about heading to the Smokies in the near future, then this post is for you. This week, we're going to lay out some of the best-loved destinations and routes for those who prefer seeing the sights with their feet up and their hands on the handlebars.
If you read our blog post from last week, you saw part one of our overview of all the roller coasters at Dollywood theme park. In that installment, we introduced you to Blazing Fury, FireChaser Express, Lightning Rod and Mystery Mine. Today, we're going to wrap up Dollywood Coaster 101 with thumbnail descriptions of five more roller coasters. Hopefully, next time you visit the park, you'll know exactly which rides are right for you. And happy coasting!
Dollywood has been open for almost a month now, but millions more people are still expected to file through the theme park's turnstiles in 2022. If you plan to be in that number and will be paying Dollywood a visit sometime this year, there's also a decent chance that you'll want to ride some of the park's many roller coasters.
Just 20 years ago, coaster enthusiasts only had a few to choose from, but these days, Dollywood has earned a reputation for having some of the most fun and innovative roller coasters in the country. This week, we're sharing an introduction to the many coasters you'll find there. Hopefully, you'll get an idea of what's right up your alley and what may be more than you're interested in taking on. Or perhaps you'll realize that you could spend all day at Dollywood doing nothing but riding coasters.
We all know that tent camping is one of the most affordable ways to spend a night in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a person could spend hundreds of dollars per night on an upscale hotel or rental property. For many travelers, however, RV camping hits that sweet spot between affordable roughing it and being able to enjoy some of the amenities of home.
We're super-excited to be up and running for the year and to be officially in spring, just as spring-like weather seems that it may be here to stay. With that in mind, we hope that you seriously consider ziplining Pigeon Forge and ziplining Sevierville, Tennessee, as you make your travel plans for spring, summer and beyond.
We have so much to offer anyone vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, including one of the best zipline values in the Smokies. We feature seven total ziplines on our mountainside course, totaling more than 4,000 feet in length. That's a lot of airtime for the buck, flying with the wind in your face, all the while soaking in the views of the lush forest woodlands in which our zipline course is ensconced. You'll also enjoy stunning views of some of the Smokies' mightiest peaks.
We've only been open a couple of weeks this season, but we've already seen an entire year's worth of weather in that short span of time. We've gone from warm, pleasant days to a blizzard and then back to sunny again. Welcome to East Tennessee in springtime!
As we acclimate to the 2022 season, however, we're confident that the cold snaps and the freak snowstorms will become distant memories and that warmer days will give us lots of opportunities to welcome Smoky Mountain visitors to our zip lines. Gatlinburg, TN, and Pigeon Forge, TN, are getting geared up for spring, and we're no exception. Here's what you can expect if you make Smoky Mountain Ziplines a part of your vacation plans this year.
Spring is a time of opening in the Great Smoky Mountains. And even though we're still a couple of weeks from the official start of that season, we're seeing many signs of opening everywhere-both in nature and in tourism. Buds and blossoms are starting to appear in trees, shrubberies and flowers, and here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're now open for our 2022 season! In fact, we've been up and running since the first of this month, although we'll be operating on a limited schedule at first. So if you're ready to zip line Pigeon Forge this month, be sure to give us a call in advance to confirm exactly which dates we're open and to book your tour.
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.
Last week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines introduced you to three one-of-a-kind rental properties in the Smokies. We felt they deserved a little special attention since there are literally hundreds of overnight rentals in the area, and we thought it would be worth it to share a few that really stood out from the crowd thanks to their unique features and attributes. But there are actually many more standouts when it comes to accommodations in the mountains, so we're back this week to tell you about a few more rental cabins and other lodgings that are worth a second look because of their uniqueness.
When planning a vacation or weekend getaway to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, there are lots of decisions to be made between the time you set the dates for your trip and when you finally back out of the garage on your way to the mountains. One of the most important of those decisions is your choice of vacation accommodations. After all, this is going to be your home away from home for anywhere from one night to a week or more, so picking wisely can set the whole tone for the rest of your trip.
With less than a week to go until Valentine's Day, it's still not too late to whip up a couple's outing that both of you will remember for years to come. But this year, the team at Smoky Mountain Ziplines would like to suggest that you think outside the box when it comes to celebrating the big day. Or better yet, you can let us do the thinking. All you have to do is continue reading to get some great ideas for how to put together a memorable day (or evening) in the Great Smoky Mountains. After all, until our zip line in Tennessee is open again for the 2022 season, we do have a little extra time on our hands.
A couple of weeks ago, we talked about all the things going on at Dollywood theme park during the winter off-season. This time around, we thought we'd shine the spotlight on Great Smoky Mountains National Park and what visitors can expect to find there during the cold-weather months.
The park doesn't close, per se, but because of annual weather conditions, many park locations and roads aren't accessible in winter. And those visiting accessible areas will probably need to plan on modifying the ways in which they enjoy the park's many activities.
Most anyone who has been to Dollywood knows that from March through December, the theme park is a beehive of activity, from the millions of visitors who pass through the turnstiles every season to the hundreds of employees who work hard to make sure all those rides, attractions, shows, shops and eateries are functioning at peak efficiency.
However, if you think that Dollywood has turned into a ghost town since closing after the first of the year, you would be mistaken. In fact, until the new season commences on March 12, Dollywood employees will be hard at it. This off-season, they're shedding the park's winter garb and preparing it for a brand-new season in spring. And in between, there's a lot of work to do, as we'll share with you this week.
If you happen to live in or are vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains region this week, you may notice that there's a lot of white stuff on the ground. Depending on your location, you may be seeing anywhere from a trace coating to multiple inches of snow. Or you may live in an area that got absolutely nothing. Wherever you may be, the fact is that places like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are a winter wonderland this week, and there's a lot of fun to be had for locals and visitors looking to make the most out of the current conditions.
First, we'd like to offer an apology for a misstatement in one of our recent Facebook posts. We had mentioned that this year's Wilderness Wildlife Week-one of the Smokies' most popular annual events-was taking place exclusively online this year. That's not true. Wilderness Wildlife Week is once again being presented as an in-person event after going totally virtual for 2021. However, because of the popularity of last year's online format, there are still some virtual components of this year's edition. This week, we'll be filling you in on the details of what to expect.
The black bear is one of the iconic symbols of the Great Smoky Mountains. But this time of year, bear sightings tend to be few and far between now that we're well into winter. This is when bears typically go into hibernation, an annual phenomenon that most folks are at least passingly familiar with, if only on a basic level.
This week, we're going to take a deeper dive into hibernation. We'll talk about exactly what it is, when it takes place and why. Along the way, we even dispel a few myths and uncover some fascinating facts about the black bear's long winter's sleep.
We're wrapping up our 2021 season at Smoky Mountain Ziplines this week. Starting next week, we'll be on winter hiatus for a few months and expect to launch our 2022 season sometime in March. If you follow us on Facebook, we'll give you a heads-up regarding the exact date. If you don't follow us there, consider liking our Facebook page to get daily posts about our Pigeon Forge zipline attraction as well as information about other area attractions, shops, restaurants and events as well as Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
A couple of our recent Facebook posts have inspired us to dive a little deeper into a subject that's near and dear to all of our hearts: food. Those posts both referred to Smoky Mountain-area restaurants that are known for their fine cuisine, so this week, we thought we'd take a closer look not only at the two eateries we've already mentioned but a couple of others as well.
Don't get us wrong; you should build plenty of opportunities to chow down on funnel cakes, deep-fried Twinkies and pizza into your vacation time in the Smokies. But every now and then, it's nice to take a break from the typical vacay grub and splurge on a really high-quality meal that's been expertly prepared by an experienced culinary team. Here are our recommendations for the best places to go.
We've been looking at the extended weather forecast for the Smokies through the end of the year, and it's a good one. We're seeing daily highs of near 50 degrees or more and not a whole lot of rain, almost through the end of 2021. That's good news if you're thinking about visiting the Great Smoky Mountains one more time to close out your vacation year. The conditions are ideal to immerse yourself in the great outdoors and enjoy the beauty and grandeur of one of the most beautiful spots in the country.
With just about two weeks left until Christmas, a lot of folks are starting to feel the crunch when it comes to getting all that holiday gift shopping finished in time for the big day. So many names on the list and so little time (and sometimes, money).
However, we have a strategy for a great way to check off a bunch of those boxes and possibly squeeze in a little play time in the process. And you might even save some money along the way. It's all possible with an outlet-mall shopping trip to the Smokies. This week, we'll be sharing a few ideas for the best places to go as well as some examples of the types of merchandise that await.
It's not time to panic. Not yet, anyway. You still have about three weeks to wrap up your holiday shopping. So with that consolation in mind, take a deep breath and resolve to head out to the stores (or go online) and get it done this week.
In the meantime, we'd like to help out with a few suggestions for shopping destinations in the Smokies that are all Christmas-themed. So if you happen to be visiting the area this month, you'll have a sure-fire way to get your gift buying all wrapped up (see what we did there?) and get you into the Christmas spirit at the same time. (And if you're looking for more things to do, Gatlinburg is close to our outpost here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Don't forget that we're open on weekends and on select days during holiday weeks, so give us a call for your last chance to book a zipline tour in 2021.)
Jolly ol' Saint Nick isn't due to make his annual rounds for a few more weeks yet, but if you visit the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee just about any time between now and Christmas Day, you're likely to see the big guy making a number of appearances in places like Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. No one can say the man doesn't get around.
If you happen to be visiting the Smokies this season, and especially if you're traveling with little ones who would love to get a glimpse of Santa Claus, we're here to share with you just a few of the places he might be popping up in the next few weeks. Whether he's dishing out candy, taking gift requests or just posing for a photo, the man in the white beard and the red suit proves that Christmas truly is a magical time of the year.
Lots of folks travel to the Smokies each winter to enjoy the holiday light displays shining throughout Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Dollywood in Pigeon Forge is no exception. In fact, they have 5 million lights strung up all over the theme park, transforming it into a winter wonderland at night. And that's just one of many reasons to visit Dollywood during its annual Smoky Mountain Christmas festival, running now through January 2, 2022.
Don't worry; we firmly believe in giving Thanksgiving its full due before we turn our attention toward the Christmas holiday. Once all the turkey leftovers are polished off and the Black Friday deals have been made, then all things Christmas will be fair game. But if you happen to be visiting the Smokies some time in the next few weeks, you may notice that one category of Smoky Mountain attractions has chosen to ignore that protocol.
Last week, we uploaded a Facebook post that briefly mentioned a number of dog-friendly places in Sevierville, TN. The city's PetSafe Unleashed Dog Park, Burchfiel Grove and Arboretum, the Great Smokies Flea Market on Tenn. Hwy. 66 and Tanger Outlets were just a few of the local spots we named that welcome pooches of all kinds.
But as it turns out, those aren't the only places in that community that love those four-legged friends. So this week, we're devoting an entire blog post to singing the praises of Sevierville, at least when it comes to their canine quotient.
If you haven't been able to visit our ziplines in the Smokies yet this year, it's still not too late to squeeze in a memorable zipline adventure with us before 2021 winds down. We still have a couple more months left before we take our annual winter break, but if you continue reading, we'll share with you three great reasons to schedule a canopy tour this week. There's still lots of fun to be had in the Great Smoky Mountains, so don't let procrastination separate you from what could be one of your best outings of the year.
Autumn is the season when Great Smoky Mountains National Park receives a high number of visitors, in large part due to the beautiful fall foliage. Many of those visitors take in the scenery by immersing themselves in the park's lush woodlands, where they can enjoy up-close views of nature's color palette of red, yellow and orange.
Fall is also the season when the park's black bear population is on the move, gathering food stores, chowing down and trying to put on the extra fat needed to sustain them through their winter hibernation. This combination of increased human activity and increased bear activity raises the likelihood that the two species will meet, one-on-one.
In last week's post, we talked about the arrival of the fall colors in the Great Smoky Mountains. We made some estimates as to when the colors might peak in which parts of the region, and we even touched on a little about the weather conditions that are ideal for creating the brightest and most vivid color shades in the area foliage.
We may be dating ourselves here, but back in the 1960s, there was a Sunday-evening TV show on NBC called Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. The title reflected Disney's desire to take advantage of the fact that color television sets were becoming more popular and widespread in the United States. Prior to that time period, most TV shows were broadcast in black and white, so the arrival of color programming was an event in its own right.
Here in the Great Smoky Mountains, we know what it's like to celebrate a widespread arrival of color, except in our case, it has nothing to do with television and everything to do with nature. And it's an event we get to observe every single year in the fall, when the foliage in the mountains is drained of its summer greens and dons the festive autumnal hues of red, yellow and orange.
Last week, we gave you the rundown on this year's Harvest Celebration at Dollywood. Through the end of October, guests of the Pigeon Forge theme park will enjoy seasonal décor, fall foods, guest entertainers and visiting craftsmen-in addition to Dollywood's usual lineup of rides, shows and attractions. And it's all set against the color-changing backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains in autumn.
Now that we've officially reached autumn, all you pumpkin-spice-loving people can finally stop griping about summer and celebrate your favorite season of the year. And when you're visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, fall just isn't fall without Dollywood's annual Harvest Festival. This year's festival runs now through October 30 and is the perfect complement to a morning or afternoon on our zip lines in the Smoky Mountains.
Here's the scene: You've just spent a few hours on our Pigeon Forge zip line tours. The adrenaline is still flowing. Then you notice that rumble in your belly. You need food. And the more you think about it, the more you realize you're craving a burger. A slab or two of ground beef layered with cheese, some vegetables and your favorite condiments, between two fresh buns, sounds like it would really hit the spot.
According to the calendar, there are still officially two weeks of summer left. But anyone who has stepped outside first thing in the morning this past week or two might have noticed that the first telltale signs of fall are already here. The overnight lows and early-morning temps have been pleasantly cool, and even the daytime highs have been manageable-in the low to mid-80s with much less humidity than we had to deal with during the peak of summer.
So what does this mean for the typical Smoky Mountain visitor? It means that a lot of those outdoor activities that might have been impacted by the scorching, humid days of summer just got a lot more enjoyable. And that includes ziplining with us here at our Smoky Mountains zipline. Combine that with the fact that the kids are back in school, and you're quickly running out of reasons not to make a daytrip to Pigeon Forge for a breezy morning or afternoon of ziplining. Or you can wait until the weekend and bring the whole family along. Whatever zips your line.
Remember that feeling you got when you were a kid in a toy store? Chances are that even as an adult, being surrounded by shelves full of toys and games at least stirs a few memories of those golden days of childhood. Truth is, a lot of us never outgrew toys at all, whether it's collecting action figures and trading cards, playing video games or even sitting down to a good old-fashioned board game.
Next time you're hanging out in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge on your Smoky Mountain vacation, you might want to devote some of your shopping time to exploring some of the local stores that help their customers tap into their inner (or current) child. You might be able to pick up a Christmas gift for the special kid (or adult) in your life, or if nothing else, you might find a great game or puzzle for the family to enjoy while staying in a Smoky Mountain rental cabin.
Last week, we introduced you to some of the most unusual accommodations in the Smokies-three properties that are truly unique and have the potential to make your mountain stay one you're likely to remember for years to come. We're going to continue this week with a few more lodging providers that go above and beyond the traditional hotel/motel or overnight-rental formula.
Need to find a place to stay for that next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains? No problem! Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville alone are home to dozens and dozens of lodging providers, from mom-and-pop motels and large chain hotels to overnight rental properties and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns. It's not difficult to find a property that will best suit your family's needs when it comes to location, amenities and budget.
In last week's blog, we mentioned that whitewater rafting was one of the must-do bucket-list items for anyone hanging out in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee or North Carolina. This week, we thought we'd expand on that and go on a deeper dive into one of the most popular outdoor activities in the area (in addition to Smoky Mountain Ziplines, of course). Rafting is thrilling, fun and a nice way to stay cool on a hot summer day. So grab your paddles, strap on your helmets and come along for the ride as we shoot the rapids of the Smokies!
When the movie The Bucket List came out in 2007, it popularized the notion of creating a list of things that a person should do or accomplish before he/she dies-or “kick the bucket,” as the expression goes. The main lesson is not to wait too long in life to do the things that are most important to you. Go out, seize the day and experience life's greatest moments now, while you can still do them and enjoy them.
In that spirit, Smoky Mountain Ziplines has put together a mini bucket list of sorts for anyone visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. You could knock many of these out in one or two visits. One in particular could take years to complete. Either way, make sure you enjoy each step and enjoy the ride. It's more about the journey than completing a checklist.
Our Smoky Mountain summer started off surprisingly mild, but then the inevitable happened. It turned hot-and humid. Lately, we've been in a pattern of steamy days and high heat indices that have made just about every outdoor activity a challenge.
But when you're on vacation, you can't let a little (or a lot of) heat get in the way of having a great time with your family and friends. That's why this week, we have some refreshing suggestions for places you can visit in the Smokies that will let you experience the fun you seek but without succumbing to heat stroke in the process.
Ziplining has become a popular recreational and vacation activity in the United States in the last 10 years or so. But it's not a new phenomenon by any means. What is relatively new about ziplines is the notion of riding them purely for fun and excitement. The history of the zipline, however, shows that when they originated, they were used for more practical purposes.
It's believed that the very first ziplines were implemented in China-in the Nujiang Valley of Yunnan Province, to be precise-more than 2,000 years ago. These zip wires, as they were called, were used to safely cross rivers, as opposed to swimming or relying on a ferry. Many of those lines survived into this century. Early zipline use has also been documented in India and Japan as early as 250 BC.
There are lots of ways to see the Great Smoky Mountains up close. You can drive through them, hike them, bike them (the pedal kind or the motor kind) and even rent an ATV to take you overland. But a lot of people overlook the fact that touring the Smokies on horseback is a simple but unique way of immersing oneself in an old-school mountain experience. It's you and one of nature's amazing creatures exploring some of the most beautiful parts of the country.
Last week, we served up a quick overview of RV camping opportunities in the Smokies area, including those inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This week, we're going to get a little more primitive and introduce you to good old tent-camping locations, and we're going to focus exclusively on the national park instead of incorporating private campgrounds.
As more and more folks are hitting the highway this summer, you may be noticing a lot more recreational vehicles on the road than in years past. During the height of the pandemic, lots of folks turned to camping as a safe way to travel while still enjoying the country. These days, RVs seem to be continuing that popularity streak, whether it's a full-size motorhome, a fifth wheel or an economy-sized trailer.
This week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines will introduce you to a sampling of some places where you can set up camp with your recreational vehicle while enjoying all that the Great Smoky Mountains region has in store.
In our last post, we introduced you to four cool alpine coasters in the Great Smoky Mountains. In case you missed it, we're not talking about the giant roller coasters at theme parks like Dollywood. Mountain coasters are smaller, downhill tracks on which one or two passengers zoom from top to bottom with the assistance of gravity and apply brakes to control their speed. Some of these coasters can reach speeds up to 35 miles per hour.
In case you hadn't noticed, the Smokies have gradually turned into one of the South's number one destinations for coaster attractions. Except we're not actually talking about traditional roller coasters. Yes, Dollywood theme park has lots of those, but for our purposes, we're referring to what's generally regarded around here as “mountain coasters.” Those are the rides where you sit in a one- or two-passenger car and ride the track downhill, letting gravity do all the hard work. All you as the driver have to do is use your brake to slow down when you feel that you've worked up too big a head of steam.
In our last post, we provided short introductions to six Pigeon Forge music theaters as a preview of what to expect from the Smoky Mountain entertainment scene this year. This week, we pick up where we left off, with thumbnail descriptions of even more venues where music, comedy and more are alive and well and waiting to be part of your vacation plans. As we mentioned last week, unless otherwise indicated, all of the shows are located in Pigeon Forge, either on or just off the Parkway.
Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer vacation time is officially here. In the Smokies, things are really starting to get ramped up, and we expect to see a whole lot more people coming to town compared to last summer.
If you think you'll be among the millions who travel to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville this year, you might be interested in spending part of your vacation time enjoying some live entertainment. This is certainly the place to do it. With more than a dozen venues in town hosting a wide variety of shows, the Smokies have something for all ages and tastes. This week, we'll give you an overview of what you can expect to find this season. Unless we specify otherwise, all of the shows are located in Pigeon Forge either on or just off the Parkway.
Smoky Mountain Ziplines isn't the only place in East Tennessee that has ziplines. But we're confident that we have more in store for vacationers than any other Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg attraction that features ziplines. Our seven-line canopy tour packs a lot of fun and memories into each two-hour outing. You'll encounter adrenaline-inducing thrills, beautiful Smoky Mountain scenery, interaction with new friends and much more. That's why anyone looking to visit the mountains this summer should consider making us their zipline connection in the Great Smoky Mountains.
If you've ever visited the Smoky Mountain communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, you know there's no shortage of attractions designed to entertain the tourist masses. From the smallest go-cart track to Smoky Mountain Ziplines to Dollywood theme park, there are dozens of businesses in the area where job one is showing guests a good time, from the tiniest of tots to the most recent of retirees.
Just when you think the Smokies couldn't possibly pack in any more family attractions, the gates have opened wide again this year to welcome a whole new crop of businesses geared toward having fun in the mountains. Read on to learn about some of the latest openings as well as those that are scheduled for later in 2021.
The Mountain Mile multiuse development in Pigeon Forge offers mountains of vacation opportunity for folks visiting the Smokies. It's been in ongoing development for the past few years, and now, it's close to being fully occupied by a wide array of retailers, food vendors, attractions and more. Read on to learn the latest about what's in store.
You'll find the Mountain Mile on Teaster Lane, on the site of the former Belz Factory Outlet World. It's easy to find, and there's a ton of free parking out front and elsewhere. In total, the development sits on 170 acres and offers more than a million square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space.
Dollywood has been open for a couple of months already, but if you visit right now, you'll see that great things are still blooming throughout the Pigeon Forge theme park. In fact, the annual Dollywood Flower & Food Festival is currently underway, bringing more than a half-million colorful flowers to the park in the form of larger-than-life sculptures that celebrate this season of renewal. The festival runs through June 7.
You work hard for your money. So when you decide to spend it-even if it's on something fun, like a vacation attraction-you want to make sure you're getting your dollar's worth. When you visit Smoky Mountain Ziplines, that's exactly what you get-your money's worth and a whole lot more. Read on to discover exactly what your ticket price translates into in terms of fun, excitement and value. We pack a lot of all of it into a two-hour canopy tour of the Smokies.
Did you know we're smack in the middle of National Park Week? The annual event, sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation is a celebration of America's most treasured resources. There are more than 400 national parks across the country, and we're fortunate to have the most visited one in the nation right here in our backyard-Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If you haven't visited the Smokies yet this year, you're in luck. There will be a lot of new restaurants for you to try in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. And if you managed to miss traveling in 2020 altogether, you should really be pleased at all the new eateries that have opened their doors since your last visit.
This week, we'll introduce you to several you might want to try on your next trip. Some are locally based; some are part of chains. Some are already open for business, while others will be making their debuts later in the year. But this should give you plenty of tempting new options to try the next time someone asks, “Where should we eat?” on your next Smoky Mountain vacation.
Have you looked out a window lately? Here in Pigeon Forge, we like what we've been seeing for the past week-lots of mild, sunshiny days that make a person want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. These are the kinds of conditions that we only get to enjoy during a narrow window in the spring, so if you get a chance to do some traveling in the near future, consider heading to the mountains and making the most out of these beautiful days.
While you're here, we have a few recommendations for places to visit that will help you make the most out of your time in the Smokies. Whether you visit just one destination or have enough days in your schedule to take them all on, these are sites where ideal weather conditions can help turn a good time into a great one.
When it comes to attractions, the Smokies suffer from an embarrassment of riches, as they say. Between Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, dozens and dozens of attractions make it their business to entertain the millions of people who visit the area every year. You'll find all kinds, from mini golf courses and go-cart tracks to outdoor experiences like our Sevierville zip line tour.
Sometimes, it takes guts to have a good time. It's true. When you visit the Great Smoky Mountains, you'll discover we have a lot of attractions that are geared toward excitement but also require a certain level of courage to take that first step. This week, we're going to show you exactly what we're talking about by sharing ideas for daring ways to have fun in the Smokies.
First, though, we want to say that despite the thrills involved, the businesses and attractions that provide this sort of entertainment around here have excellent safety records. These are all activities that are largely accessible to the general public (some age and weight restrictions apply) and don't require any specialized knowledge or abilities on the part of the participants. The people who run them and guide these activities know what they're doing, and they're responsible for making sure thousands of people have amazingly safe adventures on their Smoky Mountain vacations.
We're just a few days away from the official start of spring! The days are getting warmer, flowers and trees are starting to show their colors, and soon the local fauna will be adding little ones to their broods. Here in the Smokies, we have our own ways of welcoming the change of seasons and the emergence from our long winter hibernation. Read on to get a few ideas about things you can do on your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains this spring.
We are officially open up for the 2021 season here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines! We're looking forward to nearly nine months of awesome ziplining action in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Our outpost is on Mill Creek Road, just two miles from the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. It's a quick drive from the heart of town, but once you step onto our property, you'll be surrounded by beautiful, wooded foothills with amazing views of the Smokies' highest peaks. When you arrive, just check in at the desk and enjoy a complimentary beverage while you wait for the rest of your tour group to arrive and assemble. By the way, most tours consist of eight guests and last around two hours, depending on the size of the group and how many groups we have booked that day.
Most folks know Dolly Parton was born and raised right here in the Great Smoky Mountains, near Sevierville, Tennessee. But beyond that, how much do you know about the legendary country music singer and actor? This week, we're going to put you to the test. Take our quiz and see how your knowledge base stacks up to the fact. Then next week, we'll share the correct answers and dive a little deeper into the star's history. Good luck!
Last week, we talked about one of everybody's favorite subjects: food. Specifically, we talked about Southern cuisine and some of the restaurants in the Smokies that specialize in it. These included the Old Mill Restaurant, Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, Paula Deen's Family Kitchen and Aunt Granny's All-You-Care-To-Eat Buffet.
This week, we're going to profile a few other restaurants located in the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge-Sevierville areas. Some of these names may not be as familiar, but if you've got a hankering for some good ol' Southern grub, these might be the place you'll want to try on your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
The restaurants of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville serve up a wide variety of foods, including cuisine from all over the world. But when you visit the Smokies, it almost goes without saying that you're going to have to sit down to at least one meal that taps into the area's Southern roots. The good news is that dining options abound throughout the area when it comes to down-home cooking and all the classic dishes associated with it.
The winter storm that pushed through the eastern half of the U.S. these past few days has left lots of people buried under the white stuff. Here in the Smokies, we didn't get hit too hard, but it's winter nevertheless. We may not have seen the last of frozen precipitation for this season.
Which brings up the question, what would happen if you were vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains and you got socked in under inches of snowfall? How could you make the best of the situation? This week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines is tossing out some ideas for turning frozen lemons into frozen lemonade.
You may not be able to tell from the six-lane Parkway running through town or the dozens of restaurants, shops, attractions and hotels, or the fact that tens of thousands of people visit each day, but Pigeon Forge was once just a sleepy little hamlet on the way to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Thankfully, some remnants of yesteryear remain in Pigeon Forge and stand to serve as a reminder of the city's storied past. And no location is more iconic in terms of local history than the Old Mill, located just one block off the Parkway, on the banks of the Little Pigeon River. What's interesting is that these days, the mill is still serving the same purpose it has always served-grinding grains that are used to produce a variety of meals and flours for cooking.
Smoky Mountain Ziplines is taking its annual winter nap right now, but we'll be open for the 2021 season in just a matter of months. Technically, you could measure it days or weeks if you're the optimistic type.
In the meantime, however, we thought we'd give you a glimpse into what other zipline attractions around the nation and around the world are up to. That's one of the unique things about ziplining. The activity is basically the same, no matter where you go, but because our planet offers such a wide variety of natural and manmade settings, each zipline destination has something unique to offer.
Here in the Smokies, it's officially the off season. No more fall colors, no more major holidays. We're in the heart of winter, and the kids are back in school, so there really aren't many good reasons for heading to the mountains right now.
At least that was the conventional wisdom for a number of years. These days, however, there are plenty of good reasons to hit the road and spend a day, a weekend or even a week in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. It's true that we're enjoying a short hiatus here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, but this is still a good time to share with you several reasons why this could be a great time to come to the Smokies. Read on for the details.
Most of us are probably looking ahead in 2021 with a sense of hope for brighter days to come. Hopefully, as the new vaccines get rolled out, it will become safer for folks to travel in larger numbers, and we can get back to enjoying the Great Smoky Mountains the way we did prior to the pandemic.
With that sense of optimism in mind, let's preview some of the new businesses that are coming to the Smokies as well as some of the ones that have already set up shop just in the last few months. From attractions and accommodations to restaurants and shops, there are new opportunities for fun and places to explore on your next trip to the mountains. Also remember that we'll be back open in the spring, just about when the weather will be right for enjoying a ride on a zipline. Smoky Mountains Ziplines will be looking forward to seeing you again in a couple of months.
As we say goodbye and good riddance to 2020, it's natural for us to turn our eyes toward 2021 with a sense of optimism. Coronavirus vaccines are starting to roll out worldwide, which means we have some hope that life might start returning to normal some time in the next 12 months. And that means we can begin looking ahead to a time when traveling and vacationing more closely resembles what we remember from pre-pandemic days.
With that sense of renewal and optimism in mind, let's take a sneak peek at some of the places and things we have to look forward to in 2021 and beyond. In fact, this week's list features places to visit in the Great Smoky Mountains that are either about to open, are brand-new or have made their debut just within the past few months.
Some holidays are uniquely American. Thanksgiving, for example, is something that only we here in the United States celebrate. Christmas, however, is practically a universal holiday, observed in countries all around the globe. But that doesn't mean that folks in the rest of the world celebrate Christmas the same way we do. Yes, there are some similarities, but there are also many, many differences. Christmas traditions in some countries actually bear little resemblance to the customs we've known all our lives.
We know that some of you out there tend to be more like the Grinch than Buddy the elf. And that's okay; getting into the festive spirit of the holiday season comes easier to some than it does others. But even if you're still feeling a little ornery about Christmas as the big day approaches, it's not too late to turn that frown upside-down and find a way to celebrate all the great things about this most wonderful time of the year.
The good news is that all our tips for getting into the spirit of the holiday can be accomplished in one location-the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you visit Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg or all three, you won't have to look very hard to find opportunities for plugging into the celebration of Christmas and the entire winter season.
By the time you read this, we'll be looking at about two weeks remaining until Christmas Day. With so little time left to get your shopping done, making purchases online becomes less of an option, because most retailers won't be able to guarantee delivery in time for the big day. But you can still go out and shop the old fashioned way-by going store to store. For many, that hands-on experience is still an important part of the holiday season, which is why we recommend a trip to the Smokies to finish your shopping in these remaining weeks before Christmas.
The Great Smoky Mountains can be found along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. There are lush forests with an astounding abundance of wildflowers that bloom all year-round!
There are many hiking routes, some of which feature streams, rivers, and waterfalls.
The highest peak, Clingmans Dome, offers the most scenic views of the mist-covered mountains and is an absolute must-see for every nature lover.
It's best to visit the Great Smoky Mountains in summer and fall, when the weather is perfect.
We've already had our first snow of the year in the Smokies, and it was an early one. You know who's not complaining about it? The folks at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. For them, this just means they're getting an early start preparing for a season of winter fun on top of Mt. Harrison. They have several inches of natural snow, and they are currently in the process of manufacturing more snow to add to their base, all with the hopes of opening the slopes in the very near future.
This week, we'll tell you all about what's going on up at Ober this year and what you can expect if you decide to visit. You also have a few weeks left to visit us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Skiing, ziplines, Gatlinburg... Sounds like a great way to spend the weeks leading up to Christmas.
As the kids would say, the Great Smoky Mountains are lit!
No, literally, they are officially lit up right now thanks to all the light displays you'll find throughout Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. It's all part of Smoky Mountain Winterfest, the annual celebration where our local communities get all decked out for the holidays with colorful lights, and the city calendars are packed with special events geared toward helping visitors get into the spirit of Christmas and the entire winter season.
Christmas is now only just weeks away. Some of you may already be counting down in days. Either way, it's time to get cracking on that holiday shopping list. If you're stuck trying to come up with ideas for all those folks this year, read on. We have some suggestions for gifts that all have one thing in common: They're unique to the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether it's something you can hold in your hands or an experience you can participate in, these are all gifts that will, one way or another, connect the recipient to one of the most fun and beautiful places in this region of the country.
Do you have a sweet tooth? If indulging in a sugary treat from time to time is one of your favorite things, then keep reading. This week, we are going to be looking at some of the Smoky Mountain area's favorite and most unusual sweet spots. From ice cream shops to candy makers, there are lots of places where vacationers in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville can get sugared up. If you're also thinking of spending some time with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, you can plan on treating yourself to a sweet reward when you're done ziplining Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Thanksgiving family gatherings are great, but they can be an awful lot of work. Especially if you're the person responsible for planning and preparing the meal. This year might be the year to start a new family tradition-or at least take a break from the routine of hosting the annual Thanksgiving get-together. Think about observing the holiday in the Great Smoky Mountains this year. Continue reading for some ideas on how to pull it off.
There are thousands of overnight rental properties in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area. And there are cabins of all sizes, so if you want to get the whole extended family together for Thanksgiving this year, that's not a problem. Most vacation-rental companies have cabins with four, five and six bedrooms or more in their inventory. But if you'd rather maintain social distancing during the holiday, you could opt for a smaller cabin, chalet or cottage and make it a getaway for just the immediate family or even just for two. If you haven't done so already, go ahead and make your lodging reservations first. There should still be plenty of available properties to suit your travel needs. You'll also benefit from lower rates than what you'll typically pay in peak season.
With Halloween coming up this weekend, we thought this would be a fitting time to explore some of the spookiest spots in the Great Smoky Mountains. If you happen to be traveling in the area this week, consider carving out some time in your schedule to see if these locations live up to their legends. Or if you're not that daring, just read on and learn a little bit more about a number of local sites that supposedly have some creepy wrinkles in their history.
This has probably been one of the most beautiful autumn seasons we've had in the Great Smoky Mountains in a long time. It's been a while since we've seen a fall with so many blue-sky days with mild temperatures and almost no humidity to speak of. The conditions are ripe for spending time outdoors, and when you visit the Smokies, there's no shortage of ways to do that. This week, we'll suggest just a handful of the things you can do to take advantage of the season, but make your plans soon. Awesome days like these won't be around for long.
Since it's fall foliage season in Tennessee, we wanted to talk about all things related to the changing of the colors. So if you happen to be visiting us here in the Smokies within the next couple of weeks, you'll come in knowing everything you need to know about fall colors (and probably a lot of things you may not have even thought about).
We started last week by letting you know which areas of the Smokies are reaching peak colors and which ones aren't quite there yet. We also pointed out some popular destinations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding areas that have really spectacular views of all the foliage. We even highlighted which common tree species produce which colors on the fall-foliage spectrum.
We thought we'd borrow a line from Bob Dylan in introducing our topic for this week. Oh, the leaves, they are a-changin' in the Great Smoky Mountains. We're well into October, and if you've spent any time in the Smokies in the last couple of weeks, you've probably noticed the transformation. The level of impact depends on the elevation, but even in the lowest of terrain here in East Tennessee, the changes are well under way.
This week, we'll share info about what kinds of trees are turning into which colors and where you can find them. Right now, almost all areas are seeing at least some level of leaf color change. In the valleys, it's patchy, and in the foothills, the colors are nearing their peak. You'll already see peak colors at the highest elevations within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Those peak colors will cascade down to the lower elevations over the next several weeks.
If you're ready to ride a zip line, Pigeon Forge, TN, is the place you want to be this weekend. We're looking forward to some beautiful weather over the next several days, complete with mild temps and lots of sunshine. The conditions are ideal to come to our outpost in the mountains and experience for yourself one of the most exciting attractions in East Tennessee.
Fall is officially here in the Great Smoky Mountains. The calendar says so. And the weather says so. We've been enjoying some awesome autumn weather, with lots of sunshine, pleasantly cool days and slightly nippy nights. The conditions are ideal right now for Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, the annual event in which Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville celebrate all things fall. The festival is comprised of 12 weeks of individual special events designed to enhance any visit to the Smokies. This week, we'll take you through some of the highlights and point out some other great things about visiting the mountains this time of year.
Summer's winding down, but that doesn't mean you still can't plan an amazing getaway to the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether it's just for the weekend or a whole week, the area has so much for visitors to see, do and enjoy, all set against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
One of the first decisions most people make when planning a trip to the Smokies is where they're going to stay. Common choices include hotels, motels, rental cabins and condos, B&Bs or perhaps even a camping experience. This week, we're going to focus on the unusual and the unique when it comes to Smoky Mountain accommodations. Read on to discover several ideas for places that take overnight lodging to the next level. Some are in the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge area, while others are a little farther away. But in all cases, you'll be making a reservation for a travel experience you'll never forget.
We had an intriguing thought: If a person were to visit every single attraction in Pigeon Forge, how long would it take? This week, we're going to take on an unusual task. We're giving you an answer! We're going to list every attraction in town (or at least as many as we can think of) and estimate how long the average visit might last. (Note that these estimates are purely rough guesses and not based on actual data.) Then we're going to pad each guess with travel time to and from the attraction from a hypothetical hotel/motel in the middle of Pigeon Forge. We're going to assume that your day starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 9 p.m. (yep, you'll be plum tuckered out), and we're going to assume that at attractions with multiple activities, including Dollywood, you participate in everything that location has to offer! We're also going to factor in one hour for lunch and one hour for dinner, and we'll assume that this trip takes place in summer.
Last week, we teed up and went in search of miniature golf fun in the Great Smoky Mountains. Along the way, we shared some of the area's notable mini golf attractions, but we only had a chance to scratch the surface. This week, we have even more destinations to pass along, so the next time you're visiting the Smokies, you'll have plenty of places to choose from when it comes to putting your way around town.
Miniature golf: It's practically a requirement when you're visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you're headed into the Smokies for the day, the weekend or a whole week, lining up at your favorite local mini-golf course and facing off against family/friends has been a vacation staple for decades.
There's something about that little colored ball and overcoming unique obstacles to get it into the hole that is not only fun but it's also relaxing and a great way to bond with your travel buddies. Mini golf is also a great equalizer. You don't have to have any actual golf experience to play, and it's something that practically the whole family can do together, regardless of age.
Schools are starting back up all over the country, but there's still plenty of summer left for folks visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. That means daily highs can still easily reach the 90s, with heat indices topping out close to 100 degrees. So working in at least one way to stay cool during a visit to the Smokies is probably not the worst idea. You might even consider coming up with a cool stop every day of your trip. If that sounds good to you, read on, and we'll pass along some of our best ideas for beating the heat when you're in the mountains of East Tennessee.
A couple of weeks ago, we took a brief tour of several of the historic homesteads located in the Cades Cove community in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These preserved structures were once the homes of some of the area's early white settlers, who lived in the cove during the 1800s and into the early 1900s, until the creation of the national park. Today, these homes provide unique glimpses into the lifestyles these frontier families lived, and fortunately, they still stand as reminders of what life was like in East Tennessee more than a century ago.
Smoky Mountain visitors seeking relief from the heat of summer have a brand-new place to play this year. Soaky Mountain waterpark has only been open a few weeks, but it has quickly become a popular place for fans of water slides, wave pools and much more. The park is located on Gists Creek Road, just off Tenn. Hwy. 66 in Sevierville. It's just a short hop from Wilderness at the Smokies and that resort's indoor waterpark.
Soaky Mountain offers nearly two-dozen different water-themed attractions, with something geared toward all ages, from the tiniest of tots to the most daring of adventurers. On the thrill-ride end of the spectrum, you might try the Avalaunch watercoaster, a two-person tube ride that's full of hills, valleys and turns before ending in a steep descent. Then there's a drop slide called Whoop, where you step into a launch capsule, and the floor drops out from beneath you, sending you on a steep drop to the bottom of the slide. Also look for a four-lane slide called Splash & Furious, where you can race your friends while riding on mats. If you've always wanted to hang ten, try your hand (actually, your feet) at the Hang 10esse surfing simulator.
Summer in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is still in full swing as visitors from all over the world pass in and out of the most visited national park in America. Many of those park guests make time to tour Cades Cove, located near Townsend, TN, on the western end of the park. Ensconced by beautiful mountains, this peaceful valley was once home to a thriving community of settlers in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Residents were relocated with the creation of the national park, but many of the cove's homes, churches and farm buildings were preserved and still stand as part of the tour. A 10-mile one-way road is how folks access Cades Cove today – mostly by car, but many on bike and even on foot. By visiting its historic structures, visitors are able to get a glimpse of what life was like 100 years ago and beyond, both within Cades Cove and much of the rural South in general.
Every now and then, we like to check in on what other zipline attractions around the country and around the world are up to. Some of these businesses are brand new, while others are rolling out new features or ziplines. Sometimes, the news is more about the people who are doing the ziplining. In any case, we always find lots of fascinating zipline tidbits to share with our followers.
But remember that you don't have to travel all over the country or the world to find exciting zipline action. Just give us a call at Smoky Mountain Ziplines or visit our website and schedule a tour with us for your next trip to Pigeon Forge.
There are few things that can help a child throughout his or her educational years than instilling an early love of reading. And that's the idea behind Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a program that mails free books to children all over the world, from birth until they begin school. The intent is for parents to read to their children and begin nurturing a love of literacy early on, so that by the time they start school, they already have developed a passion for books. And in some cases, they may already have learned how to read.
We all know why people enjoy ziplining. It's a lot of fun. And it's exciting. And a little scary, but in a good way. How can it not be all those things? After all, you're clipping yourself onto a metal cable and hurtling yourself through the air for hundreds of feet at a time, often with a lot of space between you and the ground. Yes, ziplining is a lot of fun.
But there are other positive benefits to the experience you might not have been aware of. In fact, in some ways, ziplining can be downright therapeutic. For example, one zipline outfitter in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida, area is in operation for that explicit purpose. Empower Adventures, developed by former Army Ranger Joe DeRing was created, as he puts it, to help people “push past perceived limitations.”
We're living through some unusual and turbulent times in our country right now, but maybe as we approach our nation's birthday, we can all find some common ground in our love and appreciation of the United States of America. If you're coming to the Smokies for 4th of July weekend, we'll give you a heads-up that some of the area's traditional Independence Day events – like the Midnight Parade in Gatlinburg and the Patriot Festival in Pigeon Forge – have been canceled for this year in the interest of public safety.
To visit Smoky Mountain Ziplines is to experience one of the most remarkable locations in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Our canopy tour takes guests up (and back down) steep slopes, through mature hardwood forests and over gaping ravines. There are several locations on the tour that offer zipliners wide, panoramic views of the some of the largest peaks in the Smokies. When you spend two hours or more on our zip lines in Pigeon Forge, TN, you would swear that you're deeply immersed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park itself. There's a feeling of peace, solitude and isolation that allows our guests to tap into their natural surroundings and to truly unwind and escape.
Since we resumed operations a few weeks ago, we've been thrilled to see more and more people booking zipline tours with us and having the time of their lives here in the Great Smoky Mountains. What are your plans for 2020? Summer is just getting started, so if you have an open weekend coming up in the next month or so, or if you have a full week of vacation time burning a hole in your proverbial pocket, you should consider planning a trip to our outpost in Pigeon Forge and getting your zipline game on.
It's taking place a few months later than usual, but Dollywood in Pigeon Forge has announced that it is finally reopening for the 2020 season. Next week, in fact. But as you might suspect, it's not going to be business as usual at one of the Southeast's premier theme parks and attractions. Because the coronavirus and COVID-19 still pose a public-health concern, Dollywood managers have implemented a number of changes and protocols that will affect the way they operate and the way you experience the theme park – at least until the health crisis is gone for good.
Normally, this is the time of year when folks would be coming to East Tennessee from all over the world to witness the synchronous fireflies of the Tremont section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You're probably familiar with them by now, but if you're not, prepare to be amazed. Tremont is home to a species of fireflies that lights up in unison during an approximate two-week period each year, most likely as part of their mating season. The national park is one of only a handful of places worldwide where this phenomenon takes place.
As more and more businesses reopen in the Great Smoky Mountains, life in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville is starting to resemble a typical late May/early June. It's the time of year when the weather has warmed up nicely, and more and more folks are looking for ways to enjoy the great outdoors.
This year, being able to play outside takes on even more significance as our country still works to completely shake a pesky virus. Research has shown that being outside greatly reduces the risk of spreading or contracting an airborne illness, and with that in mind, we're going to steer you toward five cool things you can do this weekend in the Smokies that will make it easier to keep your distance.
Guess what, zipline fans… Smoky Mountain Ziplines is reopening this weekend – Saturday, May 23! We're encouraged to see people returning to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and we've decided that now is the time to open our doors and welcome visitors back to our Pigeon Forge ziplines.
As so many other businesses have done here in the Smokies, we are also modifying the way we operate to ensure that our guests have the safest zipline experience possible. For example, we're already hard at work cleaning and sanitizing our facilities, and our guides will be required to wear face shields. Of course, if you, the customer, prefer to wear face covering of your own, feel free to do so.
This marks week number two of businesses in the Great Smoky Mountains reopening to the public since the governor lifted the Safer At Home restrictions throughout the state of Tennessee. And we've definitely seen more and more people returning to Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg as all kinds of businesses are opening their doors again, including restaurants, shops, hotels and motels, and even some attractions.
This past week saw the reopening of a number of businesses (mostly shops, restaurants and hotels) in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Visitors are starting to return to the area, and there are signs that life may gradually be returning to the old normal (although it's still too early to tell if this increased accessibility will lead to a new spike in illness rates). For now, most of the local attractions – including our zip lines in the Smoky Mountains – have chosen not to reopen just yet in the interest of ensuring guest protection. We will be welcoming guests back as soon as we feel it is safe to do so. We recommend following us on Facebook to keep up with the latest information regarding the status of our zipline attraction.
It's a big question on a lot of people's minds right now: “Will I be able to take a summer vacation this year?”
What we do know is that the State of Tennessee is relaxing its social lockdown restrictions beginning this week. That applies to 89 of the state's 95 counties, including Sevier County – home to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. The state's guidelines allow for the opening of restaurants and retail shops at limited capacity. Sevier County is also going to see the reopening of hotels and motels as well as some attractions, like music theaters in the coming days. However, at this time, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has not set a date for reopening, and as most folks know, the national park has historically been the great driver of traffic to this part of the country.
Several weeks ago, we went back in the ol' Smoky Mountains time machine and took a look at some of the music theaters, shows and performers that were, once upon a time, a part of the local entertainment landscape in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Among the venues we reminisced about were Music Mansion Theatre, Louise Mandrell Theatre, Hillbilly Hoedown, Lee Greenwood Theater and Memories Theatre to mention just a few.
This week, we're going to take another look back at some of the music venues of Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg. Most of these weren't as high profile as some of the ones we mentioned earlier, but if you've been a regular visitor to the Smokies for a while, some of these names and places might sound familiar.
Most of us have been spending a lot of time cooped up inside our homes these past few weeks. Many folks live alone, some live with just a spouse or significant other, and many have one or more children under the same roof. Regardless of your situation, chances are at least one person has started to get a little stir crazy – that restless feeling you get when you've been stuck inside for an extended period of time. If kiddos are involved, there's no doubt that you parents have heard them whine on more than one occasion, “I'm booorrrred!”
Hopefully, all of you are continuing to be safe and healthy, staying at home as much as possible but keeping your distance from other people (and even wearing a mask) when you do have to go out in public for essentials like food and medications. And of course, we hope you're staying diligent about washing your hands, both at home and when interacting with the outside world. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're taking some down time as well so we can do our part to help things get back to normal as soon as possible.
The music theaters of Pigeon Forge are on hiatus for the indefinite future, but we at Smoky Mountain Ziplines thought we might take advantage of this lull in the schedule to look back on the history of this unique form of entertainment in the Great Smoky Mountains. The presence of theaters in this area dates at least back to the 1970s, and one of the venues founded that decade - Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre in Gatlinburg - is actually still in operation today, making it the longest continuously running show in the area.
Every now and then, it's nice to just get away and take a scenic drive. Even if you don't plan to stop the car and get out and explore, there are lots of places you can visit in the Great Smoky Mountains that are worth the trip based only on what you can see from behind the steering wheel or through the car window. This week, we will offer some suggestions for routes you can take and sights you can see, all of which go to show that a trip to the mountains doesn't always have to be a jam-packed vacation. Sometimes, all you have to do is just show up.
Yes, when you travel to places like Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, you're likely to run into a fair amount of traffic. But when you visit our communities in spring, you may notice something unique about many of those vehicles: They're really cool looking. That's because we're getting into the heart of car-show season in the Great Smoky Mountains, a time when custom-auto enthusiasts from all over the country converge on our area to show off their four-wheeled babies. This week, we'll give you an idea of what to expect from these shows, and we'll mention a few of the specific events currently scheduled to roll into town.
After taking two and a half months off for a winter hibernation, Smoky Mountain Ziplines is officially open for the season, as of this past weekend! We thought we'd mark the occasion this week by pointing out all the great reasons to visit our Pigeon Forge attraction in the mountains and add a little adventure to your Smoky Mountain travel plans. Whether you intend to come to the Smokies this weekend or perhaps wait until school is out for summer, we have a whole lot to offer our guests.
There are just a couple more weeks of winter left, at least as far as the calendar is concerned. It's the time of year when folks are starting to get antsy about spring's arrival, and they're ready to shake off that winter funk for good. And with the dawn of a new season come hopes and dreams about what lie ahead – warmer weather and spring/summer travel plans. If you're thinking a getaway to the Great Smoky Mountains might be in order for 2020, read on. We've got the 411 on some new businesses opening their doors in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville this year. All in all, they promise to add some new perspectives to any visit to the Smokies.
When Elvis Presley died in 1977, his passing gave birth to a unique entertainment phenomenon – the Elvis impersonator, the man decked out in a leather jacket or a white-fringed jumpsuit who would belt out The King's greatest hits for his heartbroken fans. More than 40 years later, you can still find Elvis impersonators, although these days, they're more likely to bill themselves as “tribute acts.”
In fact, the Elvis tribute has been a staple of the music theater scene in Pigeon Forge for decades, and you can still find these acts taking our local stages today. And when you visit the Smokies, you'll find that it's not just Elvis who's in the spotlight. There are several different shows in town that pay tribute to a wide variety of beloved entertainers from the past.
A lot of folks are prone to put on a few extra pounds during the winter months, which means springtime is often spent trying to shed unwanted weight in time for bathing suit season. But you don't necessarily have to wait until you hit your goal weight to commit to your next vacation this year. Read on, and we'll pass along a few ideas for how to go ahead and take that next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, have a great time, and still get your daily dose of exercise and even decent nutrition. It's possible that the next time you come to the Smokies to visit Smoky Mountain Ziplines, you might just wind up in better shape than when you left.
The weather here in the Smokies has truly been a broken record for the past few weeks. Rain, rain and more rain. And just when you think it's over, there's some more rain. And did we mention that it's been raining?
The monotony and dreariness of this whole deluge has enough to bring even the most upbeat spirits down. But with a few suggestions courtesy of us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, you might find a few silver linings in those clouds and manage to shine a few rays of hope onto an otherwise soggy vacation day in the Smokies.
Although our Smoky Mountains zipline attraction is on hiatus, we realize that some of you still like to have outdoor fun all year long. The biggest challenge, of course, is the weather. It's generally too cold to zipline this time of year (and lately, it seems like it just won't stop raining), but there are still a few things you can do right now that will allow you to get outside and get some fresh air and, in some cases, even a little bit of exercise. So until zipline season returns, here are just a few ideas for ways to have fun in the great outdoors of the Great Smoky Mountains.
The holidays are behind us, but the warmer days of spring and summer are still at least a couple of months ahead of us. Welcome to what is traditionally referred to as the off-season in the Great Smoky Mountains. Once upon a time, most businesses in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville would close for the winter and emerge from hibernation in the spring as folks began to return to the mountains.
But while there is still a definite drop-off in visitation in later winter, it's not exactly a ghost town around here. More businesses than ever stay open year 'round (The only reason Smoky Mountain Ziplines closes is because we're an outdoor activity, and it's just too cold to zipline right now), and the area still gets its fair share of visitors. So with that in mind, we're going to pass along a handful of ideas that might just spark an off-season trip to the Smokies.
For a lot of folks, Fido and Fluffy aren't just pets; they're members of the family. So when the time comes to plan a vacation, leaving those furry friends back home in a kennel isn't always an option. That's why you see more and more pet owners bringing their four-legged loved ones with them. So this week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines would like to share a few ideas for places to go and things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains that will let everyone in the family take part in vacation time.
There's a reason that more than 10 million visitors travel to Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year. The range is one of the most beautiful sights in the country, and the park offers myriad ways for guests to enjoy outdoor recreation in the midst of all that scenery. However, those who don't have the time or otherwise aren't inclined to get out and get lost (metaphorically speaking) in nature have another means at their disposal of appreciating all that eye candy. Next time you're in the Smokies – or any other section of the Appalachians, for that matter – consider taking one of the many scenic drives and tours that provide motorists with stunning views as they travel from Point A to Point B.
With an entire mountain range running along its spine, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is undoubtedly the geographic centerpiece of the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina region. It's the most visited national park in America, receiving close to 10 million guests each year. With a wealth of hiking, camping, fishing and picnicking opportunities (and much more), GSMNP is the very reason that a tourism industry exists here in the first place. It's been that way for decades, and it will likely continue that way for decades to come.
There are lots of ways to experience the Great Smoky Mountains. You can hike them, drive through them, see them on horseback or while riding an ATV. You can even see the Smokies from a helicopter flying high overhead or from a raft while on a whitewater-rafting excursion. But there's only one place you can see the scenery from a train, and that's at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Bryson City, North Carolina.
In just a little over a week, we'll be ringing in not just a new year but also a new decade. Saying “Twenty-twenty” has a nice ring to it, and if you don't have any New Year's Eve plans yet, Smoky Mountain Ziplines can offer you a few suggestions for places here in the Smokies where you can also say “So long, 2019” and “Hello, 2020!”
In Gatlinburg, that city rings in the new year with a bang with its annual New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show. The 32nd annual event takes place on Tuesday, December 31, around the Gatlinburg Space Needle at the intersection of Parkway and Historic Nature Trail. That's where tens of thousands of revelers usually gather to watch the ball drop from the top of the 400-foot-high attraction as they count down to midnight. Then at the stroke of 12, guests are treated to a huge fireworks show. The evening also features a live performance by Journey tribute band Departure as well as other activities leading up to the midnight ball drop.
Chances are the vast majority of you spend Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day at your own home or at the home of close relatives like parents, grandparents or in-laws. That's no surprise; Christmas is traditionally spent with family, so our homes are the most comfortable place to celebrate that holiday. But this year, consider starting a new tradition – a Christmas vacation. (Hey, it's such a great idea that they made a movie by the same name, right?) Specifically, you could spend this Christmas in the Great Smoky Mountains, which allows you to do the whole gift-giving thing, but it also opens up a whole new world of possibilities. This week, we would like to share five reasons to do Christmas in the Smokies.
I'll repeat that, just in case that sentence left you in a state of shock. There are only two weeks until Christmas. So if you've barely put a dent in your shopping list this season, it's time to kick things into high gear and get yourself into gift-buying mode. There's no need to panic, though. With one visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, you can easily knock out the rest of the names on your list and maybe do a lot of other fun things while you're here. Read on, and we'll give you a few suggestions about shopping destinations in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville that may just be the solution to your gift-giving woes.
We're just three weeks away from Christmas, but in the Great Smoky Mountains, the annual celebration known as Winterfest will continue all season long, bringing lots of holiday cheer to the mountains through February. From festive décor to fun special events for the whole family, Winterfest gives visitors more reasons than ever to come to the Smokies during the off-season.
Our Smoky Mountain ziplines will only be open for a few more weeks, but this week, we'll fill your stocking with lots of suggestions for other things you can do to enjoy Winterfest in the Smokies, through the end of the year and beyond. So read on, mark your calendars and get ready for a Christmas and winter season you'll not soon forget.
Since this is Thanksgiving week, we thought it would be fitting to make this week's blog post about thankfulness. So naturally, that got us thinking about reasons to be thankful for living in or visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. There are way more than five, but for blog purposes, we're just mentioning a few of the main ones that come to mind. So keep these in your mind the next time you visit the Smokies. And Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines!
As Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival winds down this week, we're already looking ahead to Smoky Mountain Winterfest in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. It's the time of year when all three communities get dressed up for the winter holidays in their finest apparel – more specifically, millions and millions of Winterfest lights displays.
From I-40 to the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you'll find that each city has gone the extra mile to make the winter landscape look as festive as possible as we head into Christmas and a brand-new year. This week, we'll tell you a little about what you can expect to see if you visit the Smokies in Winterfest, and we'll share several different options for the best ways to see the light.
Ahh, the fall of 2019… It was one of the best two weeks we've seen around here in a long time. Seriously, it seems like we went from summer to hard-core winter in less than a month. A lot of folks around here are dealing with snow accumulation this week, both in the valley and in the higher elevations. Thankfully, the roads have been passable for the most part, and this does give visitors the opportunity to gaze upon a rare sight – fall colors in the trees while snow is on the ground.
Smoky Mountain Winterfest doesn't officially kick off for a few more weeks, but if you're eager to start celebrating winter and the Christmas holiday period a little early, your best bet might be to catch a seasonal show at one or more of our area music theaters. It's already that time of year when most of the local venues switch over from their regular-season shows to ones that are more in keeping with the end-of-year holidays. From music to costuming to appearances by Santa Claus himself, these special productions are a fun and entertaining way to kick off Christmas in the Great Smoky Mountains. This week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines is sharing overviews of several of the holiday shows already under way.
The fall colors are finally getting into gear in the Great Smoky Mountains, which means if you want to see the area's best color show, you'll need to head for the Smokies. The colors are already better in the higher elevations, but if you want to get a unique perspective on the annual foliage transformation, we recommend seeing it on foot. A driving tour is fine, but there's nothing like a good hike to really let you get hands-on with the area's greatest nature experience. Besides that, all those great nature smells plus fresh air and even a little bit of exercise are in store. For inspiration, read on for quick overviews of five great hikes you can take in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help you make the most of this year's fall colors. And don't forget that our Smoky Mountain zipline course is a great way to see the foliage too…
When you're trying to decide where to dine out on vacation, and you literally have hundreds of restaurants from which to choose, it can often be difficult to narrow down your options. There are lots of styles of cuisine, lots of locations and lots of price points that can complicate the matter even further. So this week, we're feeding you a few suggestions for restaurants where the dining experience comes with a distinct theme. It may just be the deciding factor that helps you and the rest of your hungry travelers settle on the place that will serve you not only good food but also a unique dining atmosphere.
Most years in the Smokies, a drive through the mountains in mid-October would reveal a wondrous palette of color already emerging in the treetops. Even in the lower elevations, you'd see signs that the annual transformation of the area foliage was well under way, and in the higher elevations, the leaves might already be nearing their peak colors for fall.
This year, however, it's a different story. A long, dry summer that extended well into early October has inhibited the color-change process, so most predictions are that the fall of 2019 won't be quite as spectacular as it has been in years past. But don't despair; if you're planning a trip to the national park or a visit to our Smoky Mountain zip lines, there will still be some beautiful colors to see. You may just have to adjust your timing a little bit.
Smoky Mountain Ziplines has been open since March, but if you think it's too late to get some ziplining action in this year, you would be mistaken. In fact, we're getting into one of the best times of the year to get out on our course and enjoy the best ziplines Sevierville, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg have in store. If you're still not convinced, read on, and we'll give you five good reasons why you need to schedule a tour with us THIS MONTH.
When autumn settles into the Smokies, there are two things you can always count on – the turning of the foliage and an abundance of craft shows and festivals. There's something about the changing of the seasons that makes this the ideal time of year for arts and crafts. They're a big deal around here about now – a bigger deal than they already are. So this week, we'll give you an overview of all the opportunities you'll have during October to get out and see what craftspeople from the Smokies – and around the country – have to offer.
Autumn has arrived, and even though visitation to the Smokies will surge in the next month or so as the fall colors invade our mountain landscapes, the peak tourism season around here has passed for 2019. But that doesn't mean there still aren't lots of good reasons to head to the Great Smoky Mountains for the weekend or even a full week of fall break.
As we mentioned, the scenery around here is going to get pretty spectacular as we get into October and November, and at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're looking forward to ideal ziplining weather. Just imagine visiting our Pigeon Forge attraction in more moderate temperatures and with the fall colors as a scenic backdrop for your outdoor adventure. We can't think of a better way to spend an autumn morning or afternoon.
One thing we do here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines from time to time is keep up with zipline-related news and events from around the world. We find that there are amazing zipline attractions everywhere you go, and there are lots of interesting people doing unique things on ziplines. We also see stories every now and then about how ziplines are used for purposes other than recreation.
So once again, we'd like to share some of the latest news about things that are happening outside Pigeon Forge when it comes to ziplining. And if you've never been to our Gatlinburg attraction, maybe you'll be inspired to come out and see for yourself why ziplining has become such a popular vacation activity.
In addition to visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park and attractions in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, shopping is one of the top tourist activities among the millions of people who come to the mountains of East Tennessee each year. Outlet malls are one of the top draws, and craft galleries and studios also get their fair share of traffic.
But the Smokies are also known for their specialty shops, retailers who focus on very specific, niche markets. This week, we'll be passing along some information about a few of these destinations that you might not be familiar with. In the process, you may learn that there's a local store that caters to your interests, or you may just discover a new interest to explore.
As we near the cusp of the fall season in the Smokies, cars are starting to roll into Pigeon Forge and the rest of the area. In this case, we're talking specifically about show cars – classics, vintage, hot rods, muscle cars, etc. – and the upcoming special events that show off all these fabulous rides. If you're a previous Pigeon Forge visitor, you're probably no stranger to what locals generally call the “rod runs,” but if this is a new experience for you, we'll give you an idea of what to look for as car-show season begins in earnest.
It's usually one of the first decisions you make when you're planning a trip to any vacation destination: Where are you going to stay? It makes sense to do that first, because if you don't secure your accommodations, there's not much point in planning all the other aspects of your trip first. So this week, we'll give you a quick overview of your lodging options in the Great Smoky Mountains. We won't be recommending any specific properties, but we will give you some idea of what types of properties are available so you can make the best choice to fit your time frame, budget and size of your party.
There's been a trend taking place in the Great Smoky Mountains over the past 10 years or so. We've been seeing more and more dinner attractions come to Pigeon Forge, entertaining productions that combine multicourse meals with spectacular competition-based shows. The one that's been around the longest, the show originally known as Dixie Stampede, got it all started back in the '80s, and now several more have joined the ranks, giving area visitors more choices than ever when it comes to entertainment.
When we say we're going to give you five reasons to visit the Smokies this week, we literally mean on a weekday, not a weekend. Now that most everybody's school systems are back in session for the school year, weekdays offer a lot of travel potential, especially while we're still blanketed by warm summer weather. So read on to discover a few of the benefits that await the August weekday traveler.
It's basic math. With all those families with school-age children most likely NOT taking their vacations right now, that means a significant drop-off in the number of folks in general visiting the Smokies during the week. That translates into less traffic coming into town and getting around between Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is something to consider if you're a younger couple without kids or a retired couple with grown children. In fact, this is roughly the beginning of a lull in area visitation that lasts until October, when more people start taking fall breaks and heading to the mountains to see the fall colors.
Look out, Dollywood Splash Country, there's a new water park in town. At least there will be next year, when Soaky Mountain Waterpark makes its debut in Sevierville. The 50-acre outdoor attraction will be operated by Wilderness at the Smokies Resort and will be located across the street from both the resort and the Sevierville Convention Center.
The groundbreaking on the waterpark took place earlier this week, and when it's completed by next spring, it will be open to the general public. Wilderness at the Smokies resort currently has both indoor and outdoor water parks on its property, but those are only open to guests. With the opening of Soaky Mountain Waterpark, a much wider range of area visitors will be able to access everything the attraction has to offer.
Don't let the warm, sunny days fool you. Kids (and their teachers) are getting geared up for another school year. That means it's time to put away all the swimming trunks and golf clubs and hiking gear and prepare to buckle down for a semester of homework and exams.
Or does it? Summer doesn't officially end until September, and we're going to have season-appropriate weather until then too, so school or no school, it's just too early to give up on a lot of people's favorite time of year. That's why, this week, we're going to offer some suggestions for things you can still do to celebrate summer in the Smokies before school starts. Whether you have time to pack in an entire family vacation or maybe just plan on a last-hurrah weekend, these ideas will steer you toward plenty of warm-weather fun.
I think we can all agree that most of us spend way too much time on our phones and other devices these days. It's so easy to get swept away in a sea of social media, games, texting and other electronic pursuits. Too often, this comes at the cost of human interaction and basic conversation. When you visit a place like Great Smoky Mountains National Park, having your nose stuck in your phone screen is an even worse no-no. Why stare at Facebook when you have some of the most beautiful scenery in the country in front of your actual face.
Once or twice a year, we try to use our blog to spread the word to visitors about the dos and don'ts of encountering black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains. The National Park Service has a number of recommendations (and laws) in place to discourage human-bear interaction, all of which are for the benefit of both the bears and the millions of human guests that visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year.
However, a video surfaced online a few days ago that reminds us that we still have a long way to go when it comes to educating the public about the inherent risks and dangers of getting too close to bears in the national park. A man touring the Cades Cove section of GSMNP saw a mama bear and several of her young cubs walking across a parking area. The man approached the adult bear in an effort to shoo her away, and in return, the protective mama lunged at the man in a threatening way. He was fortunate to escape the encounter unharmed.
You have to admit it; ziplining is a unique way to spend a morning or afternoon when you're on vacation. There's nothing else quite like it – especially in the Smokies – because it combines so many great elements. You get to spend time outdoors, you're treated to some fantastic mountain views, you get an adrenaline rush unlike any other you're likely to experience in this area, you get to spend time with family/friends, and you may very well be doing something that pushes you outside your comfort zone or possibly even gets you to confront a fear or two.
If it weren't for the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it's possible that the Smokies area as we know it – Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville – wouldn't have developed into the tourism destination that it is today. The park itself has become one of the most popular in the nation. In fact, it's the most visited, with some 10 million guests passing through its gates each year.
The natural beauty of the park is what draws people from all over the world, while recreational activities like hiking, biking, fishing, camping, swimming and picnicking make visiting GSMNP even more enjoyable. But did you know the National Park Service has even more in store for park guests? This week, we'll introduce you to a sampling of the regular special events and ranger-led programs that add a whole new dimension to what Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer.
Now that summer is officially here (plus it's already been hot for several weeks now), the conditions are perfect for getting outside and enjoying a couple of extreme attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains – whitewater rafting and ziplining. The great thing about them is that almost anyone who's willing can participate in both activities, even if they've never done either one before.
Right now, the conditions are great for whitewater rafting. You'll find several companies located around Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville that operate whitewater expeditions on area waterways like the Ocoee River and the Big Pigeon River. The outposts themselves are mostly located in Hartford, TN, which is near the North Carolina border.
One of the great things about vacationing is not having to cook. Being able to eat out makes mealtime a lot easier, because other people are doing all the preparing and serving. Sometimes, though, it can be tough for a family to agree on exactly where to eat when traveling. With so many restaurant choices (especially in the Smokies), visitors are faced with narrowing down the selection three times a day, and that can be difficult when you're trying to cater to everyone's preferences.
There are so many attractions in the Smokies these days, it's amazing that enough people visit the area to keep all those places in business. But fortunately, with millions of people passing through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg every year, it's easy to see why new attractions still come to town. It's a classic case of supply meeting the demand.
At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're now offering new pricing options that offer more flexibility than ever for anyone interested in experiencing one of our Pigeon Forge zipline tours.
Our canopy tour takes adventure to new heights with lines that are as long as 800 feet and more than 150 feet off the ground. The course features seven ziplines of varying lengths that offer a total of nearly 5,000 feet in zipline length. The tour features towering pole platforms offering one-of-a-kind scenic views of the Smokies, and we have tree platforms that get you closer to the foliage than anyone else. We also have a vertical descent feature and a state-of-the-art braking system for hands-free ziplining fun.
Maybe you're not a big planner. Maybe you were thinking about traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains area this week, but you didn't already buy attractions and theater tickets online. Or maybe you've given very little thought to what you want to do once you get to the Smokies other than check into your motel or overnight rental and go wherever the wind takes you.
If that describes you (and even if your travel plans are later in the spring/summer season), we're going to throw a few ideas your way today that you can easily grab onto and put into action, whenever you happen to be arriving in the Smokies. These are all fun for the whole family, and most of them allow you to enjoy the fresh air and the beauty of being in the great outdoors.
A few weeks ago, we shared information about how to enter the lottery to receive a parking pass to see the synchronous fireflies in the Elkmont section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Notifications went out on May 10, and unfortunately, most who applied online for a pass weren't fortunate enough to be selected (we actually count ourselves in that number).
However, many of you may have been among the lucky ones to receive one of the thousand daily passes, which are required to park at Sugarlands Visitor Center and be shuttled to Elkmont for the firefly viewings. Also, it's very possible that some of you visiting Elkmont immediately before or after the official May 30 to June 6 viewing period might encounter this natural phenomenon as well. If you wind up getting to see the synchronous fireflies this year, here are some guidelines and suggestions for making the experience a positive one for you as well as for your fellow park visitors.
Dollywood has been open since March, but the latest addition to the multimillion-dollar Pigeon Forge theme park didn't start welcoming visitors until this past weekend. If you missed the first few days of Wildwood Grove, never fear. This new themed section of the park will probably be around for a long time, and if you're planning a trip to the Smokies later this year, you'll still get to experience it while it still has “that new theme park smell.” Whatever that is…
You've probably heard of the term "suspension of disbelief," which is the mechanism that allows our otherwise rational minds to accept unbelievable premises in books, films and television. But with the opening of the new SkyBridge attraction in Gatlinburg on May 17, visitors may still need a moment or two to process some pretty unbelievable sights.
SkyBridge is being billed as the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, and it promises to give visitors some uniquely awe-inspiring views of the nearby Great Smoky Mountains as well as the city of Gatlinburg nestled in the valley below.
In case you haven't noticed lately, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have become some of the most magical cities in the Smokies. We don't mean that figuratively either. These days, there are no fewer than four different live magic shows taking place at different theater venues around the area. We guess you can chalk that up to the fact that magic is universally appealing and entertaining. Mankind has enjoyed not believing his own eyes for centuries, so it should come as no surprise that when traveling, 21st-century vacationers enjoy taking a couple of hours to lose themselves in a world of impossibilities.
If you've never ridden a zipline before, you may be wondering if just anyone can step up and take that leap of faith to go sailing among the treetops like a bird. The short answer is yes – with just a few exceptions.
There are some age and weight limitations that we have in place for safety reasons. As far as age goes, you must be at least eight years old and weigh at least 60 pounds to ride. If you're any lighter than that, the physics aren't in your favor; you're simply not heavy enough to make it all the way from one tower to the next. The maximum guest weight allowed is 275 pounds.
One of the most spectacular annual events in the Smokies is coming up soon, and if you want to participate, you'll have to play the lottery.
We're not talking about the Tennessee Lottery but Great Smoky Mountains National Park's lottery that awards a limited number of parking passes to see this year's synchronous fireflies.
Okay, let's take a step backward before we pass on the lottery info. First, for those who don't know what synchronous fireflies are, they are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in the national park. What makes them unique, however, is that they are the only species in America that is capable, as a group, of flashing their lights in unison. This phenomenon occurs exclusively in the Elkmont section of the national park and only one other location on the entire planet.
In case you didn't realize it, we're smack in the middle of car-show season here in Pigeon Forge and the rest of the Smokies. Just in the past few weeks, we've seen several events roll into town, including the Spring Corvette Expo in Pigeon Forge, the Ponies in the Smokies show in Sevierville and the Smoky Mountain Stangs car show in Sevierville, all of which took place in March.
This weekend, we're getting geared up (pun intended) for two more big car events, so if you're an automotive fan, you may want to mark your calendars and pile into your own roadster for a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Let's get one thing out of the way early: Ziplining is fun. Even if you're a little fearful in the process, you can't deny that it's one of the most exciting adventures you could undertake while on a Smoky Mountains vacation. However, if that weren't reason enough (and it should be), there are several additional benefits the ziplining experience can provide. So in addition to the sheer entertainment value, spending a morning or afternoon with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines can enhance your life in many other ways. This week, we'll share just a few of them.
Dollywood has been open for a couple of weeks now, so chances are that if you're reading this, you probably haven't made your first pilgrimage of the year yet. If that's true, then read on and discover just a few examples of what's in store if you decide to visit the long-running Pigeon Forge theme park in 2019.
This new section of Dollywood represents that park's largest additional investment in the past thirty-plus years. It's designed to help families explore, play and imagine together in a way that Dollywood visitors haven't previously experienced. Within the section, which is designed to look like a hidden magical village, are several new rides and attractions intended to appeal to a wide range of ages.
Spring officially arrives Thursday. That calls for a celebration. And we can't think of a better way to commemorate the occasion than by pulling together a quick trip to Pigeon Forge this weekend. It's not hard. You shouldn't have any trouble finding a hotel/motel room or an overnight rental on this short notice, and even if you just want to make a day trip out of it, there's plenty going on in town to fill even the most ambitious of itineraries.
It's not even officially spring in the Smokies yet, but it sure is starting to feel like it. The area is starting to shake itself loose from its winter slumber and stretch and yawn its way into a brand-new season of getaway fun in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. That's true for us here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, where we've already kicked off our 2019 season and are looking forward to nine more months of showing visitors to our area how to zipline Pigeon Forge.
As of last Friday, Smoky Mountain Ziplines is officially open for its 2019 season! Along with the first appearance of the robin and the blooming of flowers, it's one of our sure signs that spring is just around the corner in the Smokies. Fortunately, this past off-season didn't drag out too long, and now we're excited to be opening our doors and welcoming visitors to our Smoky Mountain zip line and canopy tour.
We usually spend a little time each spring sharing previews of new businesses coming to the Great Smoky Mountains – attractions, restaurants, shopping destinations, etc. This year, however, has been a banner year in terms of the number of new places planning to open their doors in 2019. There's been so much that we've spent weeks telling you about all the newcomers, and we're not done yet. Read on to learn about several cool things that you can add to your possible vacation plans this summer.
We've spent the past several weeks using our blog to highlight new attractions and restaurants and the like. This week, we're going to keep the ball rolling by expanding a little bit on a topic we touched on in last week's post. That's when we told you about August Moon Drive-In, a new indoor drive-in movie attraction coming to the Mountain Mile development in Pigeon Forge either later this year or early next year.
We've spent the past few weeks previewing lots of cool things that will be brand-new to the Smokies this year. So far, we've talked about Blake Shelton's Ole Red restaurant as well as Dolly Parton's Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show and the new Wildwood Grove addition at Dollywood theme park.
While Smoky Mountain Ziplines is on winter hiatus, we've been taking some time to promote some other great attractions here in Pigeon Forge and throughout the Smokies area. More specifically, we've been sharing information about new points of interest that will be making their debut in the very near future – by spring, in most cases.
This week, the spotlight shines on Dollywood theme park, which will be unveiling a brand-new section called Wildwood Grove when it opens its gates next month to start its 2019 season. It marks the largest single expansion in park history and is designed to provide an adventurous place for guests to explore, imagine and play together as a family.
Last week, we told you about Blake Shelton's new dinner/entertainment venture, Ole Red, which will open in downtown Gatlinburg in March. This week, we're going to keep the ball rolling with a preview of another new attraction coming to the Smokies for 2019. Smoky Mountain Ziplines is closed for winter, but we can all look forward to spring by learning about some of the other fun places set to make their debut in the near future.
Remember when country music celebs used to frequently lend their names to business ventures in the Smokies? Back in the day, stars like Alan Jackson, Louise Mandrell and Lee Greenwood had entertainment/dining establishments with their branding on them in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. For that matter, Mandrell and Greenwood used to star in their own shows throughout the year.
In more recent years, however, that trend has fallen by the wayside, except for Dollywood, of course, and celebrity cook Paula Deen, who now has a restaurant and a lumberjack-themed dinner attraction with her name on the shingle. Now the Smokies are about to welcome another familiar name to the tourism mix – Blake Shelton, whose Ole Red restaurant and entertainment venue will be making its debut in Gatlinburg some time in March.
If you've ever visited the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, you know that a person can pack a lot of fun into a day there. But just because the sun goes down doesn't mean your day in the Smokies has to come to an end. All you night owls may be happy to know that there's a lot of excitement to be experienced after sunset as well. This week, we would like to share a few ideas for fun ways to extend your vacation day well into the night.
1. Winterfest lights. As a matter of fact, nighttime is the best time to experience all the colorful animated light displays that are still going strong throughout Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. If you're planning to visit the Smokies any time between now and the end of February you'll have a chance to see them in all their shining glory. In Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, you can get maps from those towns' respective visitor bureaus that will show you some of the best routes to take to experience all that winter magic. With traffic running a little lighter because of the off-season, you should have no trouble navigating your way throughout the area. In Gatlinburg, the city offers special trolley tours – the Trolley Ride of Lights – through January 26. For $5 per person, you can hop a climate-controlled trolley and see the best post-holiday light show that Gatlinburg has to offer.
We're more than two weeks into the government shutdown, and as we post this, there's no immediate end in sight. In our area, the shutdown's biggest impact has been on Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here's what the park website says about it:
“During the partial shutdown of the federal government due to the lapse of appropriation, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures. Roads and trails that are seasonably open will remain accessible to visitors, but emergency and rescue services will be limited. The park will not be operating campgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms or providing trash collecting services.”
The paint is still wet on 2019. We've still got a fresh new year going, one in which resolutions are probably still holding strong (or maybe by a thread?) and there's a lot of positive momentum propelling us into the next 12 months.
With that in mind, think about some ways you might stretch yourself a little this year. And no, we're not talking about yoga classes (although yoga is actually very beneficial); we're talking about seeking out challenges that might push your comfort level a little bit or perhaps even help you conquer a fear or specific anxiety.
Can you believe we've all completed yet another trip around the sun? Once again, it's already time to bid one year farewell while ushering in a new one. And if you have travel plans to visit the Great Smoky Mountains this weekend, you're in luck. You can enjoy all the usual benefits of a trip to the Smokies, but while you're here, you can also take your pick of several different special events that will allow you to ring in 2019 in a most festive manner. This week, we'll tell you about just a few of the New Year's Eve happenings in our area for Monday night.
This may seem blasphemous to some of you, but there's no law that says you have to spend the Christmas holiday at your home or at the home of a family member. In fact, have you ever considered a vacation Christmas away from home? If not, this year may be the perfect time to try it, and believe it or not, it's not too late to put together an unforgettable Christmas vacation of your very own in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The best part is that you don't have to include Cousin Eddie if you don't want to.
What's the most fun way to travel downhill in the Smokies? It's Smoky Mountain Ziplines, naturally! Our course features seven individual ziplines that take you from the top of our scenic wooded mountain to the bottom in high-speed fashion. We offer one of the longest zipline experiences in the area, and you'll discover there's nothing quite like soaring through the treetops like a bird to add a little adrenaline boost to your day.
Here we are. Down to just the last few weeks before Christmas Day. If you haven't gotten serious about your holiday shopping yet, then now is the time. All hands on deck! This is not a drill! (Unless you just bought someone a new power drill, in which case, it IS a drill…) The good news is that if you're going to be hanging out in the Smokies any time during the next few weeks, you might find Christmas shopping to be easier than ever thanks to the wealth of retail shopping opportunities you'll find in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. In case you're not sure how to get started, read on, and we'll lay out a few guidelines for you.
During Smoky Mountain Winterfest, the communities of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville go all out to celebrate Christmas and the entire holiday period. That includes millions of colorful lights and dozens of seasonally themed events. Our local music theaters always get in on the act too, offering up special holiday versions of their usual stage productions. Whether it's music, magic or games of competition in the spotlight, if you take in a show between now and the end of the year, there's a good chance you'll wind up receiving a little extra Christmas cheer.
Lots of visitors to the Smokies are familiar with Smoky Mountain Knife Works, located along Tenn. Hwy. 66 between downtown Sevierville and Interstate 40. For four decades, this popular retail destination has attracted a growing number of customers with its immense collection of knives, accessories, apparel and sporting goods.
But a lot of folks who come in to browse the multilevel, 110,000-square-foot facility may not be aware that one section of the store is a virtual time machine, a unique space capable of giving guests authentic glimpses as far back into the past as millions of years. It's called the Relic Room. Located on the bottom level of the Knife Works, this modestly sized corner of Smoky Mountain Knife Works houses a treasure trove of historical artifacts and relics from virtually every time period and from every culture around the world.
A few months ago, we told you about a new section of Foothills Parkway that was expected to open in the fall. That future arrived last week, and with the opening of the so-called “Missing Link,” motorists, bikers and cyclists can now enjoy an uninterrupted 33-mile stretch of road that runs from U.S. Hwy. 129 near Chilhowee Lake to Wears Valley, TN.
All good things must come to an end, and here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're looking at wrapping up our 2018 season within the next few weeks. It's nice out now, but soon, the weather conditions will get to the point where it's not feasible for us to stay open; it's just about that time of year when folks start to shy away from outdoor activities. In the meantime, however, we encourage you to take advantage of these beautiful fall days and come spend a few hours on our ziplines in the Smoky Mountains.
Even though we finally started getting fall weather just a few weeks ago, believe it or not, it's already time for winter in the Great Smoky Mountains. It's true. While the season doesn't officially hit for another six weeks or so, the cities of the Smokies aren't waiting around to begin celebrating that magical time of year. Several will be kicking off their own respective Winterfest activities next week, and that's just the beginning of what will wind up being four months' worth of decorations and special events.
This time of year, the Smokies is packed with things to do – Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are home to tons of fun attractions, music shows and special events. And then there's Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is this region's best and most fun playground, a beautiful setting for everything from hiking and camping to fishing and picnicking.
At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're still operating on our regular schedule, for the next few weeks at least, so we invite you to come visit us while the fall foliage is undergoing its annual color transformation. Plus we've been experiencing some gorgeous sunny days accented by cool, crisp temperatures. These are the kinds of days that make being outdoors in the Smokies in autumn one of life's simple pleasures.
Are you planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains this month? If so, you won't be alone. Besides the peak summer months of June, July and August, October is one of the busiest times of the year in terms of visitation. So if you're headed this way within the next couple of weeks or so, we can offer you several good reasons for coming to Smoky Mountain Ziplines while you're in the area.
The Great Smoky Mountains are beautiful any time of year, whether the forests are lush green or bare of leaves during winter. But in autumn, the leaves transform from green to shades of red, yellow and orange, making the local landscape a stunning canvas of color. This year, the change of foliage is running a little later than it has in past years. We're starting to see more colors appearing in the higher elevations, while in the valleys and lowlands, most trees are still quite green and are just now giving us our first glimpses of different colors.
Well shiver me timbers… Thar be not one but two new pirate-themed stage shows dropping anchor in the Great Smoky Mountains in 2019. We learned about last week, but for those of you who may not have heard much about either, we thought we'd pass along a sneak peek of what's in store for Smokies visitors next year.
Both shows are being produced by familiar names to regular partakers of live entertainment in this area. First up is Dolly Parton's Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, an attraction that follows on the heels of the original production that's been going strong in the Myrtle Beach area for 10 years already. When complete, the 21,000-square-foot arena, to be located adjacent to The Island in Pigeon Forge, will see teams of Crimson and Sapphire pirates battling on deck, in the water and in the sky above full-sized pirate ships in a 15-foot-deep lagoon.
Autumn is one of our favorite seasons here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. The weather usually strikes a perfect balance during October, with moderate temperatures hovering between warm and comfortable and many sunny days that are ideal for enjoying our Pigeon Forge zipline adventure. This is also the season that the foliage throughout our region begins changing colors. It's an annual seasonal rite of passage that draws visitors from all over the world to the Smokies, just to witness the beauty that nature exudes as our leaves morph from green to a spectrum of yellow, orange and red.
As we mentioned last week, Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival is well under way in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. This annual celebration of autumn will continue through November 25, with each community participating by putting out lots of fall décor and hosting a wide array of special events.
We've already briefly touched on the ways Dollywood will be participating in Harvest Festival, but this week, we want to dig a little deeper and give you all a closer look at how this Pigeon Forge theme park will be laying down its own welcome mat as visitors flock to the Smokies during the next couple of months.
You can't say we don't do things in a big way in the Great Smoky Mountains. Even our special events can last for months and months. Such happens to be the case with Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, which is currently under way and runs through November 25.
Actually, this celebration of autumn in the mountains kicked off on September 7, but now that summer is officially coming to an end in the next few days, we feel a little better about talking fall in the Smokies. And besides, it seems those sweltering days of summer may just be giving way to the first cool brushes of a new season.
Here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we've watched a lot of people ride ziplines in the years that we've been open – probably thousands of people at this point. As a result, we've come to notice that the majority of our customers fall into one of five different categories of zipline riders, based on their physical and emotional reactions to the zipline experience. There can be some areas of overlap – where one person might exhibit characteristics of two or more of the zipliner profiles – but for the most part, most people tend to fall primarily into one category.
Chances are that most of you reading this have probably used up all your summer vacation time for the year. Lots of folks like to make their big vacay trips while the kids are out for summer break, and at this point, those breaks have ended for most, if not all, of you.
But that doesn't mean you can't find time to play in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Assuming you have typical work hours or you're a stay-at-home parent, you probably still have your weekends free, and those come around every seven days. So if you're itching to get back to the mountains, mark your calendar for an upcoming weekend. And to help you out, we're passing along several ideas for things you can easily fit into a single two-day getaway.
If you continued reading past the headline, expecting a story about the disappearance of some sort of half-man, half-ape creature, we hate to disappoint you. However, what we're talking about this week is still an interesting story, and one that could have more of a direct impact on your own life.
The link we're talking about this week is a section of road that's been missing from the Foothills Parkway, a national parkway that winds its way through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Until recently, it's had the dubious honor of being the oldest unfinished highway project in the state, long stalled by funding difficulties. How long? The project was first authorized by Congress in 1944, and as of 2010, only one-third of the parkway had been completed and open to traffic.
With the recent passing of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, it made us think about how many musical greats we've lost over the years. Legends like Roy Orbison, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson – the list goes on and on – have left us, often before their time, taking with them some of the greatest voices and talents of their generations.
Fortunately, their music lives on today in their recorded works, but if you're visiting the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, you can also hear AND SEE how their legacies are still going strong at several different music theater venues. This week, we'll be sharing information about some of the shows around here that allow you to reconnect with a number of dearly departed artists – through the senses of both sound and sight.
Yep, the kiddos are all back in school (Hallelujah!), so for them, summer is over, for all intents and purposes. But have you checked the calendar or a thermometer lately? Both would indicate that summer is officially still in full swing. And that means there's still plenty of warm-weather fun in store for those of us who aren't tied down too tightly by school schedules.
So this week, we'll be passing along some ideas for a last summer hurrah (or hurrahs), as it were. These are just a few of the ways you can still milk the season for all it's worth and make the most of things before fall and winter start to creep their way into the Great Smoky Mountains.
There's good news this week from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Clingmans Dome Observation Tower is open once again to the public after being closed for several weeks. The tower had been closed so work crews could add surfacing to the ramp leading up to the tower, part of a major renovation project that began in 2017.
This latest phase of the project is complete, but visitors should be aware that although the tower is accessible again, there is still construction equipment at the site. And as always, the ramp is considered too steep for wheelchair and bicycle access. (Pets are also still prohibited.)
Last week, we offered four suggestions for things that you might avoid doing when you're vacationing in the Smokies. These included staying glued to your phone throughout your entire trip; feeding or getting too close to bears; overlooking discounts on shows, attractions, shops and restaurants; and forgetting to factor in the weather when making your daily plans. Again, these are all things NOT to do on vacation.
We're back this week with four more ideas for common vacay pitfalls that might be worth steering clear of. Some of them may be things you've frequently done in the past, but we think that changing things up on that next trip might actually improve your experience.
If you ask friends or family what you should do when vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains, you'll probably get more advice than one person can reasonably handle. And that's OK. It's always better to have more choices than fewer when you're planning a trip. But on the flip side of the coin, you'll probably rarely get advice about what NOT to do on vacation. And that's too bad, because sometimes, knowing what to avoid can be just as beneficial as knowing what to seek out.
If you've never been a guest here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, then it probably wouldn't surprise you if we used this blog post to brag a little bit about our Pigeon Forge zip line adventure. After all, that's what businesses do – point out their positive attributes so they'll sound appealing to visitors.
If you're looking for ideas for creating unforgettable memories on your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, read on. This week, we're going to make our case for why a trip to Smoky Mountain Ziplines should be on your itinerary when you visit the mountains of East Tennessee. We think the evidence is overwhelming, so by the time you're done with this blog post, you may already have your phone (or mouse) in hand, making plans to come see us.
With some 10 million people crossing its borders each year, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country. And for good reason. It's one of the largest national parks by area, and within its 800 square miles (spanning two states) are unspoiled forests, majestic mountains, pristine waterways and thousands of species of living creatures, from insects to elk.
In fact, the creation of the national park is one of the main factors that the nearby communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville developed into tourist destinations, and to this day, the park is one of the primary reasons that visitors cite for why they choose to come to this special part of the country.
Pretty much everybody that spends any time at all with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines has a great experience. But to ensure that our guests stay safe and also enjoy themselves, we have certain rules and guidelines into place. For example, there are weight and age restrictions, and we expect our guests to dress appropriately before arriving.
But beyond the hard-and-fast rules, there are certain things that are useful to know before visiting our Pigeon Forge attraction. You might categorize these recommendations more as etiquette – guidelines that aren't required but are certainly helpful in guaranteeing that you and your fellow tour guests can enjoy the ziplining experience as much as possible. Here's a list of a few things NOT to do when ziplining.
Someone must have broken the sun. It's stuck on the HOT setting, and we can't seem to get any relief from the heat and humidity this week. And local forecasts don't call for much rain to help us out in the near future.
But you shouldn't let early-summer heat discourage you from getting out and enjoying a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, whether it's just for the weekend or for a full week-long family vacation. There are plenty of places to go and things you can do to relax, enjoy yourselves and keep your collective cool in the process. Here are just a few ideas for how to beat the heat this summer in the Smokies.
Here we are, in the thick of summer vacation season, which means there's a good chance that if you haven't already, you and your family will be venturing out for some fun and play time away from home. We hope that your plans for this year include spending some time in the Great Smoky Mountains, but just because it's summer, that doesn't mean all learning has to cease when you and your kids visit our area. Here in the Smokies, we offer a number of attractions that incorporate educational components into their missions to entertain. With some of this week's suggestions, your kids (and you) can have a lot of fun and also learn a thing or two in the process. It's a summertime win-win situation.
If you've never ridden a zipline before, there's a good chance there will be some parts of the experience that take you by surprise. But even if you're a seasoned zipliner, we think your first time trying out our Pigeon Forge zip line attraction will still have its share of unexpected plusses. This week, let's take a look at some of the ways you might be pleasantly surprised by your first visit to our little corner of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Hopefully, you'll find some time to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park on your next trip to East Tennessee. Spread out across two different states, the park offers a beautiful and scenic way to enjoy some of your favorite outdoor activities, including fishing, camping, swimming, biking and touring historic sites.
Of course, hiking is one of the most popular things to do in the park. There are dozens of hiking trails in the Smokies, adding up to more than 800 miles in total length. And in summer, we recommend that you try to make at least one of your hikes a waterfall destination. They're fun to look at, and on those warmer summer days, they'll help keep you cool at the same time.
This has been a big topic in the news around here lately. Saying, “Don't feed the bears” has almost become a cliché in our culture, but it's based in fact, and the consequences of giving human food to wild bears can be tragic. Just this past week, a mother bear and two of her yearling cubs had to be euthanized by national park officials because park visitors encroached on the animals' territory and fed them. It's really a shame when humans disobey the rules, and the bears are the ones that have to pay for it.
Who's Ole Red, you may be asking? It's not so much a question of “who” as it is “what.” When it makes its debut in Gatlinburg next year, Ole Red will be a $9 million entertainment venue presented by Grand Ole Opry member Blake Shelton in conjunction with Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc.
Expected to open next spring in the heart of Gatlinburg, Ole Red's 16,000 square feet will include a two-story restaurant and bar, a retail area, performance space, dance floor and outdoor terrace. The chef-driven menu will feature a few Nashville classics like hot chicken and waffles as well as barbecue, burgers and other Southern favorites.
We definitely want you to spend some time with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines on your next trip to East Tennessee. But chances are you're going to be in town for at least a few days, and that's a lot of time to fill. So at some point, you'll need to come up with other ways to enjoy yourselves besides whooping it up on our ziplines in Gatlinburg.
We can all agree that vacations are fun. Whether you're traveling with your kids, heading out on a romantic getaway with your significant other or just exploring the mountains on your own, spending time in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is an experience you'll remember for the rest of your life.
The reality is, of course, that all that fun comes at a price. Vacations cost money, and if you and your family plan to spend multiple days at any destination, the bill can add up quickly. Of course, that just goes with the territory, and it's not something you should let spoil your fun. But this week, we will offer you some tips for saving a little dough on your next trip to the Smokies – all with goal of easing some of the sticker shock that goes with any road trip.
Spring weather has been reluctant to gain a strong foothold in the Smokies so far this year, but we're still seeing telltale signs that warmer days are upon us. One of the most visible clues is that area golf courses are starting to green up and attract recreational players from all over the country. We're heading into prime golfing season, so if you're fond of hitting the links every spring and summer, you'll find a lot of golfing choices in the Smoky Mountains.
This week, we'll give you an overview of some of the area options available when it comes to knocking out a few rounds on the links. Local clubs and courses offer a wide range of skill levels, settings and amenities, so no matter what your preferences may be, chances are you'll be able to find the venue that best suits your needs.
Several years ago, there was a show called Lumberjack Feud in Pigeon Forge. It ran for many years and featured exhibitions and competitions starring actual lumberjack athletes. It was all wrapped up in the context of a live show, so it was entertaining on many levels. That theater was eventually purchased by the Dollywood company and the lumberjack theme was revamped into another type of show. But this spring, Lumberjack Feud is back in the Smokies.
At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we pride ourselves on being home to some of the best ziplines Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville have to offer. Our mountain outpost boasts seven different zipline runs that total more than 4,200 feet in cable length. It's an experience that combines treetop elevations, fast zipline runs and some of the best views you'll find in the Great Smoky Mountains.
One of the sure signs that spring has really arrived is the start of baseball season. From Little League to Major League, baseball fans all over the country are gearing up to cheer on their favorite teams, and those of us who live in the Smoky Mountains are no exception. Each year, we look forward to five months of exciting baseball action with the Tennessee Smokies, a AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.
The Smokies kick off their season this week, on the road against the Mississippi Braves, on Thursday, April 5. The home season gets started on April 11, when the Smokies return to Smokies Park for a five-game stand against the Jackson Generals. First pitch for Wednesday and Thursday is 11:30 a.m., with starting times of 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The history of arts and crafts in the Great Smoky Mountains is substantial. In fact, once upon a time, skills like broom making and woodworking weren't even considered art forms. They were ways of life that were necessary to survival in the mountains in the 18th and 19th centuries. But even as modern ways came to the Smokies, these craft forms managed to live on, getting passed down from generation to generation.
Crafts even played a major role in the development of tourism in the Smokies, as local residents began selling their wares to visitors coming to explore what was then the newly formed Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In fact, the very first tourist-oriented business in Pigeon Forge was a pottery shop dating back to the 1940s.
Don't let the snow and frigid temperatures that sneaked into the Smokies this week fool you. Spring is officially here, and before you know it, more pleasant, sunny days will have settled back in here for good, which means your playtime options in the mountains will be wide open again until fall. Whether you've already got a vacation to the Smokies planned for this spring or you just have a vague itch to travel that needs scratching, the possibilities are greatly expanded now that nature is laying out its welcome mat.
In case you weren't already aware, Smoky Mountain Ziplines is open for the season. And it's looking like this weekend might be a great opportunity to help us kick off 2018 by experiencing some of the area's best ziplines, Smoky Mountains beauty and some awesome spring weather, all at the same time.
But we're not the only Pigeon Forge attraction that's getting geared up for the millions of visitors who come to the Smoky Mountains every year. At Dollywood theme park, the gates open for the 2018 season on Friday, March 16, so this week, we thought we'd give you a sneak peek at what you can expect if you decide to go there this year.
Smoky Mountain Ziplines is officially open for the 2018 season! And we're excited to be back, providing our guests with an unforgettable experience that includes ziplines, Smoky Mountains and more fun than you've probably had in a long time. If you've ziplined with us in previous years, then you have a good idea of what we have to offer. But if you've never ziplined with us before, or if you've never been on a zipline at all, then read on for an overview of everything we'll have to offer this year.
Traveling with kids can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a challenge, especially if the tykes are around age 10 or younger. They're still at an age where they might need a little assistance from mom and dad when it comes to staying mentally occupied, not to mention the fact that the littlest of the little actually might need physical assistance in the form of a stroller or perhaps being carried from time to time as the day wears on.
So when you're on vacation, finding the right points of interest to visit is important. You want to go places that the whole family can enjoy, which is not an easy task when you're talking about a wide range of ages. So this week, read on to pick up a few ideas for places where your younger offspring will have a good time – and hopefully, with a minimum of fussiness.
We may still be in February, but you can already sense the buzz around town as spring bears down on us. It seems like everyone around here is more than ready for winter to say goodbye and for spring to return with its warmer days and its budding trees and flowers. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're ready to get cranked up for this season too, but until we are able to officially welcome our visitors back to zipline Smoky Mountains in 2018, we can tell you about a bunch of new and newish things to look forward to in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.
February hasn't historically been considered one of the prime months for visiting the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee (although there's really never a BAD time to visit), but that doesn't mean you can't start licking your chops now and looking ahead to see what lies waiting later this year when you do finally make that next trip to the Smokies. So to help give you a sneak preview of what's in store in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville this year, read on. We can do some early unveiling of a number of new attractions, restaurants, shops and more, and in the process, we might just spark a few ideas for what your next mountain vacation may entail.
There's just a little over a week left until Valentine's Day, that special occasion when couples of all ages, all over the world, celebrate their mutual love. For many, it's a holiday of tradition, one that involves gift giving and other demonstrations of affection. This year, however, consider upping your game a little bit and making the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee the backdrop for this year's romantic festivities.
This week, we at Smoky Mountain Ziplines would like to pass along some suggestions for ways you can incorporate all things Valentine into an awesome getaway to the mountains.
It'll be another month or so before we're back open for the 2018 season here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, but we figured it wouldn't be too early to give you a taste of what we'll have going on here this year at our outpost, which offers the best ziplining Sevierville, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg have to offer.
Last week, we started looking at some of the watershed events in the history of the Great Smoky Mountains area – not from a geological standpoint but more from a perspective of how what used to be just a quiet, scenic corner of Tennessee evolved into one of the most booming tourism destinations in the nation.
We started off pointing out that land grants following the Revolutionary War led to much of the early European settlement of the region. Life in general was fairly uneventful until the formation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, beginning in the late 1920s and culminating with the park's dedication in the early 1940s.
We've just kicked off a new year, but this week, we thought we'd spend some time looking back. Way back…
When you drive through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg on your way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you probably don't give much thought to how or why these communities became what they are. This is a bustling tourism Mecca adjacent to a national park, both of which welcome millions and millions of guests each year from all over the world.
But when you stop and think about it, it's really a remarkable story. Why this place? And what did it take to transform a few sleepy, rural communities into some of the most visited in the nation? This week, we're going to point back to some watershed moments in the history of our area, each of which made a unique contribution to that transformation.
Smoky Mountain Ziplines is taking a break for the winter, but we'll be back in just a couple of months, weather permitting. However, just because things are a little quiet around here right now doesn't mean that the entire zipline universe has ceased to exist. We've dug up tidbits about all sorts of interesting new zipline developments from all over the world.
Let's start in Paris, France, where the famed Eiffel Tower added a new attraction component last summer. Named Le Perrier Smash, the half-mile-long line stretched from the tower, across the Champs de Mars, to the L'École Militaire. It was, not surprisingly, orchestrated by the Perrier company to celebrate the start of the French Open in May.
Baby, it's cold outside, if you haven't noticed. This time of year, there's always a higher risk of sub-freezing temperatures, but for the last week or so, we've really been dealing with a cold snap in the Smokies, to say the least. Chances are, you have too, even if you are from outside our state.
Those of us who live here in the South aren't as used to dealing with this kind of weather as our northern friends are, so this week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines would like to share some tips for coping with days and nights when the temps get down into the single digits. Whether you're planning on riding out the cold at home or even braving the frigid air to spend some fun time in the Smokies, we've got a few ideas for keeping yourself safe and warm.
Twenty-seventeen is wrapping up, and soon, we'll be ushering in a new year. New years are times for new beginnings, but historically, the months of January and February have been slow days in the Smokies. Tourism numbers drop during the cold winter months, and although more businesses stay open during the traditional off season than in years past, some still go into hibernation until spring. That even goes for our Smoky Mountains zipline attraction.
For the past couple of weeks, we've been sharing suggestions for cool, fun places to visit in the Great Smoky Mountains. Specifically, we've been focusing on some of the lesser-known attractions in the cities of Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. This week, we're shifting our focus to Gatlinburg. Yes, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and Ober Gatlinburg are among the family destinations that most folks have heard of, but this week, we want to steer you toward a few other places that may not have the same name recognition but are worthy of a visit nonetheless.
Last week, we began a series of posts focusing on lesser-known attractions in the Smokies that are worth looking into if you happen to be visiting the mountains this winter. Since we only have a couple of weeks left in our 2017 season here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we thought it would be a good idea to share some of those destinations with you, to assist you in planning any trips you might be making here during the next few months.
Now that we're winding down our season here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we thought this would be a good time to steer you toward some other attractions that you might consider while on a winter visit to our area. (We'll be open weekends only through the end of the year, and then we'll re-open in the spring.)
So for the next few weeks, we're going to give you the 4-1-1 on a number of area attractions that you might not have heard of. Places like Dollywood, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and the Titanic Museum and Attraction do a lot of advertising, so naturally, they get a lot of attention. But we're going to take you, city by city, on a tour of some other destinations that may not be as high-profile as the places I just mentioned but are still definitely worth a visit if you get a chance.
Okay, all you Christmas season fans… Thanksgiving is officially over, which means that if you haven't done so already, you can finally put those trees up, string lights all over the house and blast your favorite carols at full volume, all in good conscience. No one can give you a hard time about it now.
And if your travel plans have you visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in the next few weeks, you won't miss out on all that celebrating just because you're away from home. In fact, there's so much festiveness going on around here that even all you Christmas Scrooges and Grinches are bound to get caught up in the spirit of the season.
Folks who visit the Great Smoky Mountains from November through February are always in for an extra treat, as the communities of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville host Winterfest, a four-month-long celebration of the holidays and the winter season. Each year, the area is decked out in millions of holiday lights, while each city offers visitors a wide array of special events that are related to Christmas and beyond.
While all the Christmas decorations and the colorful glow of lights from town to town can't be overlooked by even the most disengaged visitor, there are other season-specific things going on in the Smokies that may not necessarily be obvious at first glance. For example, did you know that many of our area music theaters have special holiday-themed shows that run through November and December? For those in search of live entertainment, these productions can be a festive way to get into the spirit of the season.
Thanksgiving is next week. We all know how that works, right? We get together with family, we stuff ourselves with turkey and all the trimmings, we manage to find just enough room for a piece (or two) of pie, and then we kick back in a drowsy stupor to watch football for the rest of the day. Of course, you then proceed to eat leftovers for at least the next three meals.
Sure, that's become a beloved ritual in our country, but let's not forget about the all-important word “thanks” in Thanksgiving. This holiday should be a time when we take at least a few moments to acknowledge and appreciate the many aspects of our lives that we can be grateful for. Even if life has thrown a few curves your way recently, chances are you can still find at least one or two diamonds nestled in the coal.
Autumn is one of the best times of years to come to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Whether you're with a spouse/significant other, the whole family, friends or even a large group, there are plenty of good things around here to make any journey well worth your time. It doesn't matter if you plan to stay for just a weekend or an entire week, you'll discover plenty of cool things to do and places to see. So get ready to fill in those calendars; you can start by taking a few of these suggestions along the way:
We're only a month and a half into autumn, but here in the Great Smoky Mountains, everyone's thoughts are already turning to winter. That's because we're about to kick off a four-month-long event that celebrates that season and all the holidays that fall within it. Once again, Winterfest is coming to town, and the communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are gearing up for one of the most popular and festive stretches of seasonal celebration in the region.
Winterfest consists of a series of special events in each town, but what the entire area shares is a dazzling spectacle of holiday lights that casts the Smokies in a brilliant glow. Each city boasts millions of individual lights – on lampposts, on bridges, on buildings and more as well as stand-alone animated displays that give the area a special magical quality.
When you're on vacation or a weekend getaway, it's often a challenge to find things to do that everyone in the family enjoy equally or is even capable of doing as part of the group. If you've ever found yourself in that camp, then consider ziplining as a must-do for your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
Here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we've found that ziplining has universal appeal. Our customers have ranged from children to newlyweds to retired couples. That's due, in part, to the fact that ziplining is very appealing as a family or group adventure, but our age and weight limits also make our course accessible to large numbers of people. We can accept children as young as 8 and who weigh at least 60 pounds, and there's no maximum age limit beyond an individual's physical capabilities. The maximum weight allowed is 275 pounds, but otherwise, anyone can experience the excitement.
Most folks know that the Smoky Mountain communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are retail Meccas, places where you can shop for just about any type of merchandise imaginable. That may come in handy if you're planning to do some Christmas shopping in the area in the next month or so. But these towns occupy a large area (an entire county, actually), so if you only have a limited amount of time to devote to a shopping excursion, how do you go about choosing which places to visit?
Outside the traditional summer vacation months of June, July and August, October is the busiest time of the year in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. From Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, people from all over the world descend on our little corner of the Smokies for what is generally regarded as “the other peak season.”
Why is that, you may wonder? This week, we'll tell you about four great things that October has going for it that make it one of the best times of the year to come to the mountains.
There are just so many great things about October. Here in the Smokies, we try to make the most of sunny days that are warm (but not too hot) and are bookended by crisp, pleasant mornings and evenings. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, our guests get to enjoy an extra benefit – the changing colors of the foliage that blankets our mountainside outpost. Things are just getting cranked up as far as the annual transformation of colors is concerned, but in just a few weeks, it'll be prime viewing for anyone coming to check out our ziplines in Pigeon Forge.
Some folks enjoy dining out for the experience of being waited on by a staff of servers and enjoying their favorite foods prepared by the hands of professional cooks and chefs. Others, however, enjoy the sheer variety of foods that a restaurant can offer and find it difficult to narrow their selections down to just an entrée and a couple of sides.
If you identify with the latter group, then it sounds like you may be a buffet kind of person. And the next time you're visiting us here in the Great Smoky Mountains, you'll be in luck, because we're home to a smorgasbord of buffet-service restaurants. (See what we did there?) In addition to being able to enjoy a wide variety of dishes, you can always be sure to eat your fill (and sometimes more than your fill) for one cost-effective price.
Don't get us wrong; we definitely think Smoky Mountain Ziplines is well worth the trip, whether it's your first time ziplining or your 100th. With the most exciting ways to zip line Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville have to offer, we can help turn any morning or afternoon into an adventure as you spend hours in our mountainside zipline course. You'll fly, you'll see stunning mountain views, and you might make a few new friends along the way.
When you visit Pigeon Forge, TN, you never know who you're going to run into. We've heard reports of folks spotting the likes of Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Liza Minnelli and Willie Nelson. It's also not uncommon for some visitors to see Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley performing on stage.
Okay, I guess we pushed things a little too far with that last couple of celebrities. You obviously aren't going to happen to bump into the King of Pop and the King of Rock and Roll while you're in town, but you can still enjoy the next best thing whenever you visit the Great Smoky Mountains.
How would you like to be one of the first people to ride on the world's longest zipline? Your chance could arrive soon, as a brand-new attraction offering that very distinction is expected to open by December 1. The only hitch is that you'll have to travel to the United Arab Emirates to enjoy the experience.
The zipline will start atop that nation's highest mountain – Jebel Jais – but developers have not publicized exactly how long or high it will be. They are promising, however, that it will at least knock off the current record holder, the Monster, located at Puerto Rico's Toro Verde Adventure Park in Orocovis. That line is 7,234 feet long and is some 1,200 feet off the ground. We do know that Jebel Jais mountain offers a 1,800-meter drop-off, and riders on the zipline will travel as fast as 130 kilometers per hour.
We spend a fair amount of time on this blog steering visitors toward a lot of the major attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains area. Popular stops like Dollywood, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and the Titanic Museum and Attraction naturally garner a lot of attention because of their size and popularity. We also like to play up unique destinations like our own Smoky Mountain Ziplines as well as attractions that showcase live shows or animals or wonders of the world.
Our guests come to Smoky Mountain Ziplines for one primary purpose – to experience the adrenaline-surging excitement of riding a zipline. Whether it's someone's first time or 101st, speeding through the treetops like Tarzan is just plain fun, and it's an experience we're always more than happy to share with folks in town to visit the Great Smoky Mountains.
Naturally, not all of your time here is actually spent riding on our zip lines in Pigeon Forge, TN. There's a certain amount of preparation time leading up to that first step off the launch platform, and there's some amount of time spent watching other guests take their turn. But along the way, you'll discover that even when you're not making the most of your airtime, there's plenty to like about your canopy tour.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past several months, you're probably already aware that a rare astronomical event will have a major impact on East Tennessee next week – August 21, to be precise. That's the day that much of our region will experience a total eclipse of the sun, and portions of East Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains lie in the path of totality – that is, the zone in which the sun will be totally obscured as the moon passes between it and the earth. And when you consider that the last total solar eclipse viewed from the contiguous United States was in 1979, you can see how this will be a rare event indeed.
When you hear the Ripley name in connection with the Great Smoky Mountains, the first thing you probably think of is Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, located in downtown Gatlinburg. But that's not the only place where this legendary entertainment company brings in tourists by the thousands every week. In fact, the company operates eight different attractions in the Smokies – seven in Gatlinburg and one in Sevierville. This week, we'll point out Ripley Entertainment's other local ventures, any of which would be the perfect complement to our ziplines in the Smoky Mountains.
Sure, you'll discover great reasons to visit the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee any time of year. But if you still haven't made it to the mountains yet in 2017, you may actually find there are a number of benefits to having waited this long. And if you decide to make the trip in August specifically, you'll discover at least five of those benefits:
1. It's back to school time
Schools everywhere are already beginning the process of heading back into session (although some won't start for another week or so), so that makes weekdays a great time to get out and do a lot of the things you'd planned for your trip. Between now and October – when schools start getting their fall breaks and the changing foliage begins to draw big crowds to the mountains – lines at restaurants and attractions are more manageable, and it probably won't take you as long to find a parking spot at the outlet malls. You'll probably notice that traffic in general will be thinning out gradually as the month goes on. Weekends will still see a lot of visitation at normal summer levels, and for those of you wanting to travel with kids, that still may be your best time to take advantage of a day trip or a few days in the Smokies. But if you're not traveling with school-age children, definitely try to steer your plans toward the mid-week days as much as possible.
If you were to sit down today and start planning a shopping spree in the Great Smoky Mountains, chances are that outlet malls would be one of the first destinations to spring into your mind. After all, outlet malls are practically synonymous with the Smokies. You'll find the biggest ones in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, and with multiple retail outlet centers and hundreds of individual stores at your disposal, it's hard to pass up substantial savings on name-brand merchandise of all kinds.
If you're planning a vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains this summer, chances are you've spent some amount of time trying to decide how you're going to fill your days and nights. There's so much going on around here that sometimes, we know the prospect of choosing only a few options for your vacation itinerary can seem daunting. Where does a person begin?
Well, we'll admit that there's stiff competition for visitor attention, which is why we wanted to give you 10 quick reasons why you need to include Smoky Mountain Ziplines in your summer travel plans in the Smokies. We think once we've made our case, you'll be eager to give us a visit and book a tour.
Last week, we introduced you to many of the theater shows in the Smokies that don't necessarily cater to country-music audiences. After all, there's probably a perception out there that Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville offer only country music fare on their theater stages. That's true to an extent, but as we showed last week, folks who don't care for that country twang can still find lots of entertainment options in this area.
In fact, we came up with so many examples that we had to stretch the listings into two posts. The Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery Dinner Show; The Wonders of Magic; Impossibilities: An Evening Magic, Mind Reading and Mayhem!; Magic Beyond Belief; and the Smoky Mountain Opry got us started in terms of alternatives to country music. This week, get ready for even more possibilities…
In addition to the Smoky Mountains, outlet mall shopping and awesome family attractions, our area is known for its music theaters. More than a dozen venues in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg offer an even greater number of live shows, with show times scheduled morning, afternoon and evening, depending on the theater. Like the music-theater community in Branson, MO, the Smokies' showplaces are definitely skewed toward the country end of the music spectrum as well as close-cousin genres like bluegrass and gospel music.
This is a topic we try to cover at least once a year and for several reasons. First, black bears are an iconic symbol of the Great Smoky Mountains, so they're one of the main sights visitors hope to catch a glimpse of when they're in the national park. Also, as the bear population grows and the number of park visitors grows each year, it's inevitable that man and bear will cross paths at some point, so it's important to know how best to handle those encounters.
As an example of how important this issue is, we'll point out a news story that ran just a few days ago, talking about how several backcountry campsites are closed because of increased bear activity. These include the Mount LeConte Shelter and campsites 9, 21, 24 and 34. Also, bear warnings have been issued for the Russell Field Shelter and campsites 10 and 38. Add to this national news coverage of uncharacteristic black bear attacks in California, and you can understand why it never hurts to be prepared for a bear encounter.
You don't have to drive far up or down the Parkway in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville to find food. Hundreds of restaurants that cater to all types of cuisine and all price points dot the main roads of the Smokies, which should be no surprise, considering that eating out is one of the perks of being on vacation. Cooking is usually one of the top things that folks enjoy taking a vacation FROM.
Why do people enjoy ziplining so much? The most obvious answer is that it's a whole lot of fun. That's a given. But that's not the only positive thing to be gained from hanging out with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. This week, we'd like to offer you a little insider insight into some other benefits of ziplining you might not have thought about.
1. You'll have a good time. Yes, we've already mentioned this one, because it's the most obvious reason people go ziplining. But it bears repeating. Think about it: You're zooming through the treetops, high above the ground, traveling at speeds that you usually have to be behind the wheel of a car to reach. The wind is in your hair, the sun is on your face, and you're feeling an adrenaline surge that you probably haven't experienced in a while. How can that not be fun?
One thing Smoky Mountain visitors like so much about this area is that it offers everything they could ask for in a family vacation – all in one convenient and beautiful location. With a wealth of lodging, entertainment, attraction, shopping and dining choices available within the confines of a single county, the Smokies make it easy for visitors to meet all their vacation needs with a minimum of travel.
In that respect, The Island in Pigeon Forge is a microcosm of the Smokies at large. Packed into a single span of acreage in the heart of town is a development that delivers it all – from accommodations and restaurants to specialty shops and fun family-friendly attractions. If you haven't experienced everything The Island has to offer yet, maybe this week's teaser will get you thinking about stopping there next time you're in town.
School's out, and Memorial Day is in the rear-view mirror, which means we're in full-on summer vacation mode here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. We're the highest rated outdoor attraction in Pigeon Forge according to TripAdvisor, thanks to our long-and-fast ziplines, stellar views, awesome guides and the best Pigeon Forge zip line prices you'll find.
In today's amped-up, maxed-out world, we could all use a little more relaxation. With the daily demands of work, family and sometimes even social pursuits, it seems like there's always something nipping at our heels that requires our attention. Over time, this steady drip-drip-drip of stimuli can lead to lack of sleep, fatigue, chronic worry and high levels of stress.
But that's what vacations are for, right? Most folks only get a week or two of vacay each year, so when that time rolls around, you want to make the best use of it – making sure you're de-stressing, unwinding and recharging – not just subjecting yourself to a different kind of stress.
These days, it seems that folks are always looking to acquire more stuff in their lives, but when you think about it, even the most expensive toys are of little value in the end. Like they say, you can't take it with you.
At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we believe that the people in our lives and the experiences we share with them are what matter the most. Experiences over things. That's why vacation souvenirs eventually wind up being neglected, forgotten about or discarded, while the stories you and your loved ones tell about that same trip live on in your minds and can even get handed down from generation to generation.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We're not exactly sure who THEY are, but the advice is sound nonetheless; so if you want to get your day off to a solid start when you're visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, don't overlook the importance of a substantial breakfast. The good news is that you have lots of options to choose from when trying to decide where to grab that first bite.
This week, all of us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines wanted to share a few of our recommendations for morning meals that are sure to get things going on a flavorful note. We know that if you're not familiar with the area, the choices can seem almost overwhelming, so hopefully, this information will help you narrow your search.
Planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee can be a daunting task. After all, the traveler has almost infinite options when it comes to planning a vacation day, so trying to narrow down all those choices and fit a select few into a finite span of time can be quite challenging. Hopefully, this week's post will get you started with at least a few suggestions for how to spend a day in the Smokies and get the most out of it. In this scenario, we try to touch on as many different aspects of Smoky Mountain life as we can. The rest is up to you.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the number one reason people visit our little neck of the woods here in East Tennessee. With hundreds of square miles of pristine woodlands, majestic mountains, creeks and streams, and an abundance of wildlife, the park is the ideal setting for weary souls in search of a place to unplug from the busy-ness of life and reconnect with nature. Amenities like hundreds of miles of hiking trails, picnic grounds, campgrounds, historic sites and more all add up to make GSMNP the most visited national park in the country.
How do you plan to enjoy the warmer temperatures of spring and summer this year? If you're like a lot of folks visiting the Smokies, you could make the most of the seasons by hanging out with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. We're back up and running for 2017, offering visitors one of the longest and fastest zipline experiences in the area. We hope you find time this year to spend a few hours with us soaring through the treetops, high above the ground, and taking in some awesome Smoky Mountain views along the way.
Thinking about visiting the Smokies this week? You've picked a great time to travel. The weather here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines has been almost perfect – warm and sunny with some refreshing spring breezes. You might say the weather is ideal for outdoor fun like the kind you'll find at our Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg zipline attraction.
And while the great outdoors can be your oyster during mild seasonal days like these, don't forget about all the cool special events going on in the Great Smoky Mountains. Many of them take place outdoors, so you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here's a quick rundown of just a few of the events you'll find taking place in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.
When you think about ziplining, the first thing you probably think of is the fun outdoor recreational activity. Just like we do every day here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, it's the kind of ziplining, where you strap on a safety harness and helmet, clip onto a zipline and go sailing off into the wild blue yonder, soaring among the treetops with the wind in your face.
And now that we're into the full swing of spring here at our Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville zip line attraction, folks coming back to the Smokies for 2017 are taking full advantage of everything we have to offer – a newly redesigned course with long, fast ziplines, great views of the mountains, hands-free braking and an exciting rappelling feature.
It's official… Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country, welcoming some 10 million guests each year. Most of those 10 million visitors wind up staying in a hotel, motel, condo or cabin, whether it's just for a night or two or an entire week.
But for a lot of folks, nothing beats the experience of camping. So if you're thinking about heading to our mountains this spring or summer, consider roughing it (a lot or just a little, depending on your tolerance) in the great outdoors. Here are just a few of the benefits camping offers:
Whether your next Smokies vacation has you staying in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville or Gatlinburg, zip line fun will be beckoning you from Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. We're up and running for the 2017 season with one of the area's biggest zipline experiences, with multiple ziplines that offer more total air time than almost any other vendor in the Smokies. And with gorgeous views, hands-off braking, treetop platforms and a cool rappelling feature, this is the place that more folks are going to enjoy high-speed adventure in the mountains.
Guess what's happening this weekend in Pigeon Forge…
If you guessed that Smoky Mountain Ziplines would be open, you would be a winner! We're rockin' our way into the 2017 season, and it looks like we're going to have some warmer, sunny days this weekend for folks to enjoy our Pigeon Forge ziplines.
Millions of visitors flock to Sevier County, Tennessee each year, primarily to enjoy the majestic sights of the Great Smoky Mountains and to experience firsthand all the beauty and outdoor activities that their namesake national park have to offer.
But that's usually just the tip of the iceberg of the typical Smoky Mountains vacation. Whether you're staying in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville, this area has a lot more to offer, from theme parks and other forms of outdoor recreation to world-class attractions, unique shops and fun special events.
Lots of folks can't wait for football season to start. Some can't wait for baseball or basketball season to start. And a few of you nuts out there actually can't wait for hockey season. But here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we always eagerly await the kickoff of zipline season at our outpost in Pigeon Forge. We're happy to say we're opening our doors for 2017 this Friday, March 3, and it's looking like it's going to be a coolish but sunny day – great conditions for our Pigeon Forge Zipline tours.
Is it winter? Is it spring? Who knows? Based on the weather we've been experiencing (enjoying) in East Tennessee lately, it's hard to tell. Either way, we'll take it and make the most of it, right?
These prematurely warm temps, however, got us to thinking about how the current climate might be affecting our native population of black bears. After all, the assumption is that they hibernate all winter, so is it possible that the spring-like weather is affecting their seasonal slumber? This week, we'll take a look at exactly what hibernation is, whether black bears typically do it and, if so, are they liable to stir from their resting state sooner than usual.
The moderate temperatures we've enjoyed so much this winter have meant that many of us have been able to spend a lot more time outdoors than we normally might during this season. And since our Pigeon Forge zip line tours won't reopen for a few more weeks, we thought we would pass along an alternative suggestion for having fun surrounded by nature.
Of course, hiking in the mountains is one of the staples of outdoor recreation around here, particularly if you're taking on one of the dozens of trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are more than 800 miles' worth of trails to be explored in the park, and this week Smoky Mountain Ziplines would like to share our recent experience on one of them – the Baskins Creek Falls trail.
If you're like so many folks who are either married or in a relationship but haven't yet made plans for Valentine's Day, we can assure you that you're not alone. And you'll also be glad to know there's still time to pull together some spectacular plans that will hopefully knock the socks off your significant other next week.
We think you can't go wrong by making plans to celebrate Valentine's Day in the Great Smoky Mountains. There's so much to do here that you shouldn't have much trouble at all finding a fun, interesting and/or romantic idea that will have special meaning to that special someone.
Let's say you and the fam are planning an awesome vacation to the Smokies for 2017. Whether it takes place in spring, summer, fall or winter, one of the first decisions you're going to have to make (other than locking in the dates) is where you're going to stay. That's the foundation on which your whole trip will be built, so it makes sense to give it some thought before pulling the trigger on those reservations.
We thought it would be helpful to share with you an overview of what types of properties are available in the Smokies as well as some of the advantages of each. Hopefully, armed with this information, you'll be able to make a more informed choice when it comes to your Smoky Mountain lodgings.
We know what it's like to be the new kids in town. Fortunately, our Pigeon Forge zipline adventure caught on with visitors, which has led to us going strong for many years now. But since we're taking a brief winter hiatus right now, we thought we'd give you all a sneak preview of some of the attractions and points of interest that are new to Pigeon Forge for 2017.
When you were a kid, you probably heard your parents and teachers warn you not to get into any horseplay. Now that you're all grown up, though, it's OK to get into horseplay. In fact, it's something that a lot of people enjoy doing when they visit the Great Smoky Mountains.
In this case, we're talking about horseback riding, and it's one of the most popular outdoor activities you can participate in around here. Whether you're an experienced rider or a tenderfoot, there are lots of stables and ranches in these parts where you can saddle up and hit the dusty trail for a few hours or even longer if you're so inclined.
If you've ever spent any time in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, chances are that in addition to the mountains themselves you visited at least one attraction in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville. This area is known for fun destinations that attract millions of visitors from all over the world; Dollywood, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and the Titanic Museum Attraction are probably familiar names even to those who haven't spent much time in this area.
But let's say you've done all the biggies and you're looking for something a little different to try next time you're in the Smokies. The good news is that there's no shortage of attractions around here, and this week, we're going to go one step further and introduce you to some roadside stops that you may never have heard of or even realize existed. And just because these attractions have a lower profile than some of the bigger players doesn't mean they're not worth dropping by for a look-see.
A new year is already under way – a blank sheet of paper upon which we will all, hopefully, write a wonderful story over the course of the next 52 weeks. As a result, this is the time of year that many people choose to make New Year's resolutions or set goals for positive changes they'd like to make in the year ahead.
Even if you decide not to take on lifestyle modifications like eating healthier, working out more or cutting out a bad habit, you can still resolve to do some new things in 2017 that will stretch your boundaries a little bit and create some memories that will carry over for years to come. In fact, with a single multiday visit to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, you can face several new challenges that will leave you feeling invigorated and uplifted.
Boy does time fly. It seems like just a few weeks ago that we were opening back up for spring and introducing our new course to the public here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. But it's already been close to nine months since then, and here we are, getting ready to go on another winter hiatus.
In case you didn't get a chance to visit our Pigeon Forge zip line attraction this year, you missed out on a lot of fun. Our new course features longer ziplines, keeping our guests flying for more time than our previous course configuration did. Combined, our lines offer visitors one of the longest total zipline experiences in the Smokies.
They say crime doesn't pay, but in the case of one new Pigeon Forge attraction, it might wind up paying off big. Alcatraz East, a new crime museum located at The Island development, recently opened to the public, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at our nation's crime history.
“Guests are fascinated with this museum, its artifacts and the stories we tell. I always say this is America's favorite subject,” says Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer of Alcatraz East. “Whether it's a trial you followed, a CSI show you've seen or you grew-up wanting to be a cop, we have something of interest for everyone.”
You've only got a few more chances to join us here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in 2016. We'll be open this weekend, December 17 and 18 (weather permitting), and we'll be open Christmas Eve as well as every day from December 26 through January 1. So if you're thinking about coming to the area in the next couple of weeks, we hope you find some time to check out Smoky Mountain zip line and canopy tour.
But we also hope you consider spending some time in neighboring Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Parts of that city took some big hits from a major wildfire a couple of weeks ago, but the good news is that as of last Friday, the city is back open for business. In fact, we're encouraging our customers visiting the Smokies to also make plans to head down to Gatlinburg and help the folks there make a full recovery by patronizing their attractions, shops, restaurants and accommodations.
Last week's wildfires took quite a toll on the residents of and visitors to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Unfortunately, there were 14 fatalities and 145 people who were treated for fire-related injuries or illnesses. In addition, more than 1,700 structures were damaged or destroyed by the fires, and right now, there aren't even any estimates of how much all that will ultimately cost property owners and insurance companies. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, some 17,000 acres have burned in the Chimney Tops No. 2 fire, and $4.5 million has been spent to fight it.
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.
It's Thanksgiving week, and if you happen to be visiting the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee this week, you have a lot to be thankful for. After all, you're traveling in the most beautiful corner of one of the most beautiful states in the country. Awe-inspiring mountains, blue skies and crisp days all add up to a holiday-vacation setting that's hard to beat.
In case you didn't know, Smoky Mountain Ziplines will be open every day through this weekend (after this week, we'll be open weekends only in December), so if you and yours are looking for something fun and exciting to do during your holiday travels, come out one day and embark on our Smoky Mountain zip line adventure. We have a new canopy tour course, exciting new features, more zipline time than before and some breathtaking fall scenery.
In case you hadn't noticed, Thanksgiving is next week. But if you're thinking that automatically means hosting a meal or packing everyone up to head to Grandma's house, then we'd like to offer you a holiday alternative. This year, consider having Thanksgiving in the Smokies. You can still do all the things you normally do – eat a lot of food, visit with family, watch football games, etc. – but this year, you'll be able to enjoy all the scenery and cool things that go along with a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains.
For more than 25 years, folks have been making a big deal about winter in the Great Smoky Mountains. In fact, the communities of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville have been elevating the importance of that season since 1990 with their annual Winterfest celebration.
Running from early November through the end of February, Winterfest is a four-month-long tribute to what used to be, decades ago, a season when all the towns would roll up their carpets and essentially shut down until spring returned with warmer weather. But thanks to Winterfest, visitation to the Smokies has increased dramatically in the past 25 years. With amazing light displays throughout the county as well as a long slate of special season-themed events, there's something to keep visitors of all ages coming into town all year long.
Here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're starting to dial our schedule back a little for fall and winter. Primarily, we'll be open weekends only through the end of the year, except we will be open for a nine-day stretch during Thanksgiving week, from November 19 through 27. We'll be closed Christmas Day, of course, which is a Sunday this year, but then we'll be back open for one last 2016 hurrah, from December 26 through January 1. After that, we'll be on hiatus until spring.
We're always telling people how fun ziplining is. That's because we know how fun it is. And our previous customers know how fun it is. But sometimes, we run into skeptics – especially people who have never ziplined before – who have serious doubts about how fun ziplining really is. And strangely, one of the most frequent objections we hear is, “Yeah, but is ziplining more fun than standing in line at the post office?”
October is such a busy month in the Smokies. Folks are coming into town to see the fall colors and visit the craft shows and do some Christmas shopping at the outlet malls. But if you're going to be in town for a few days or even a full week, you might need to come up with a few additional ways to fill out your travel schedule. This week, we'll introduce you to three attractions in each of our three main cities – Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville – and tell you why you should consider adding it to your itinerary.
Maybe the kids have a fall break coming up, or maybe that time has passed but you're still looking at getting away to the Great Smoky Mountains for a few days this fall. If so, you couldn't pick a better time. Autumn is one of the peak seasons that visitors choose to travel to the Smokies, and it's not hard to understand why. Folks love those cool, sunny days and chilly nights as well as the color show that goes along with the annual transformation of our foliage
That may be enough to lure you to this neck of the woods, but once you're here, you'll still be faced with so many options for how to spend your days that you might not even know how to begin narrowing them down. This week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines will offer you a few suggestions for some of the must-do things to put at the top of your travel itinerary this fall.
Have you had a chance to check out our new zipline course yet this year? If not, what are you waiting for? Now that we're in October, you can enjoy our redesigned course during one of the most pleasant times of year, in terms of both weather and beautiful mountain scenery.
Even better, Smoky Mountain Ziplines offers guests multiple ways to save money on their zipline experience throughout the rest of 2016. Here are the discounts we're currently offering:
Too early to start talking about fall colors, you say? Piffle, we say. It's almost never too early to start discussing the glorious metamorphosis that our area foliage undergoes every year in the Great Smoky Mountains. It's such a big deal that October is the single busiest tourism month of the year outside the traditional summer peak-season months.
And when talking about the turning of the leaves, you have to consider that the process has already begun at the highest elevations of the Smokies. That's where it all starts, and then the transformation gradually spreads downward until the lowest elevations have caught up.
Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival is officially under way in the Smokies, which means six more weeks of seasonal decorations and special events, all set against the backdrop of cooling fall weather and the annual transformation of the area foliage.
And speaking of special events, the communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are getting the festival kicked off right with an enticing slate of happenings geared toward visitors of all ages. This week Smoky Mountain Ziplines is giving you a run-down of what you can expect during the next week in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
Any day we're open for business is a great time to come see us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. The fact of the matter is that ziplining is a whole lot of fun for all ages, so spending a morning or afternoon at our Smoky zipline attraction is always going to be time well spent.
But we've thought of several other good reasons for not putting off a trip to our Pigeon Forge outpost. In fact, there are several compelling arguments to be made for why you should get in a ziplining excursion this week. Even if you just have time to drive into the Smokies for the weekend or even just one day, we hope that we might be able to talk you into seizing that day.
On weeks like this, when the high temperatures are holding fast in the nineties, it's hard to imagine that autumn is just around the corner. But according to the calendar, there's only a couple of weeks until fall officially arrives. And here in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, that also means it's time for the annual Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, the time when the communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville celebrate the changing seasons and lay down the welcome mat for all the good things that come with the arrival of autumn.
It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that more and more people are becoming health conscious these days. From exercise and nutrition to mental and spiritual wellness, it seems that more folks are thinking about better ways to take care of their bodies and minds, and there are certainly lots of ways for people of all ages to pursue healthier lifestyles.
But would you believe that ziplining can be a part of a healthy-living regimen? It's true, and we at Smoky Mountain Ziplines are more than happy to share with you seven healthy benefits of riding ziplines.
This is always an odd time of year here in the Smokies. Most area schools have already started classes, but to look outside, you'd swear it was still summer. That's because it IS still summer, which means there are still plenty of opportunities to work in a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Whether you have the freedom to travel without regard for school schedules or whether you've still got some weekend playtime ahead of you, there's a lot going on around here.
If you've visited Smoky Mountain Ziplines in previous years but haven't had a chance to come back this year, you're in for a treat. Earlier this summer, we debuted a brand-new zipline course, which really helped us step up our game when it comes to our customer experience. It's substantially different from what you might have remembered from before, but it's definitely worth trying for a number of reasons. And it just so happens that we're going to share those reasons with you this week. Our hope is that you'll make plans to travel to the Smokies before the end of the season to experience our ziplines, Pigeon Forge, TN and all the great things our area has to offer.
We're having a great summer here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. Although many area schools have started fall classes already, there are still a lot of families around who are milking every last bit of summer before their kids head back to the classroom. And of course, we're still going strong and will be for months to come, even after the fall term is well under way.
We think if you're looking for the best place to experience the fun of riding a zipline, Smoky Mountains scenery and a newly redesigned zipline course, we have all that waiting for you here at our outpost in East Tennessee. As we approach the end of summer, we expect the heat to give us a break, and with schools back in session, you might get to take our canopy tour with a smaller group than usual, depending on what day of the week you visit.
If you think you've been reading and hearing a lot about ziplines over the past couple of years, you're not imagining things. New zipline attractions continue to pop up all over the world, because it's an activity that offers just about anyone the chance to experience the excitement of speeding through the air while suspended from a steel cable. It's fast, it's fun, and it's exhilarating. It's also an efficient way of bringing the adrenaline-charged thrill of extreme sports to the masses.
We get a lot of repeat guests at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, but we also get a lot of folks who have never visited us before, or for that matter, ever ridden a zipline before. That's OK; we love introducing newbies to one of the most fun outdoor activities in the Smokies. But we do get a lot of questions from our first-timers about some of the things they'll see while taking one of our Gatlinburg canopy tours. That's why this week, we'll get you up to speed about some of the sights you'll see the next time you join us for some ziplining in the mountains.
If you haven't had a chance to try our newly redesigned zipline course yet, we recommend that you work that into your itinerary for your next vacation in the Smokies. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we have everything you could ask for in an outdoor attraction – ziplines, Smoky Mountains scenery, fresh air and a great opportunity to bond with family and/or friends.
Last week, we gave you some helpful hints for driving to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Instead of coming into Sevierville on Tenn. Hwy. 66 from Interstate 40, we showed you three alternate routes for getting to the communities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
Two of those routes are especially helpful if you're looking for a more scenic or, in some cases, a less congested way to get to downtown Sevierville via Knoxville or Newport, Tennessee. The third, U.S. Hwy. 321 takes you directly into Pigeon Forge, which is where Smoky Mountain Ziplines is located. And personally, we think that if you're planning on doing some ziplining, Sevierville, Tennessee courses simply don't stack up to what we have to offer vacationers in search of family zipline fun.
We hope you're planning on doing some traveling in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee this summer. Between the gorgeous mountains, the national park and all the attractions, shops, restaurants and special events you'll find in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, there's enough in this area to fill weeks and weeks of vacation time.
Fourth of July weekend is coming up in just a few days, which means Americans from sea to shining sea are already planning ways to celebrate our nation's independence. If you're going to be visiting the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee this holiday weekend, there are many ways you can get in on the act and give three cheers for the red, white and blue.
Read on to discover just a few suggestions for having fun in the Smokies this week (in addition to visiting Smoky Mountain Ziplines) and also throw in a few birthday wishes for the U.S. of A. while you're at it.
his is a great time of year to do some ziplining, especially if you're enjoying a weekend or a full vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains. But even if you're sold on the idea of ziplining, you may be trying to decide which attraction in our area will offer you the best overall experience.
Read on, and we'll share with you several reasons why you should choose our Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg canopy tours over the other vendors. We're focusing on aspects of our zipline operation that you may not have been aware of – things we feel give us a distinct advantage.
Whether you're planning your very first trip to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee or you've been making annual pilgrimages here since you were a wee child, there are simply some things that every visitor to the Smokies must experience at least once. We realize that not everyone has the same tastes in travel activities, but there are some to-do items on our list that we feel are musts.
This week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines would like to pass those along to you in hopes that these suggestions will make your next trip to our mountains the best it can be. So if you've managed to escape a Smokies vacation in the past without doing any of these, now is your chance to make it right.
Next time you travel to the Great Smoky Mountains, consider doing a little more than just sightseeing. Maybe on your next visit, you can try some sight-DOING. We've got all kinds of ways around here to stretch the boundaries of excitement, get outside the usual vacation rut and push the envelope of fun.
Even if you usually consider yourself a big chicken when it comes to thrill seeking and adrenaline-inducing behavior, you can take comfort in knowing that most of these activities are accessible by novices and first-timers, with no previous experience required and, at most, a minimum of training.
Remember spring? Wasn't that about the best two weeks of weather we've had in a long time? Yep, even though we've barely scratched the surface of June, those hot, muggy days of summer are already creeping into the Smokies. But that's OK; this week, we've got a bunch of tips for places to go and things to do that will help you and yours stay nice and cool, even on the hottest of days.
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Specifically, we recommend a couple of legendary swimming holes in the park – The Townsend Y and The Sinks, both of which are on the Little River. The Y is located at a fork in the river, not far from Townsend, just inside the national park boundary. The Sinks is a natural pooled area that forms at the base of a waterfall, and it's found along the Meigs Creek Trail.
Schools are letting out for the summer, and Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means families all over America are probably about to start planning (if they haven't already) their summer vacations. And it turns out that the Smokies area is one of the most popular summer vacay destinations in the country, reflected in the fact that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country, estimated to receive a record 10 million guests this year. Within a day's drive of two-thirds of the nation's population, it's no wonder that so many people flock to the Smokies each year to soak up some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
For many, simply the idea of sailing high through the air over a scenic mountain valley is reason enough to give ziplining a try. But just in case you're one of those people who might need a little more persuasion, here are seven reasons to not only try ziplining in general but to come see us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
1. Ziplining Is Fun
There's no two ways about it; ziplining is one of the most fun things you can do in the Great Smoky Mountains, period. Like we said above, the prospect of clipping your harness onto a zipline trolley, stepping out on a leap of faith and flying through the air at high speed with the wind in your face – that alone is reason enough to draw a lot of people to our outpost.
Honestly, there are way more than just four reasons to visit the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee any time of year. The biggest is the mountains themselves and the national park that celebrates their beauty and history. And then there are all kinds of family attractions in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville as well as outlet malls, specialty shops, arts and crafts, and restaurants.
If you're reading this blog, chances are you're probably either a previous customer of Smoky Mountain Ziplines or you're very interested in visiting our zipline in Tennessee in the near future. In either case, you probably already have a pretty good idea that you're going to have a great time.
But have you thought about whom you're going to share that experience with? After all, the more the merrier, as they say, so when you contact us to book your next zipline tour, you'll need to know how many people are going to be in your party. If you're not sure whom you want to bring along yet, here are a few suggestions:
There are several Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville zip line attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains. So how do you go about deciding which is the best for you and your family to visit? One trusted Internet source for evaluating everything from hotels to attractions is TripAdvisor, a site where folks who have visited area businesses post reviews about their experiences.
We may be a little biased, but we're not exaggerating when we report that Smoky Mountain Ziplines is currently ranked number one out of 13 outdoor activities in Pigeon Forge. And that's not just saying we're the highest rated zipline course; that means we're the highest rated of all the other Smoky Mountain outdoor attractions reviewed on the site, period.
If you've been ziplining with us before at our Pigeon Forge/Sevierville zip line tour, then you're probably fairly familiar with what's involved. But for the purposes of this week's post, we'll make the assumption that you've never ziplined with us before or perhaps never ziplined at all. If that's the case, we can help make your experience even more gratifying by sharing a few tips that will help make your morning or afternoon go smoothly.
We've spent the past three weeks previewing what all the music theaters in the Smokies will be presenting on their stages in 2016. So far, we've focused exclusively on Pigeon Forge, since that's where the vast majority of the theaters are found. This week, however, Smoky Mountain Ziplines will wrap up this look at Pigeon Forge venues and also show you what Gatlinburg and Sevierville have to offer in the way of live entertainment.
For the past couple of weeks, we have been sharing previews of what's in store at the music theaters in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville for the 2016 season. This week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines presents even more descriptions of shows in Pigeon Forge, which is where most of the area's music theaters are located.
Magic Beyond Belief
This astounding stage show takes place at the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater at 3 p.m. every day of the week except Wednesdays (most weeks). The show stars magician/singer Darren Romeo, whose critically acclaimed production features white tigers, large-scale illusions, vocal performances, celebrity impressions, comedy and a tribute to the magicians who inspired him most – mentors Siegfried & Roy and Harry Blackstone, Jr.
Last week, we helped kick off the 2016 season in the Smokies by sharing several previews of what's in store at all the music theaters in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. We started out with thumbnail descriptions of several Pigeon Forge theaters in particular, and this week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines will help you sift through a few more.
Folks visiting the Smokies have a lot of choices when it comes to entertainment, and over the past 20 years or so, few destinations have been as popular as music theaters. Similar to Branson, Missouri, Pigeon Forge has quite a few venues that are home to a wide variety of stage productions, and even Gatlinburg and Sevierville contribute to the mix with theaters of their own.
It seems like it's been a long time coming, but spring is finally on our doorstep in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Last weekend, we set our clocks ahead, giving us more daylight at the end of the day to enjoy outdoor activities, and nature is doing its part in the form of warmer days, budding trees and shrubs, and colorful flowers emerging from the ground after a long winter's sleep. And to make everything official according to the calendar, spring arrives in less than a week on March 21.
In the 30 years that it's been in operation, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge has almost become synonymous with a Great Smoky Mountains vacation. Ms. Parton opened the park in her name in 1986, and ever since, it has become one of the top tourist destinations in the region, not including the national park itself. With 35 acres of rides, attractions, shows, shops and eateries, Dollywood is everything that's great about a family vacation, all wrapped up in one scenic package.
We're getting close to our opening date here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. But in the meantime, we thought we'd whet your appetite with some news about some other cool zipline attractions around the world that are either newly up and running or are in the planning phases.
You'll see from some of the wild twists some of these attractions have taken that there are some creative people coming up with some unique ways to help their customers have an unforgettable time out on the ziplines. Here's a quick look at just a few of the new attractions that are turning heads worldwide:
We finally made it to late February, which means it's practically March, which means that springtime in the Great Smoky Mountains is right around the corner. According to the calendar, there are still a few more weeks to go, but if you pay close enough attention, you'll see plenty of signs indicating that the doldrums of winter are about to be behind us.
1. The groundhog didn't see his shadow.
On February 2, Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow, which meant (if you believe Groundhog Day lore) that spring-like weather would arrive early this year. So far, that seems to be holding up. We're starting to see more days with highs in the 50s and 60s and fewer days with frigid winter temperatures and frozen precipitation. There will probably still be some cold snaps before winter has had its final say, but lately, we've been at least getting a taste of what's to come. In some places, you'll even notice where trees and flowers have budded early because of the warm teps.
Despite what that groundhog might have said, there's still more than a month of winter left, and East Tennessee will likely see its share of cold weather and precipitation in the next few weeks. In fact, we won't be starting our 2016 season here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines until the weather warms up a little bit more. But that doesn't mean you can't make the most of the situation by turning the proverbial lemons into lemonade at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort.
We've spent the past few weeks on our Smoky Mountain Ziplines blog traveling back in time, exploring the histories of the three main communities that make up Sevier County, TN – Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. This week, we're going to wrap up our series of historical retrospectives with the story of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
For the past couple of weeks, we've been taking little trips back in time, exploring the fascinating stories of the people and events that led to the founding of Sevier County's three primary towns – Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We started our series with brief historical retrospectives of Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, so this week, we'll continue with a look back at the history of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and how it became the tourist destination that it is today.
Last week, we started digging back into the history books a little bit, exploring the fascinating stories of the people and events that led to the founding of Sevier County's three primary towns – Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We kicked our three-part series off last time around with a look back at the origins of Sevierville. This week, we continue with the history of Pigeon Forge.
By the late 1700s, Pigeon Forge had followed a course similar to that of Sevierville, serving as a place of settlement for soldiers following the Revolutionary War. However, once Sevierville became the county seat, the two towns' paths diverged considerably, with Sevierville continuing to grow and expand while Pigeon Forge remained a small, sleepy village until the tourism industry began to take root in the 1970s and '80s.
The Smoky Mountain communities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg represent the pulse of what this region has to offer, at least outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Most visitors probably regard them primarily as homes to numerous lodging properties, attractions, restaurants and shops, but it's interesting to note that each town's history predates the era of tourism, which began around the 1940s and started growing in earnest in the 1980s and '90s.
With that context in mind, we thought it might be interesting to spend a few weeks sharing the respective historical backgrounds that helped shape Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg into the travel destinations they are today. And in the process, we'll see how factors as simple as geographic location played a large role in helping each of these communities develop its own unique character and personality.
Hey, sports fans! We know who you are…. You're that person who eats, breathes and sleeps sports – anything from football, basketball and baseball to cricket, golf and even curling. If it involves a ball or a helmet, chances are you're interested. You're either in the stadium or in front of the TV for the College Football Championship, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the World Cup and the Final Four of college basketball.
So why not incorporate your passion into a vacation? If you plan on visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in 2016, you'll discover that there are ample opportunities to enjoy some of your favorite sports. This week, we'll give you an overview of places to go and things to do that will really tap into your love of all things sporty.
If you'll notice, we put “off-season” in quotation marks in the title of this blog post. That's because things have changed around here in the Great Smoky Mountains over the past 25 years. It used to be that once January 1 rolled around, most businesses – especially the hotels and attractions – would close their doors and remain out of commission until spring came.
But over the past couple of decades, the Smokies area has become so popular year 'round (thanks in large part to Winterfest) that what used to be an outright off-season is nothing more now than a slight seasonal dip in visitation. Thus, the quotation marks suggest that it's really more an off-season in name only these days.
Every now and then, we bring you news of other interesting zipline attractions located around the U.S. and around the world. And since our Pigeon Forge zip line course is going to be on winter break for the next couple of months, we thought this would be a good time to share some info about how other attractions are putting their own unique spin on one of the fastest growing outdoor family-adventure activities.
This is the week that most of us adults have probably been hoping wouldn't arrive so quickly for some time now (there's never enough time to get the shopping done), and it's the week that most of our kids have probably been impatiently waiting for since last December 26.
It's Christmas week, and in the United States, the broader celebration of the holiday has come to entail a wide range of familiar traditions and customs. Most families, for example, put up Christmas trees, hang stockings and exchange gifts, while singing Christmas carols, attending church services and decorating the homestead with lights are also typical parts of the festivities. For many families, Christmas traditions can include activities like baking cookies, donating time at a local charity or watching a favorite holiday-themed movie.
Springtime in the Smokies is still a few months away, but it bears mentioning that that's the time of year when new attractions, shops and restaurants like to make their debuts. It only makes sense, considering that's the time of year when the tourist season starts to gain momentum after a bit of a wintertime lull.
But this week, we thought we'd give you a look at some of the new businesses that have come onto the scene in 2015 as well as a sneak peek at a few that are slated to come online in 2016. After all, Winterfest is still going strong in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, and this is a magical time to play in the Smokies. And once we tell you about what's looming on the horizon, we're hoping we'll just whet your appetite to come back and visit us again when the weather turns warmer for good.
Last week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines introduced you to several music theaters that present special seasonal shows with Christmas and winter themes. Live shows in the Smokies are a fun way to spend an afternoon or an evening any time of year, but as we draw closer to Christmas Day, these holiday presentations do a fantastic job of getting even the Scroogiest soul into the spirit of the season.
What makes these Christmas shows different covers all facets of production, from sets and costumes to music and dance routines. You'll typically here a good mix of songs, both faith-based and secular favorites, and it's not unusual for Santa Claus himself to make an appearance at some point in the proceedings.
Here in the Smokies, it seems like it's been raining for an entire week straight. At least it feels that way. But just because the weather is yucky and nasty doesn't mean you still can't have a great time if you're visiting Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg this week, especially when you consider that our area is home to more than a dozen different theater shows.
Being able to enjoy live entertainment indoors is a fun way to take shelter from the elements, take a load off your feet and spend a couple of hours or more watching some very talented people – and animals – do their best to keep audiences laughing, smiling, clapping and tapping their toes.
Whether you plan to actually spend Thanksgiving Day somewhere in the Great Smoky Mountains or travel to visit family or host a Turkey-Day get-together of your own, there's no reason you still can't spend part, if not all, of the rest of this week here in the beauty of East Tennessee.
The communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, as well as outlying areas like the national park, have a lot to offer. From Winterfest events and decorations to the usual assortment of attractions, shops and restaurants, there's a lot to see and do. Read on for a few suggestions for ways to turn this year's Thanksgiving into a true Smoky Mountain holiday.
Now that we're firmly entrenched in autumn, we're scaling back our operational schedule here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. For now, we're only open on Saturdays and Sundays through the end of the year, except for the Thanksgiving week and Christmas week, when we will be open on weekdays as well. After the new year, we'll be closed in January and February, and then we'll start tours again in March, once temperatures start to warm up a little.
Once upon a time in the Great Smoky Mountains, things started slowing down this time of year. Once the fall foliage disappeared, so did the tourists. But for the past 25 years, the communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville have figured out how to keep visitors hanging around, well past Thanksgiving and Christmas and even into the chilly months of the new year.
The solution? Smoky Mountain Winterfest, a four-month-long celebration of the holidays and winter that has proven that even after peak season, the mountains of East Tennessee can still be a lot of fun to visit. This week, we'll give you an overview of what our communities are doing to make the most out of winter, from special events to light displays.
Here at our Smoky Mountain zipline attraction, we get visitors from all over the country and sometimes from around the world. With a challenging canopy tour set up in the scenic mountains of East Tennessee, we have a lot to offer area visitors in search of thrills and adventure.
But every now and then, we like to share stories about what other notable attractions around the world are doing. Almost every week, we read about a unique zipline course or interesting people who have decided to take on the challenge of riding a zipline. So this week, join us on a whirlwind tour of the planet as we explore what's happening in the world (literally) of ziplining. (Many of these news items contain links to video clips.)
For the past couple of weeks, we've spent some time giving you an overview of all the shopping opportunities that await when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. We know that even if you decide to visit us to do some zip lining in Pigeon Forge, TN, you will still have plenty of time on your hands to discover what else this amazing vacation area has to offer.
Like it or not, the holiday season sneaked up on us when we weren't paying attention, and now we're only a couple of months out from Christmas. That means it's time to get busy with all that holiday shopping so you can start marking names off the ol' list. The good news is, whether your friends and family have been naughty or nice, you'll have no trouble finding plenty of gift ideas here in the Great Smoky Mountains
Last week, we started our Smoky Mountain Ziplines blog series on fall shopping in the Smokies with an overview of all the outlet mall opportunities, primarily in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. This week, we're going to shift our attention to one of the other big retail categories around here – mountain crafts. And for that, we'll be focusing a lot of our attention on Gatlinburg, but we'll tie in some other destinations as well.
The Great Smoky Mountains are obviously the number one reason that millions of people from all over the world come to our area every year. But as the tourism industry began to develop in the 1940s and '50s, folks began coming here for other reasons, including world-class attractions and, in the last few decades, shopping. That's right; for many visitors, a trip to the Smokies wouldn't be complete without making a stop at their favorite outlet mall, craft studio or specialty shop.
Most of the area school systems are taking their fall breaks in early October, which means that a lot of families are going to be traveling in the Smokies in the next week or two. It's a great time of year to visit, too, because now is when the foliage is starting to undergo its annual transformation from green into the trademark oranges, reds and yellows of fall.
But it's still early enough yet that you may not see a lot of turning foliage; it all depends on where you travel and what elevations you reach. So this week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines will tell you roughly when and where you can get the best color show, and we'll even break it down according to the types of vegetation that will be making their autumnal metamorphoses first.
Last week, we spent a little time telling you about some of the neat fall events and activities taking place during this year's Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival. It's a time when the leaves change colors in the mountains, the temperatures cool off and folks around here mark the occasion with lots of autumn decorations and special events in the communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.
This week, we're going to pick up where we left off and fill you in on several more Harvest Festival happenings. We'll be going strong here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines during that time as well, so after you've spent a few hours with us ziplining, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg will have lots of events on their calendars to keep you entertained for the rest of your visit.
It's official. The calendar says it's autumn, and nature is starting to agree. The days are a little milder, and the trees are starting to show the earliest hints that their annual color transformation is under way.
Here in the Great Smoky Mountains, we never pass up an opportunity to celebrate a season or give our visitors more bang for their buck with a rich lineup of special events. As a result, the annual Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival is now underway in the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, offering six weeks of events and festivals designed to welcome fall with open arms.
Let's be honest; when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains, there are a lot of things you don't have to do. You don't have to shop at an outlet mall. You don't have to visit our local attractions (with Smoky Mountain Ziplines being the only exception, of course). For that matter, you don't even have to visit the national park.
There's really only one thing you have to do when you come to the area, and that's eat! That's why we're going to offer you some suggestions this week for restaurants you need to consider when dining out in the Smokies. This list represents not only some of the most popular eateries around but also some of the dining spots that locals enjoy most.
There's no doubt that when you travel to the Smokies, you're going to see a lot of cars. Sometimes, that may mean being surrounded by your fellow travelers on a busy traffic day. But other times, seeing lots of cars in the Smokies can be a good thing, especially if you're a fan of custom cars, muscle cars, fast cars and even famous cars.
Between some of the custom-auto shows coming up in the next week or so and many of the well-established attractions around here, there's plenty for all you self-proclaimed “gearheads” to see and do. So this week, we're going to give you a quick run-down of what you can look forward to, and hopefully, you'll also take time to visit our Smoky Mountain zip lines while you're at it.
Labor Day weekend always marks the unofficial end of summer, but that doesn't mean you can't give that beloved season a proper send-off. This weekend in the Smokies, you'll find lots of different ways to wrap up summer with a bang and create memories that will hold you over until your next trip back to town. From special events to fun attractions to retail extravaganzas, we at Smoky Mountain Ziplines have narrowed all the possibilities down to five suggestions for ways to make your Labor Day weekend count.
Most folks who visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park find some way to interact with its abundant natural settings, whether it's hiking a scenic trail, fishing for trout, exploring historic structures or pitching a tent under the stars at a campground.
However, there's one special destination within the national park that takes that interactive experience to new levels. It's a place where those with a deep and abiding respect for the park's preserved acreage can not only learn more about their surroundings but also find ways to get a more hands-on experience.
When you imagine spending time in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, you might first think of bucolic scenes straight from a painting – images of rolling meadows and rambling streams framed by majestic mountains in the background. And while a retreat to nature can be a soothing way to settle the soul, we all have times when we want to just cut loose and go for the adrenaline rush.
So if you've been feeling the need for a little speed in your life lately, you can still find what you're looking for in the communities of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. Our cities have all sorts of attractions that have nothing to do with slowing down and smelling the roses. In fact, when it comes to any of the following suggestions, faster means better.
Whether your Smoky Mountain vacation has you staying in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville or Gatlinburg, zip line fans and newbies alike need to set their sights on Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. Our attraction is known for its scenic canopy tour, with ziplines that take you through our mountain treetops at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
August is a weird time of year here in the Smokies. Technically, it's still summer – a fact that some of these hot-and-humid days we've been having won't let you forget. But now that most schools in the region have started back, that usual peak-season level of activity on the roads and at our local attractions and shops has slackened noticeably.
This is good news for those of you who may not yet have had a chance to make your annual pilgrimage to the mountains this year, especially if you don't have kids in school and are able to travel on weekdays. Visiting in August gives you access to all the fun things you can do during warmer weather, but because overall visitation has hit an annual slump (until the fall colors kick in), you can take advantage of less traffic, shorter lines and smaller crowds.
Spending your summer days on the go in the Great Smoky Mountains can be a lot of fun. But sometimes, the combination of our Tennessee heat and humidity can make for some uncomfortable afternoons. But that shouldn't stop you from going out and making the best of the situation.
That's why this week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines is offering a number of suggestions for ways to have fun and keep your cool at the same time. Some of them involve a paid admission, while some of them are free. But no matter which you choose, you're sure to wind up with a fun way of beating the summertime heat.
Your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains will very likely be a busy one. After all, there's so much to do here, and for most vacationers, there just aren't enough days in the week to pack in all that the area has to offer. Between visiting the national park, seeing shows, shopping, dining out and (hopefully) spending a few fun-filled hours on our zip lines in Pigeon Forge, TN, you may be so focused on the Smoky Mountains of today that you overlook the Smokies of the past.
Last week, we introduced you to a host of things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains that involve animals. From Sevierville to Gatlinburg and everywhere in between, visitors can find all kinds of attractions that showcase our winged, finned and furry friends. Some activities are participatory, while some are for viewing only, but no matter the venue, you can be assured that if you're an animal lover, the Smokies is a great place to go.
In our last blog entry, we covered many of the attractions in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. This week, we'll see what's going on in Gatlinburg as well as some areas near the Smokies, and we'll also spend a moment giving you an overview of animal-themed shows in our communities. So when you plan your next visit to our Smoky Mountain zipline adventure, you'll have a few more ideas for how to spend your vacation time.
You'll have a lot of fun ziplining with us this summer at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. There's no place to zipline in Sevierville, TN or Gatlinburg, TN that offers quite the experience that we can at our outpost in Pigeon Forge. Our canopy tours add up to big thrills in a gorgeous wooded mountain setting.
It's peak season for camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That should come as no surprise, considering that summer's comfortable nights make the conditions just right for outdoor living. It's also family vacation time, so this time of year, many of the park's 9 million annual visitors are choosing to rough it at one of the park's many camping facilities.
So while we hope you carve out some time in your Smokies vacation to do some ziplining in Tennessee, we want to continue last week's discussion of the ins and outs of camping in the Great Smoky Mountains.
There's a lot to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, from hiking and picnicking to fishing and touring historical sites. However, one of the most popular activities that visitors like to undertake each year is camping. This week, Smoky Mountain Ziplines wants to pass along some basic information about camping in the national park. We'll give you a quick overview of some of the main campgrounds on the Tennessee side of the park as well as some general information about the dos and don'ts of camping.
Last week, we started a two-part series focusing on some of the easiest and most convenient ways to get around Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the communities of neighboring Sevier County, Tennessee – Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. After all, more than 9 million visitors make their way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year, which can really tie traffic up some days, especially during the peak season periods of summer and fall.
Last week, we started with some suggestions for alternate ways to get to and through the national park itself, other than the most popular entrance, which is U.S. 441 on the north end of the park, just south of Gatlinburg. We discussed access points that include Wears Valley and Cosby, Tennessee, as well as the southern entrance, in North Carolina.
Did you know that more than 9 million visitors make their way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year? That's a statistic that makes our park the most visited in the country. As a result, the nearby communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville benefit from the vast majority of those folks. After all, 9 million-plus people need rooms to stay in, restaurants to dine at and other ways of amusing themselves when they're not inside the park.
But that's an awful lot of people filtering through Sevier County each year, especially when you consider that those three communities combined probably don't have a population of more than 30,000 people. And one of the biggest impacts that much visitation has is the local traffic, especially during the summer months and October, when the fall foliage is at its peak of color.
We've got a lot going on at Smoky Mountain Ziplines this season. Our existing canopy course and SuperZip lines are giving visitors from all over the country lots of thrills in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Our attraction near Pigeon Forge consistently gets high online customer ratings, because we have so many different zipline experiences and because we offer a lot of action for the price.
This week, we thought it might be interesting to also give you a peek at some other exciting zipline attractions from around the world. The countries, settings and experiences vary from location to location, but all of us as zipline vendors have one thing in common – the ability to help our guests undertake an extreme outdoor activity that's accessible to almost anyone interested in meeting the challenge.
Since Dollywood first opened its gates 30 years ago, the Pigeon Forge theme park has continued to expand and grow. Developers added a whole new dimension to that growth in 2001 with the opening of Dollywood's Splash Country, a separate water park destination that occupies more than 35 acres adjacent to the original theme park.
This past Memorial Day weekend, Splash Country officially kicked off its 2015 season, which will last through Labor Day weekend. Those who plan on visiting this year will find some relatively new features and attractions, not to mention water-themed slides and activities geared toward all ages.
Last week, we suggested that if you're planning to spend a week or more in the Great Smoky Mountains, you might want to consider a one-day side trip to Knoxville, if for no other reason than to break up the pace of your week and enjoy a slightly different East Tennessee experience.
So while we certainly hope that your next trip to this area includes spending half a day on our ziplines in the Smoky Mountains, we also think you'll be well served to give Knoxville a try. It only takes a half-hour to an hour to get there, depending on your starting point in the Smokies, and the city is generally easy to get around. Much of what you might want to see is in the general downtown vicinity, and when it comes to restaurants and shops, you'll probably find prices are generally lower than what you'll encounter in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville.
No doubt, there are endless possibilities that await visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains. You could spend weeks alone just exploring the national park, not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of attractions, shops and restaurants to be found in the communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Our zip lines in Tennessee are just one example of the many ways that families visiting the Smokies can have a whole lot of fun and enjoy the beauty of the mountains at the same time.
Last week, we talked a little about how important cars were to our American culture. Whether our preferences are for a regular family sedan, a tricked-out custom car or a vintage muscle car from the '70s, most of us seem to be fascinated with our four-wheeled friends.
We also pointed out how that love affair with the car has translated to a variety of attractions and events in the Great Smoky Mountains, all of which are geared toward helping car fans get their fix. As it turns out, there's even more for the car enthusiast here in the Smokies than even we realized, so we decided to come back and finish what we started last week, by introducing you to even more attractions and events that are sure to get your motor running.
For about a century now, Americans have had a long-standing love affair with their cars. And it's a romance that's showing no signs of letting up either. Anyone who's traveled to the Great Smoky Mountains in recent history probably knows full well how prevalent our four-wheeled friends are. Just ask anyone who's been backed up in traffic on the Parkway on a busy holiday weekend, and he'll tell you that there's definitely not a car shortage.
But there are also plenty of positive associations when it comes to cars and the Smokies. From special events that showcase a wide range of customized and niche-interest vehicles to unique attractions that draw attention to some of the world's rarest and most fascinating cars, this area has a lot to offer gearheads of all ages.
Millions of people travel to the Great Smoky Mountains every year to enjoy the beauty and the majesty of one of the most awe-inspiring locations on earth. After all, there would likely be no tourism industry in East Tennessee at all if it hadn't been for the existence of our mountains, green valleys, diversity of flora and fauna and breathtaking rivers and waterfalls.
So it's only natural (pun intended) that the Smokies would be the ideal place to celebrate Earth Week, which runs through Saturday, April 25. And if that sounds like your cup of tea, then the city of Gatlinburg is the place to go for multiple events, which are sponsored by the Hilton Garden Inn on Historic Nature Trail. Each day for the rest of this week, you'll find family-friendly events and activities designed to help participants enjoy, appreciate and even help preserve our planet.
It's traditionally been one of the surest signs of spring in America – the start of baseball season. And in East Tennessee, that means the return of the Tennessee Smokies, who will play some 70 home games this year at Smokies Stadium in Sevierville.
The Smokies have called Sevier County home for the past 15 years now, and during that time, the team has been a big draw not just for the locals who make their home in this area but also for visitors to the great Smoky Mountains communities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
For the past couple of weeks, we've previewed a good number of the many live theater shows that will be running in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg this year. As we've mentioned in the previous installments, music shows in the Smokies are more than just the usual mix of country, bluegrass and gospel. Our stages are home to a wide range of music as well as comedy, dancing, horsemanship, magic and more.
This week, we'll wrap up our preview with several more theater options, any of which would be a good option when trying to decide on a fun Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg attraction. Of course, we hope you'll visit us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines this season. Theaters make for great indoor entertainment, but when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors in the Smokies, nothing entertains quite like flying through a mountain valley at high speed.
Last week, we gave you Part I of our preview of all the different live theater shows that you'll be able to find in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg this year. As we mentioned in the introduction to that installment, music shows in the Smokies are more than just the usual mix of country, bluegrass and gospel. Our stages are home to a wide range of music as well as comedy, dancing, murder mysteries, magic and more.
This week, we'll take a closer look at a few more of the productions lined up for this year. Of course, we hope you'll visit us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines this season, but if you spend a few hours on our course and are still looking for a few other things to do Pigeon Forge in 2015, this list of theaters and shows is a great place to start.
Folks generally come to this part of the country to see the Great Smoky Mountains, but in most cases, they find a lot of other things to do while they're in town. For the past couple of decades, music theater shows have been one of the must-do outings for most people spending time in the Smokies.
Many of the shows are devoted to styles of music that are deeply rooted in East Tennessee soil, including country, bluegrass and gospel. But there's also true variety on the stages of the Smokies, with live productions that feature everything from equestrian displays and magic to lumberjack skills and musical genres that stretch into the realm of rock and roll.
Budding trees, blooming flowers and worm-hunting robins aren't the only signs of spring here in the mountains. The opening of Dollywood theme park each season is another sure-fire way to tell that spring is at our doorstep. This weekend, Dollywood kicks off its 30th season in the Smokies as it does every year, with the annual Festival of Nations.
The 2015 Festival of Nations runs March 21 through April 20 and welcomes the world to East Tennessee as it showcases a full month of live performers, foods, and arts and crafts from nations across the globe. In all, some 20 countries will be represented this year through authentic demonstrations of music, dance, cuisine and other cultural activities – all designed to give Dollywood guests a glimpse of the traditions of other nations.
After one of the most miserably cold and snowy winters we can remember in recent history, we're finally getting an early taste of spring and summer- even a couple of weeks before spring officially turns up on the calendar. The good news for us here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines is that we can finally start getting back to a regular seasonal schedule – that is, as long as the rain decides to give us a break.
Whether you've ever ziplined before or not, we wanted to spend some time this week telling you a little about ourselves and what we have to offer here in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
So what could the Internet giant Google possibly have to do with the activity of ziplining? Interestingly, the company has added ziplining as a way to capture its Street View images in some of the world's most remote and hard-to-reach areas.
For example, some of its latest Street View images are of the Amazon rainforest, taken with cameras mounted on ziplines. Thanks to a partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), those who click on Google Street View can now see trees and other forms of plant life in one particular section of the rainforest – from forest floor to upper canopy.
Just when we thought we'd broken the icy grip of last week's winter weather, nature swoops in and dumps several more inches of snow on East Tennessee. There's an old adage about making lemons out of lemonade, and in this case, you might find the best makings for lemonade at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. After all, snow and cold weather mean awesome conditions for skiing, boarding and tubing.
This morning (Tuesday), the resort is reporting that slopes open at noon, and the tubing course opens at 11 a.m. However, they are strongly recommending NOT trying to access the resort by driving up Ski Mountain Rd. to the top of Mt. Harrison. Rather, take the Aerial Tramway from downtown Gatlinburg to get to the top of the mountain.
Usually, we're all about encouraging people to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains, but with all the snow and ice that's swept through the region this week, this is one of those rare cases when we'll tell you that you're best off staying put, wherever you happen to be.
But just in case you had given some thought to venturing into the national park this week (after all, there are probably some beautiful winter landscapes to be seen), here is a list of road closures as of February 16:
If your spring or summer travels take you in the vicinity of Wears Valley, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, zip line fun should be high on your list of things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains. As the weather warms up in the weeks to come, we'll be back on our full seasonal schedule and ready to give visitors a ride and an experience they'll never forget.
In the meantime, we've got a few fun facts for you this week, which will help you brush up on your knowledge of the Smokies. Whether your next trip here is your first or if you've been coming here for decades, you may just pick up a tidbit or two that you didn't know.
Wales isn't known for much, but it's quickly developing a reputation as a place for travelers in search of fun and adventure. One attraction in Bethesda, Wales – ZipWorld – features a 100-mile-per-hour zipline, and a sister attraction called Bounce Below, which offers multi-level trampoline fun inside an underground cavern.
See video here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/what-you-you-combine-bounce-8566078
Our zip lines in the Smokies may not be back up to full schedule yet, but we still have plenty of recommendations for places to go and things to do while you're in this neck of the woods. History buffs, especially, might be interested to know that there are lots of places within Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone that are of historical significance. Here are just a few to look for when you're in the park:
• John Oliver cabin – You'll find this one in the Cades Cove area of the park, and it's just a short walk off the one-way loop road. One of the oldest surviving structures in the Smokies, it was the homestead of early Cove settlers John and Lucretia Oliver, who built the cabin without pegs or nails. It stays anchored by gravity alone, and the cabin still stands today in its original location.
Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a scenic outing no matter what time of year you travel here. But winter especially can be a tricky time of year for getting around the park. One day the weather will be cold and nasty, with ice, sleet or snow, and the next day, it can be sunny, with temps in the 60s.
Because of nature's fickle nature, though, travel through the national park can be limited due to road conditions. Main thoroughfares like Newfound Gap Road and Little River Road are sometimes shut down for days at a time, and even when they're open, some of the smaller side roads might be closed to traffic.
Some folks may be cheering for spring to hurry up and get here, but you snowbirds know that we're in the middle of ski season, and the cold temps we've had lately are making conditions just right for hitting the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg ski resort.
Today, they're reporting a base of 30 to 40 inches, with eight of their 10 trails and three of their four lifts open for eager shushers. There hasn't been a lot of natural snow up there lately, but thanks to the cold weather, the conditions have been favorable for their machine-groomed surface.
Now that the holidays are over, things tend to slow down a little bit here in the Smokies. But not too much. In fact, long gone are the days when the off-season meant three months of shuttered restaurants, shops and hotels. There's plenty going on here in the next few months, so we thought we'd pass along a few suggestions for how to stay busy – if you're not taking one of our Pigeon Forge zip line tours, that is.
As we sit here on the cusp of a new year, have you thought about any changes you might want to make for 2015? Have you made any resolutions about areas of your life that you might want to improve or new things you might like to try? If nothing else this next year, remember that it's never too late to take chances or to experience things you've never done before.
Our zip lines in Tennessee would be a great place to start if you're looking for a new way to perhaps stretch your comfort zone a little bit. Our 24-line canopy tour and four SuperZip lines offer a wide range of zipline experiences, starting you off low and slow and building you up to some of the longest and fastest ziplines in the Smokies.
Whether you're visiting the Great Smoky Mountains area this week or not, we hope that you and your family have a wonderful and safe holiday week. But even if you're not here with us for Christmas itself, then you can still plan a fun getaway in the Smokies for this weekend. What can you do? Here are just a few suggestions.
• Zipline, of course! Weather permitting, consider one of our Pigeon Forge zipline tours. We run on a limited schedule in winter, but we've had some pretty seasonable days lately, so give us a call to confirm our operating dates and times.
Yep, you read that correctly. There is such a thing as a zipline roller coaster, and you can find it in New South Wales, Australia. Measuring a full kilometer in length, the Crazy Rider Xtreme is located at the TreeTop Adventure Park and is officially the longest curving zip wire in the world.
Check out the video here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/australiaandpacific/australia/11242633/The-rise-and-thrilling-falls-of-the-zip-wire-rollercoaster.html
The Crazy Rider Xtreme takes visitors on a five-minute-long, twisty, curly ride through the treetops. Over the course of the trek, riders zigzag their way through 40 obstacles and get whirled around on 360-degree loops, one of which completely circles a tree. The high-wire technology, which was developed by the park owners, enables the course to run in curves and loops rather than straight lines.
It seems like in the zipline business, everyone's always playing a game of one-upmanship – trying to be the attraction with the biggest and baddest ziplines in town. Back in September, Attitash Mountain Resort in New Hampshire made a name for itself (for the time being) by opening the longest zipline run in the continental United States.
The new line carries riders from the summit of Bear Peak to the base of Attitash Mountain. The Flying Bear Zip is just under 5,000 feet long, making it very close to a mile in length. Watch this video to see what it looks like to take a spin on the Flying Bear: http://www.wmur.com/escape-outside/escape-outside-longest-zip-line/27990290 A companion zipline, Attitash Aerial Zip, is just over 2,100 feet long.
Christmas is just weeks away, but at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, they've already gotten an early jump on the holiday season. In fact, their annual Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration has been in full swing for weeks now, offering two months' worth of entertainment, holiday lights, seasonal foods and more. The festival runs now through January 3, 2015.
“I'm so glad we were able to add Rudolph and his friends to our Smoky Mountain Christmas,” said Parton. “With all of the beautiful lights and decorations, it truly is the most special time of year at my Dollywood.”
Well, almost… Although Ober Gatlinburg ski resort hasn't yet opened its mountain slopes for skiing and snowboarding, you can still get in some early winter fun by snow tubing. Now through early spring 2015, the attraction's 10-lane tubing course is open to the public, offering zippy downhill action for ages 3 and older. Tubers have to be at least 6 years old, but ages 3 to 5 can ride with an adult.
Sessions last an hour and a half, and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Sessions cost $20 to $25, depending on the day of the week, and five to six sessions are scheduled throughout the day.
For some folks, Thanksgiving means time at home with family, enjoying a big meal and giving thanks for blessings. Maybe this year, though, it might be fun to shake things up a bit and let someone else do all the cooking. In fact, you could visit the Great Smoky Mountains next week, have that turkey dinner and still get to enjoy all the great things about a vacation in the Smokies.
In fact, a good number of restaurants in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville will be open on Thanksgiving day, but if you still insist on having traditional foods like turkey and dressing and the like, then here are few places that will be setting a yummy holiday spread.
This week, the communities of Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are kicking off their annual Winterfest celebrations, and the one element each town shares is lots and lots of holiday lights. Once you combine all the light displays in the three cities, and then add in all the lights at Dollywood, we're talking millions and millions and millions of individual lights. That's a lot of bulbs!
Of course, you can tour any of the city's official light displays by car, but in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, there's another option for taking in all that brilliant nighttime scenery. The Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights and the Pigeon Forge Winterfest Trolley Tour of Lights show off everything each city has to offer, and best of all, you get to let someone else do all the driving. And don't worry; during winter, the trolleys are heated, so all you and your family have to do is sit back and enjoy the sights.
We had a bit of early winter weather here in the Smokies last weekend, and it definitely had an impact on Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The mountaintops were covered in snow, and LeConte Lodge at the top of Mt. LeConte recorded nearly two feet of snowfall. As such park officials were asking visitors to stay out of the national park, but as of today's posting (11/4), the park's major thoroughfares are open on the Tennessee side.
Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) connecting Gatlinburg to Cherokee, NC is open again, but drivers are cautioned to keep an eye out for ice and snow, particularly in the higher elevations. The same goes for Little River Road, which connects the Sugarlands Visitor Center to Cades Cove and Townsend. Even Clingmans Dome Road, which connects Newfound Gap Road to the Clingmans Dome observation tower, just reopened today. The same warnings about ice and snow apply.
Every now and then, we'll profile different super-extreme zipline attractions around the world – almost always portraying ziplining in the context of fun and amusement. But sometimes, ziplines can be used for more practical purposes. For example, did you know that the Wisconsin National Guard just purchased two mobile zipline units as part of its ongoing recruiting efforts?
Extreme Engineering, the nation's largest supplier of mobile ziplines and climbing walls, will be making its delivery to the Wisconsin National Guard by the end of this month. The two lines will be part of the guard's marketing and promotional campaign as it seeks to attract new recruits. Extreme Engineering's Fly Wire Zip Line is a past winner of the Best Major Theme Park Ride award by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
The witching hour is drawing near, and within just a few days, Halloween will be upon us. If you happen to be visiting the Great Smoky Mountains that night or any time between now and then, there are several things you can do in the area that will help you get into the, um, spirit of the celebration.
Now through November 2, Ripley's Haunted Adventure in Gatlinburg is staging its 16th annual Fright Nights show: “Backwoods Terror 2: Back to the Woods.” This year-round haunted house will be bringing back all those mountain mutants featured in their 2011 Fright Nights show, “Backwoods Terror.”
From time to time, we like to profile extreme zipline attractions around the world, just to give you an idea of the lengths some folks are going to to push the edge of the thrill-seeking envelope, so to speak. This week, we bring you some information about a zipline outfitter in Costa Rica that makes the most of its location at the base of a volcano.
Sky Adventures is located in a forested valley that lies in the shadow of Arenal Volcano. Below the zipline run is Lake Arenal, a 32-square-mile man-made lake created in the wake of the volcano's last violent eruption in 1968. Even today, the distant but possible threat of another eruption looms above guests as the volcano's crater emits plumes of steam from time to time.
In addition to the changing foliage, fall in the Great Smoky Mountains is also known for craft shows and fairs. And later this week, one of the biggest craft events in the Smokies gets under way at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. The 39th annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair runs October 9 through 26, bringing in dozens of top crafts people from all over the United States.
One thing that separates the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair from many of the other local and regional shows is that it's a juried event. That means only the highest quality of artisans are allowed to exhibit on the convention center's multiple levels. As a result, the fair has been recognized as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast U.S. by the Southeast Tourism Society.
We may just have a great recipe for beautiful fall foliage in the Great Smoky Mountains this year. The magic combination includes sunny days, occasional rainfall and longer, cooler nights, and that's exactly what we've been enjoying the past few weeks in this neck of the woods.
As a matter of fact, we're starting to seen changes in leaf color a little earlier than usual. Just a week ago, for example, color changes were spotted in Great Smoky Mountains National Park above the 4,000-foot mark. From this point on, we can expect to see the gradual transformation from summer's greens to autumn's reds, oranges and yellows moving into lower and lower elevations.
It's almost as if our Smoky Mountain weather knew that fall had arrived on the calendar. We've been blessed this week with some cool nights, comfortable days, blue skies and plenty of sunshine-the perfect lead-in to one of the most popular seasons in the Smokies.
At Ober Gatlinburg, they're celebrating the season with Oktoberfest, which kicks off this Saturday, September 27, and continues through November 2. The festival dates back to 1810, when the first Oktoberfest was a public celebration of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Bavaria. That first event featured a horse race, food, music and dancing.
The weather is just about to be ideal for heading to the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoying some fall colors and, hopefully, also joining us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines for some high-flying family fun. If you decide to come to Pigeon Forge, TN this weekend to zipline, Sevierville, TN might be a good place to make your next stop. That's where they're having the 15th Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival.
The event takes place September 18 through 20 at Dumplin Valley Farm RV Park in Kodak, which is a small community adjacent to Sevierville, near Interstate 40 Exit 407. In addition to three days of top-notch live bluegrass music, the premises are open to camping, which means you can stay on site and enjoy the full range of bands performing this weekend.
If you're a gearhead or a custom-car fanatic on any level, then you might want to set your sights on Pigeon Forge, TN this week. That's where you'll find the semi-annual Pigeon Forge Rod Run, which goes down this weekend, September 11 through 13. Formerly known as the Grand Rod Run, the event is now being held at the new LeConte Event Center.
The move into this city-owned facility is adding more interior space as well as plenty of free paved parking in the adjacent lot. The LeConte Center sits at the corner of Jake Thomas Rd. and Teaster Lane, only one block from the old Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center location. It's still just a short walk from all the hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions on the Parkway, and it's a very short trolley ride away from The Island, Pigeon Forge's new multipurpose entertainment complex.
Summer may be officially over, but there are still plenty of warm days ahead, so it's still a great time to come visit the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Whether you choose to explore the national park or check out one of the many great attractions in the area, you'll find plenty of ways to keep your gang entertained while you're here.
And don't forget that our zipline attraction is still going to be open for a few more months this season, offering plenty of chances to experience the thrill of soaring through the air, high above the beautiful scenery of the Smokies. Ziplines, Smoky Mountains and beautiful days all add up to a magical way for you and your family to spend a morning or afternoon.
There are lots of animal-themed attractions in the Smokies-everything from horseback riding stables and bird exhibits to petting zoos and a world-class aquarium. But there are also several attractions in the area that feature animals as part of live shows. Whether it's trained horses, wild buffalo or camels, the theaters of the Smokies are home to a menagerie of four-footed (and two-winged) stars. Here's a quick peek at just a few of the places where our animal friends share the spotlight:
If you don't currently have plans to visit the Smokies in the next few weeks, you might want to give that some consideration. Now that schools are back in session, weekday visitation has dropped off a good bit, which means the shops and attractions and restaurants aren't as crowded, and it's a good bit easier to get around town.
There's also a lot going on in the communities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg over the next few weeks, giving you even more choices of things to do while you're here. Here's a quick look at just a few of the happenings taking place during the next week.
For most folks, cruising from one end of an extreme zipline to another at automobile-like speeds is thrilling enough. High above the ground, cruising along with the wind in your hair, flying like a bird, you'll find ziplining to be one of the most accessible ways for people of almost any age to experience an unbelievable adrenaline rush.
But then there are some thrill-seekers who might need a little more than just a zipline ride. For example, check out the people in the video below, who are taking ziplining to the extreme at a Panama City, Panama attraction. Not only are they ziplining from the top of a skyscraper, they're not even staying on the zipline all the way to the bottom. These daredevils are actually releasing themselves from the zipline and parachuting to the ground below. Check it out here:
What's a really fun way to celebrate a birthday? You might ask Charleston, West Virginia, resident Dorothy King, who recently marked her 90th trip around the sun by visiting a zipline attraction in her home state. In fact, this bucket-list outing was exactly what she had asked for to mark the occasion.
King started out by doing just a short test run on one of the beginner lines, but soon, she found herself fearlessly taking on all of the attraction's six ziplines. Her last run was a 3,100-foot double line that allowed her to race one of her sons to the bottom at nearly 60 miles per hour. Even a previous hip-replacement procedure didn't deter this grandmother from experiencing the thrills of ziplining.
We're not even fully into August yet, but these days, kids and their parents are already going back to school in most parts of the country. Typically, the young ones are sad about it, and the parents are overjoyed, but there's still time this weekend and in the weekends to come to enjoy on last summer outing together as a family. Here are a few suggestions for ways to take advantage of being in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
• Enjoy some discounts – This weekend is the state's annual Sales Tax-Free Weekend, which means you can stock up on qualified items without paying Tennessee's 9-cent sales tax per dollar. This is a great opportunity to get school supplies and back-to-school clothing and accessories. Also, it's Celebrate Freedom! month in Pigeon Forge. Participating businesses throughout town are offering discounts for active and veteran military personnel in honor of their service to our country.
First, let's just say that a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must for anyone visiting this area. Yes, it's fun to zipline in Tennessee and enjoy all the restaurants and outlet malls and attractions. But there's only one national park around here, and it's unmatched when it comes to scenic beauty and outdoor activities like hiking, picnicking, cycling and fishing.
If you're headed to the Smokies this week, you might want to know about some cool programs that are going on inside the national park. These are free (usually), ranger-led activities that are suitable for the whole family and go above and beyond the usual fun things to do when you're inside the park. Here's a quick overview of what's going on this week:
Have you had a chance to visit us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines yet this summer? If not, this is a great time of year to check out our 24-line canopy tours or to fly like a screamin' demon on one of our four SuperZip lines. The weather this week will be great for being outdoors, plus our outpost is located just a couple of miles off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.
But this is also a great time of year to visit the Smokies if you're a fan of arts and crafts. For example, once you've ridden our ziplines, Gatlinburg should be the next destination on your itinerary. That's where you'll find the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair, which takes place at the Gatlinburg Convention Center July 18 through 27.
Whether you're an East Tennessee resident or visiting the Smokies from several states away, you might be inclined to agree that there are few better ways to spend a summer night than to take in a baseball game. And we're not talking about watching one on TV either. Fortunately, we have a great place right here in the mountains where baseball fans of all ages can watch live, professional minor league action all summer long.
Smokies Park, located just off Interstate 40 at Exit 407, is the home of the Tennessee Smokies, a AA minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The Smokies have called Sevierville home since 2000, and ever since then, fans have been traveling from near and far to catch many of the 40 home games each season.
Later this week, we celebrate our nation's 238th birthday with the observance of Independence Day. And if you happen to be visiting the Great Smoky Mountains this Friday the 4th, or into the weekend, you'll have several choices when it comes to fun and unique ways to say “Happy birthday, America!”
Gatlinburg's always a good place to start, especially considering that their 4th of July Midnight Parade is the nation's first Independence Day celebration each year. At midnight on the 3rd, some 100,000 spectators will be gathered on the streets of downtown to get a look at this red-white-and-blue nighttime spectacle.
Now that summer is in full swing, our ziplines in Pigeon Forge are going full steam as families from all over the country converge on the Smokies to get their fix of mountains, scenic beauty, wildlife and natural resources.
But don't forget to schedule some time to experience all that stuff inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well. While most of what the park has to offer can be enjoyed without any sort of guidance or assistance, the National Park Service does offer a wide selection of ranger-led programs that help enhance the park's many attributes for visitors. The cool part is that these programs are almost always free to the public, and there are lots of activities especially designed for kids. Here's a sampling of what's going on this week:
Our ziplines in the Smoky Mountains already offer the best value in the area thanks to our having the largest course with the most lines around. But this summer, we're offering several additional discounts that will help make your outdoor experience in the Smokies even more cost-effective.
If you can get your hands on one of our brochures, bring that in and use the coupon for $15 off your trip (valid only for those who book a full zipline package). The coupon can be found on the front top of the brochure. We also take $5 off admission for enlisted military personnel and their families as well as senior citizens ages 65 and older. And if you're coming with a group of people, give us a call, and we can work out a discounted rate for that as well.
By now, most schools around the country are officially out, and we're more than a week past Memorial Day. It's official; summer is here. That means that a lot more visitors headed to the Smokies this week are families on vacation. If that's you, then read on to get an idea of some of the special happenings that are taking place in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville this week.
• If your travels take you to Gatlinburg this week, you might be interested to know that the city is offering free trolley service for most of the summer. Look for the specially marked, open-air shuttles, which will run from 10 a.m. to 10:30 daily, June 13 through August 17. They will run along a special route that includes more than 40 stops.
Most people probably don't associate the country of Wales with extreme outdoor sports, but when it comes to ziplines, this British Isles nation is certainly making a name for itself. A company called Zip World has several different zipline runs that give thrill seekers something to talk about.
The Zip World Titan allows four passengers to fly in tandem at up to 60 miles per hour. The company's Zip World Velocity became the longest zipline in the northern hemisphere in 2013, reaching speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. In all, the attractions offer nearly five miles' worth of ziplining fun.
One of the neat things about vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountains is that there are usually more ways to have fun than most people have hours in the day to enjoy them. The choices range from outdoor activities that connect visitors with the scenic beauty of the area to indoor attractions and shows that offer a respite from the elements, whether it's the cold of winter or the heat of summer.
When planning a fun day in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg or Sevierville, why not incorporate both? You might want to plan an outdoor activity like hiking in the national park in the morning, before the heat and humidity take too much of a hold, and then save your indoor plans for the afternoon. That could include shopping at an outlet mall, going to a music theater show or visiting an attraction like Ripley's Aquarium or the Titanic Museum Attraction. Some outdoor attractions, like Tennessee Smokies baseball, can also be enjoyed in the cool of the evening.
Last week, we talked about a web article entitled The World's 6 Most Insane Ziplines, and we presented thumbnail descriptions of three of the attractions, which are located all over the globe. This week, we'll close it out with information about the other three places for extreme zipline fun.
Zip 2000, South Africa
This zipline stretches out for more than one mile and is considered one of the fastest lines in the world, with average speeds of 75 miles per hour and top speeds of 115 miles per hour! You even have to place a fin between your legs to make sure you stay flying straight.
We stumbled upon a web article recently entitled The World's 6 Most Insane Ziplines. This week, we'll give you a thumbnail description of three of the attractions, which are located all over the world, and we'll include a link to video footage from the first one. Check back next week for details about the other three extreme ziplines.
The Beast (Puerto Rico)
At 1,000 feet in the air, this is reportedly the highest zipline in the world. You strap yourself in face down, like Superman, and then you take in views of rainforests, rivers and valleys as you fly down the mile-long mountain course for two minutes at a top speed of 65 miles per hour. Watch it here.
Whether you've previously tried zip lines in Gatlinburg, TN, Sevierville, TN or our own zipline course in Pigeon Forge, TN, you might have had questions about this form of recreation in general. As a popular outdoor activity, ziplining really hasn't been around as long as most types of attractions, so some of the nuts-and-bolts facts about ziplining aren't exactly common knowledge. We'll remedy that week with some Q&A-style trivia questions geared to fill in some of those zipline gaps.
Did you know that Smoky Mountain Ziplines continues to be rated as the number one activity in Pigeon Forge, according to tripadvisor.com? That's not exactly news, however. We've held that spot for quite a while, but we think it says a lot that our customers continue to rave about us and give us such high ratings on a consistent basis.
There sure is a lot going on in the Smokies this week. The cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville have a full calendar for the next few days, offering visitors fun things to do that go above and beyond the usual assortment of attractions and shows. Here's a peek at what's happening…
Gatlinburg – It's Earth Week in Gatlinburg, which means multiple opportunities for folks to learn about, celebrate and participate in acts of environmental stewardship. There's a children's planting program at Mills Park on April 23, the Earth Day Festival at Mynatt Park on April 24, the Earth Day 5K Run/Walk on the night April 25, Junior Ranger Day on April 26 and the Go Green Disc Golf Tournament on Sunday, April 27. Some events are free, but some require registration fees. For more information, call (865) 436-0505.
Every now and then, just for fun, we like to share what other zipline attractions around the world are doing, particularly when they are set up for extreme thrills. This latest place we came across is called Zip World in northern Wales, and its longer line, the Big Zipper, is quite a ride. It's about a mile long, and its sharp descent gets riders zipping along as fast as 100 miles per hour.
Along the way, the main sight is a quarry lake that lies about 500 meters below the zipline, which actually launches on the high side of the quarry itself.
If you're staying in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee this week, you've picked a busy one. In addition to all the usual attractions, shows, shops and restaurants at your disposal, there's a pretty full calendar of special events taking place in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Here's a quick overview of what's going on:
• Guided Walks And Tours Of Gatlinburg – These guided outings offer a number of topics and destinations. Look for wildflowers on a naturalist tour of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, do a birds-only walk in the national park, or take a two-hour tour of downtown Gatlinburg. Tours run through April 20. Learn more at: http://www.gatlinburg.com/events/details.aspx
We get a lot of repeat customers here at our Smoky Mountain zipline attraction. Once people experience the exhilaration of speeding along a suspended zipline at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, they seem to get an itch to come back and do it all again.
But we also realize that many of our visitors are new to us, or it may even be their very first time on a zipline of any kind. If that's true of you, and you've been thinking about giving us a try, here's a quick overview of what to expect on your visit.
Freakish winter storms notwithstanding, this is a great time of year to visit the Smokies and take a spin on our zip lines in Pigeon Forge, TN. We're moving into our regular schedule for the season and with temperatures rebounding nicely the rest of this week and moving into April, this is the ideal time to come to Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Crowds are down until Memorial Day weekend, and it's getting sunny and warm enough to really enjoy some zippy outdoor fun on one of our canopy tours or SuperZip runs.
One of the sure signs of spring in the Smokies is when Dollywood theme park opens for the year. The Pigeon Forge attraction gets things kicked off this weekend with its annual Festival of Nations celebration. The festival is celebration of the music, culture and food of nations from all over the world, and this year's event welcomes some new and familiar faces alike to the hills of East Tennessee.
This year's entertainment acts include The Paper World Show by Mimirichi, which features clowns from the Ukraine that literally tear up the stage. Returning for 2014 is Los Pampas Gauchos, an action-filled, fast-paced family act from Argentina, featuring traditional folk dancing as well as drums, boleadoras, knives, capes and whips.
Earlier this month, May Mead of Greensboro, North Carolina, celebrated her 90th birthday by ziplining in Costa Rica. That made her the oldest person ever to ride the lines at Wingnuts Canopy Tours in Samara, Costa Rica.
“I didn't expect the zip line to be so fast, but it was such a rush and so much fun,” Mead said. Throughout her 10-station adventure, she was shrieked at by howler monkeys and enjoyed a lot of gorgeous jungle scenery.
But you don't have to travel to Central America to celebrate a special occasion on a zipline. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge, we love helping people mark those special milestones like birthdays and anniversaries. We have facilities on site where you and your group can gather to celebrate together and then enjoy hours in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains on one of our canopy tours.
We don't know about the other zip lines in Gatlinburg, Sevierville or Pigeon Forge, but at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're getting the early jump on spring and opening our lines to visitors in search of fun and excitement for the family.
Right now, we're running one morning tour and one afternoon tour, weather permitting, and scheduling more tours on weekends as demand warrants. All you have to do is give us a call before you come, and we'll help fit you into the best time slot possible. This week is starting out a little chilly, but it's going to warm up a good bit by the weekend, so conditions will be ideal for joining us at our mountainside attraction in Pigeon Forge.
Most of us probably think of zipline attractions as being purely for fun. But in Costa Rica, zipline operators are actually helping save endangered rainforests by preventing those lands from being destroyed and developed for other purposes.
Costa Rica is already known for its abundance of canopy tours. Dozens of operators are currently in business, housing courses that run across beaches, rivers, canyons and, of course, through rainforests. Those in particular afford spectacular views of the jungle canopy as well as native flora and fauna such as butterflies, giant iguanas, tree frogs and a wide variety of orchids.
This week, you may want to bring your best cowboy hat, boots and spurs when you come to Pigeon Forge. That's because the 14th annual Saddle Up! event is back for another great week of cowboy-themed entertainment and activities.
The event runs February 19 through 23 and takes place at several Pigeon Forge venues, including the LeConte Center, Clabough's Campground, Pottery House Café and Grille at Old Mill Square, Smoky Mountain Guitars and Stages West.
Highlights this week include songwriter workshops, fiddle and guitar workshops, dinner and live entertainment, storytelling, cowboy history and lore, a chuck wagon cook-off, a cowboy dance and cowboy church on Sunday.
Just because our Pigeon Forge zip line tours are on hiatus for the winter, that doesn't mean there's not a lot going on around town in the month of February. In Pigeon Forge alone, there are several special events taking place that offer new ways to get out and see what's what. Here's an overview:
• Sweetheart Month at Titanic – The Titanic Museum Attraction has several things going on to celebrate romance in February. On the 14th and 15th descendants of Margaret “Molly” Brown and Captain Arthur Rostron (captain of the Carpathia, who helped rescue many Titanic survivors) will be on hand to meet guests at the attraction. They will be displaying the actual silver Loving Cup that Molly Brown presented to Captain Rostron for his service.
Our Pigeon Forge zip line attraction will be open for the season in just a few weeks. In the meantime, you could already be making plans for your next trip to the area. In addition to ziplining, of course, we strongly recommend that you spend some time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So this week, we've got some information that will help you learn a lot about the park and the mountains themselves.
• Established in 1934, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest national park east of the Rocky Mountains.
Can we all agree that it's time for these cold temperatures to head back north where they belong? Unfortunately, the fact is that we're probably looking at six to eight more weeks of wintry weather, depending on what Mr. Groundhog says. But that doesn't mean we can't look ahead and start dreaming about warmer days and summer fun.
One key component of any summer regimen is swimming. Some folks enjoy just laying out by the pool, but others prefer to take their water experiences to the extreme. The drone video below offers a great example of the latter-what will be the tallest and fastest water slide in the world when it opens in May.
While we're on hiatus here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we can at least whet your appetite for the 2014 season with some tales about some of the extreme zipline attractions from around the world.
For example, we've been reading about the one-kilometer-long Everest zipline attraction in Salvador Benedicto, Philipines. At more than 1,000 feet high, it has become an increasingly popular tourist stop for adventure seekers in that neck of the woods.
It's rated highly for its safety, and it takes about a minute and 20 seconds for the average person to travel from one end to the other. Along the way, riders can take in views of a river, rice terraces and winding roads below.
Right now, there aren't many opportunities to get out and do any ziplining in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville, but that doesn't mean you still can't have some fun with the family on your weekend getaway or vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains.
In fact, one of the most popular tourist stops in the Smokies, the Titanic Museum Attraction, is unveiling a brand new exhibit. Beginning January 17, the Pigeon Forge attraction is displaying a collection of personal artifacts owned by Titanic passenger Margaret Brown, better known as the Unsinkable Molly Brown.
It's a good thing we're on hiatus for a couple of months, because right now is definitely not a week in which riding a zipline would be much fun. With single-digit lows and highs in the teens, it's the kind of weather that can not only be un-fun, it can also be downright dangerous if you're not paying attention.
But we realize that lots of folks may still be traveling in the Smokies this week, so if you're hitting the road anyway, here are a few tips for traveling safely during these extreme cold temperatures:
The Great Smoky Mountains aren't just a great place to visit in fall and summer. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to hang around in winter too, especially as we prepare to ring in a new year. To that end, there are several things going on in the area this week that will help you usher in 2014 with a bang.
If you head to downtown Gatlinburg tonight, you can take part in the 26th Annual New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show, which takes place at the base of the Space Needle attraction at the corner of Parkway and Historic Nature Trail. At midnight, fireworks will explode from the roof of the 400-foot-tall structure, all choreographed to a special musical presentation. The Space Needle also will feature LED light displays that will twinkle and shine to the music.
The Great Smoky Mountains aren't just a great place to visit in fall and summer. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to hang around in winter too, especially as we prepare to ring in a new year. To that end, there are several things going on in the area this week that will help you usher in 2014 with a bang.
If you head to downtown Gatlinburg tonight, you can take part in the 26th Annual New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show, which takes place at the base of the Space Needle attraction at the corner of Parkway and Historic Nature Trail. At midnight, fireworks will explode from the roof of the 400-foot-tall structure, all choreographed to a special musical presentation. The Space Needle also will feature LED light displays that will twinkle and shine to the music.
It seems now that ziplining has really caught on worldwide, zipline operators are in a never-ending competition to one-up the next guy. Here's the latest example we found while scouring the Internet. One zipline outfitter in Nepal (you know, the country where you'll find Mt. Everest) has literally taken the activity to new heights by opening a line that's a mile long and offers a vertical drop of nearly 2,000 feet during that span.
Riders speed from top to bottom at nearly 90 miles per hour, and the surrounding Himalayan Mountains are indeed a sight to behold, especially during sunrise. So far, the attraction has pulled in riders of all ages, who make the run not just for the sheer thrill but also for the beautiful scenery.
Part of what makes ziplining exciting is the fact that you're pushing yourself to do something that's probably outside your comfort zone. As human beings, we're simply not used to hanging in a harness from a cable strung high in the trees and speeding along at 40 miles per hour across a ravine. And while safety is our number one objective, ziplining does give you the feeling of living on the edge.
One zipline operator in Florida, however, may be pushing the thrill of ziplining to its uncomfortable limits. At the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, visitors can travel through the attraction via a 49-station obstacle course, which includes 10 ziplines. That's right; guests strap themselves in and look down at the open mouths of alligators, crocodiles and other exotic critters lounging below as they fly by overhead.
If you've been using your age as an excuse not to try riding a zipline, then we've heard about a Texas grandmother who will put you to shame. For her 90th birthday this October, DeAlva Mast celebrated by riding a zipline in Costa Rica as part of a Central American and Caribbean cruise. Accompanied by her sister-in-law and four of her daughters, Ms. Mast took a jungle zipline tour at a port of call, during which she experienced a sense of adventure and created fond new memories.
Fortunately, you don't have to travel to Costa Rica to have the same experience. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, our Pigeon Forge canopy tours give you hours of fun that you can share with your family and friends, whether it's your birthday or not. We have 24 lines that will whisk you, tree-to-tree, through our own scenic canopy in the Great Smoky Mountains.
The weather forecast for the next few days doesn't look great. They're calling for cold temps, rain and even some snow in the Smoky Mountains in the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day. But don't despair, travelers. Things are going to pick up and warm up just in time to enjoy a great post-Thanksgiving weekend in the Smokies. Here are a few ideas for what to do:
• Eat something other than turkey – After turkey casserole, turkey sandwiches and turkey a la mode (just kidding), your taste buds might be ready for a change of pace. Have dinner out at a Smokies restaurant and give the family cooks a reward for their hard work in the kitchen. But also remember that several area eateries are also hosting Thanksgiving meals this week, in case no one wants to cook at all.
If you're looking for a truly outstanding Smoky Mountain zipline adventure, you'll want to spend a few hours on one of our canopy tours. Why? Smoky Mountain Ziplines has been awarded tripadvisor.com's Certificate of Excellence for the past two years.
That shouldn't come as a surprise, based on the reviews we consistently receive on that site. To date, we've received 728 online reviews from customers, 98 percent of which have rated us as either excellent (672) or very good (47). That's been good enough to not only earn the site's Certificate of Excellent, but it's also been good enough to rank us as number one out of 23 Pigeon Forge attractions also featured on the site.
According to the calendar, autumn's going to hang around for a few more weeks. But in the Great Smoky Mountains, folks are already thinking about winter. That's because Smoky Mountain Winterfest offers four full months of fun ways to celebrate Christmas and enjoy the entire holiday season.
The cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are hosting their respective Winterfest kick-off festivities this week, launching an entire season filled with special events, all highlighted by millions of Winterfest lights from one end of the county to the other and everywhere in between.
The fall foliage colors are really peaking now in the low to middle elevations. Most of the leaves above 3,500 feet have fallen, and they're starting to drop here in the lower levels too, so this may be one of the last good weeks for viewing and photographing.
A few great places to view them include Clingmans Dome Road, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Foothills Parkway. From those vantage points, you can see sweeping panoramic vistas of rolling hills and towering mountains, all blanketed in a kaleidoscopic patchwork quilt of reds, oranges and yellows.
Now that the fall colors are nearing their peak in the Smokies, this would be a great time to visit the area and see them for yourself. Here are a few suggestions for fun ways to view this spectacular annual transformation.
• Hike a trail in the national park. There are dozens of trails that lay out panoramic vistas of the kaleidoscope colors.
• Ride a zip line. Tennessee is beautiful during peak colors, and at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, the canopy in our canopy tour is a sight to behold.
Have you ever wondered if you're getting too old to try new and adventurous things? If so, then maybe you should take a cue from 60-year-old Sue Austin from Tallahassee, Florida. After spending all of 2012 traveling the country and trying out different adventure activities like kayaking, surfing, parasailing and snorkeling, Austin decided that she liked ziplining best, so she set out on a journey to ride a zipline in every state of the country.
So far, she has ridden approximately 100 ziplines in states ranging from her native Florida to Ohio to South Dakota. We haven't heard whether or not she's made a stop in Tennessee yet, but the chances are good, because Austin says ziplines are usually found in the most beautiful places in the country. And that definitely describes the Great Smoky Mountains.
We've got another fabulous fall weekend coming up, which means if you're out exploring Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, zipline fun should definitely be on your agenda. And at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge, you'll go farther, faster and longer, and you'll get the most value for your dollar as well.
But if you have some extra time during your stay in the Smokies, you can really get into the swing of the harvest season by testing your navigational skills and sense of direction at an area corn maze. These annual attractions are always challenging but entertaining, so here's a quick overview of several nearby places where you'll get a good dose of agri-tainment.
Check out the attached video, which shows a North Carolina couple ziplining into their wedding ceremony at a local attraction. It just goes to show that ziplining can be incorporated into just about any social function.
Now, while we don't offer wedding services here as part of our Pigeon Forge zipline adventure, there's no reason you can't spend some time with us during your Smoky Mountain honeymoon. What better way to begin your life's journey together than by sharing the fun and excitement of a guaranteed adrenaline rush? You can plan on walking down the aisle, but then while you're still in the Smokies, strap on a harness and safety helmet and zip your way to happiness on our 14-line canopy tour or four-line SuperZip course.
The 9th Annual Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival takes place at the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in downtown Gatlinburg October 4 through 6. This event showcases local, regional and nationally known artists who are considered tops in their fields. Exhibitors are chosen by a jury, presenting works that range from ceramics and glass to watercolor and woodworking. $10,000 in prizes is at stake.
In addition to the fine-art exhibits, the festival includes free children's activities, live music and the beautiful backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains. The event is free to the public, and attendees will have the chance to meet and greet their favorite artists. The entry fees of participating artists go toward the benefit of the Arrowmont school, the Sevier County Arts Council and the Gatlinburg Boys & Girls Club art program.
This past Labor Day, a 91-year-old Ohio woman celebrated her birthday by riding a zipline at Van Demark Farm in Sidney, Ohio. The woman, Audrey Myers, was quoted as saying, “'I saw it on TV, and it looked like so much fun, and I just always wanted to do it. Didn't think I'd get the chance, though, but I just always wanted to.''
What's the moral of this story? It's that if you're in the proper physical condition to do so, ziplining is for folks of almost any age. That's how we feel here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. We welcome fun seekers of all ages, although we do have some minimum age requirements. You must be at least 8 years old and weigh 60 pounds to ride solo.
If you are vacationing in the Smokies this week and are longing to hear some of the homegrown sounds of Tennessee, Sevierville should be one of your primary destinations as the 14th Annual Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival returns to town September 19 through 21. This popular annual music event takes place at the Dumplin Valley Farm RV Park off Tennessee Hwy. 66 near Interstate 40.
This year, more than a dozen bluegrass acts from notables to newcomers will be taking the stage. Headliners this year including Rhonda Vincent and The Rage; Cordle, Jackson & Salley; and the Lonesome River Band. Other acts include Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, The Crowe Brothers, Balsam Range, The Little Roy & Lizzy Show and Flatt Lonesome.
There aren't any places to enjoy ziplining within Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but thanks to Smoky Mountain Ziplines, you can enjoy the high-speed fun of this popular outdoor activity just a few miles from the park. And our setting delivers plenty of scenic beauty and tranquility of its own.
But the concept of ziplining near a national park isn't unique to the Smokies. In fact, there's one zipline operator that's set up near Yosemite National Park in Northern California. The attraction offers six ziplines, multiple sky bridges and rappelling. The zipline rides offer views of the nearby Sierra National Forest and much of the wildlife within.
Safety is always one of our top concerns at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. We provide safety gear for all our customers, including harnesses, gloves and helmets. We also send two experienced guides out with every group. They make sure all participants know the safety rules, and they also lead and follow every group of guests as they make their way across each line of our canopy tour.
But with new regulations in place since last October, zip lining in Tennessee is now even safer than ever. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development has actually implemented permitting and safety inspections of local zipline attractions. All commercial zipline operators are now required to inform the agency when they set up business, and most existing operators are already complying with the permitting and inspection process.
Next time you happen to be traveling up in Edmonton, Alberta, you might want to explore the West Edmonton Mall, North America's largest entertainment and shopping complex. At 5.3 MILLION square feet, it's the size of a small city, featuring two hotels, 10 attractions, 100 dining options and more than 800 retail stores.
One of those attractions is a 450-foot zipline run, a four-line system that stretches across the wave pool and takes riders up to 25 miles per hour. Impressive? Yes. But not as impressive as what we've got going here at our Pigeon Forge zip line course. We have 16 ziplines on our canopy tour and four lines on our SuperZip course. Our longest lines make 450 feet pale in comparison, and we'll get you zipping along at 40 miles per hour.
If you've never taken a ride on a zipline before, here's a video that will give you a pretty accurate idea of what it's like. Of course, you won't be able to experience the sensation of speeding along at nearly 40 miles per hour, like you can at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. And you won't be able to feel the wind in your face. But this video does give you a feel for the sights and sounds that go along with taking a zipline adventure.
There's no doubt that the combination of ziplines, Smoky Mountains and a warm summer day adds up to a great way to spend a day. Ziplining has all sorts of benefits for the vacationer, including fun, adventure, beautiful scenery, fresh air and quality time with friends and/or family.
But it just may be that the presence of ziplines is also good for the local communities that host them. For example, one zipline attraction in Klamath Falls, Oregon has noted that their business has brought travelers to their neck of the woods rather than other nearby communities.
How's this for extreme? Imagine riding a zipline that is 2,000 feet tall, more than a mile long and reaches top speeds of nearly 90 miles per hour. If you'd like to give it a try, all you have to do is travel to Nepal, where this extreme zipline attraction recently opened in the Himalayas. Check out the video here:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wonderful place to hike, camp, fish, explore and more. But in addition to the usual activities, park visitors can also participate in a wide range of ranger-led programs designed for all ages. Here's a snapshot of what's going on this week.
Monday: Cades Cove Night Hike
Tuesday: Cataract Falls Walk
Wednesday: Cades Cove Evening Hayride
Thursday: Thinking Like A Bear
View the complete list, with details about each, at www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/events.htm
Just as we have videos on our website that introduce you to the fun and excitement of our ziplines in the Smoky Mountains, we thought that this week, we'd post a video that will give you a thumbnail sketch of what it's like to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountains themselves.
This video was shot in 2012 and offers some great footage of some of the national park's most scenic sights. If you still haven't made it to the Smokies this summer, it might just whet your appetite for that next trip.
Just for fun this week, let's see how good a job our web site has done at providing you information about our zip lines in Pigeon Forge, TN. No pressure, no grades – just a quick and fun way to challenge your knowledge and possibly learn a little more about what we have to offer here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines.
How many ziplines are on our longest canopy tour?
Ziplining is one of the most in-demand activities for families looking for fun and excitement in the Great Smoky Mountains. But if you want a zipline experience that's truly enjoyable for just about everyone in your family, you won't find it in Sevierville or Gatlinburg. Zip line adventure at its best awaits you at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge.
Our canopy tours are well suited for the younger members of your group. In fact, kids who are 8 years old or older and weigh at least 60 pounds can fly solo on our lines. Kids must be at least 12 years old and weigh 100 pounds to ride the SuperZip lines.
What a week it's going to be in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee as we celebrate the birth of our nation here in the Great Smoky Mountains. One way to experience true freedom is to experience our Pigeon Forge zipline tours, which allow you to zoom through the air among the treetops. You'll have a bird's-eye view of all the great mountain scenery as you feel the exhilaration of the wind rushing through your hair.
And while you're in town, be sure to stick around for the 23rd Annual Patriot Festival at Patriot Park. The fun begins at noon on the 4th with games and activities for the kids. Onstage entertainment starts at 1:30 p.m. and includes performances by the Pigeon Forge Community Chorus and an Eagles tribute band.
At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we offer multiple ways to enjoy the fastest fun in the hills, and if you're looking for the area's best ziplines, Pigeon Forge, TN is the place to be. Because we offer more zipline runs than any other place in the Smokies, we are able to offer our guests a variety of packages, guaranteeing an adventure for every budget.
Our most popular package in the 9-line canopy tour, which includes our longest canopy line, all the safety gear, truck ride to the first zipline and professional instruction. This tour lasts approximately an hour and a half, based on a tour group of 10. For just a little more, you can get the full 14-line canopy tour experience, which lasts about two and a half hours.
If you are a parent of a young child, you're probably already a seasoned veteran when it comes to fielding that age-old kid's question, “What is there to do? I'm bored!” If you happen to be in the Smokies this summer with your children, you'll find answers to that question at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, which is hosting an event called Kid's Fin-Tastic Summer!
From June 21 to July 26, the Gatlinburg, TN, attraction will be offering a summer full of fun each weekday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free activities include arts and crafts, games and special performances on the aquarium plaza. And every Friday evening at 9 p.m., you can settle in to watch movies under the stars on the plaza.
This time of year is one of the best times to visit Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It's warm and sunny, and the rolling foothills surrounding our course are in full greenery for the season. However, once you've tried out our ziplines, Gatlinburg will lead you directly into Great Smoky Mountains National Park – another must-do summer outdoor adventure. It's one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and it's free. You can't beat that.
If you're looking for the ideal conditions for enjoying our ziplining in Pigeon Forge, you couldn't pick a better time of the year than right now. But if you're visiting the Smokies, we hope you also take some time to make the most of the national park itself. It's one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and it's free. You can't beat that.
Last week, we looked at a few more of the activities that national park visitors can enjoy. This week, we'll throw out a few more ideas for you to consider when planning your next trip to Tennessee's Smoky Mountains.
If you're looking for the ideal conditions for enjoying our zip lines in the Smoky Mountains, you couldn't pick a better time of the year than right now. But if you're visiting the Smokies, we hope you also take some time to make the most of the national park itself. It's one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and it's free. You can't beat that.
Last week, we took an alphabetical look at just a few of the activities that national park visitors can enjoy. This week, we'll throw out a few more ideas for you to consider when planning your next trip to Tennessee's Smoky Mountains.
This is the time of year to get outside and make the most out of your time in the Great Smoky Mountains. We recommend taking a two-pronged approach to your outdoor experience.
First, try out a local attraction that takes advantage of our beautiful scenery. And there's no better place to do that than our Smoky Mountain zip line attraction. Set in the rolling foothills of the Smokies, our 24-line canopy tour gives you a full range of zipline options, all in a gorgeous, hilly, wooded setting. You'll take in all the sights, sounds, smells and sensations that make having fun in the Smokies such a memorable adventure.
Ziplining used to be the domain strictly of adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers. And while soaring through the treetops at high speed is always good for a nice jolt of adrenaline and more than a few thrills, the activity has become much more accessible to the rest of us in the past 10 years. In fact, there are even TV commercials now showing people taking new strides in their lives by trying out a zipline for the first time.
If you're in the Smokies this summer, such an opportunity awaits you at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. And we're here to tell you that there are really no more excuses not to come out and give it a try. Unlike the zip lines in Gatlinburg, TN and in Sevierville, TN, we're centrally located for easy access, just two miles off the Parkway. We offer beautiful scenery, all the safety gear you'll need, expert guides and the largest zipline course in the Smokies.
It's one of the annual highlights of springtime in Pigeon Forge-the annual Dolly Parade, featuring Dolly Parton herself as the parades grand marshal. This year's event takes place this Friday, May 10 at 6 p.m. As many as 50,000 spectators are expected to line the Pigeon Forge Parkway to get a glimpse of everyone's favorite hometown girl.
The parade gets underway on River Road near traffic light #7 and will travel north along the Parkway and ending at Belz Factory Outlet World near traffic light #3. The free event will feature colorful floats, marching bands, twirlers, entertainers and local celebrities, including Ms. Parton herself.
They say that word-of-mouth advertising is the best kind, and hopefully that applies to zipline attractions as well. Because our customers here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines have been using a lot of nice words to describe their experiences. Here are just a few customer reviews posted on the TripAdvisor website:
“Smoky Mountain Ziplines was one of the highlights of our trip. The staff was friendly from the minute we stepped out of the car. We had made reservations, and everyone knew us by name the minute we walked through the door.”
All this week, folks in Gatlinburg are finding fun and interesting ways to celebrate Earth Day and help preserve our planet's resources. And the good news is that you don't have to be a local to participate. Here's a quick overview of what's in store.
The 63rd annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage runs April 23 through 27, offering more than 150 walks, tours, demonstrations and lectures that showcase and celebrate all the natural beauty of the area.
On Thursday the 25th, the Earth Day Festival takes place at Mynatt Park, featuring live entertainment, food vendors, crafts and exhibitors from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Keep Sevier Beautiful, the Gatlinburg Farmers Market and more.
It seems that Mr. Sun has decided to hang around for a while in the Smokies, so we're getting geared up (figuratively and literally) for another big season here at our Pigeon Forge zip line course.
However, each year, a good number of our guests are zipline first-timers, meaning they've never had the experience of whizzing across the treetops at nearly 40 miles per hour. If you count yourself among that number, here are five great reasons to make us your zipline destination in the Smokies:
This week seems to be that week so many of us have waited for during the recent long, cold winter. The weather looks as if it will be, for the most part, warm and sunny, providing lots of great opportunities for getting outside and making the most of the change in seasons.
One way to do that is to join the Boys of Summer for a little pre-summer baseball action. The Tennessee Smokies, our own AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, will kick off their home season this Wednesday night with a five-game stand against the Chattanooga Lookouts. Games start as early as 11:30 a.m. and as late as 7:15 p.m. Go to www.smokiesbaseball.com to learn more.
Most of us have probably spent some time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park or visited Gatlinburg, TN before. But when was the last time you had an expert give you a guided tour of either destination? If the answer is “never,” then you might want to look into what the city is offering visitors as part of Gatlinburg's Smoky Mountain Spring—free guided hikes in the Smokies and tours of Gatlinburg.
On the hikes, you could search for wildflowers or do some bird watching with a local guide on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the first three weeks of April. Destinations include the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail in the Chimneys picnic area, Sugarlands Trail, Trillium Gap Trail and Rainbow Falls Trail. Or you could learn about the history of Gatlinburg with a guided downtown tour on Fridays and Saturdays at 2 p.m. during the first three weeks of April.
This weekend, one of the area's most popular arts and crafts shows returns to the Gatlinburg Convention Center. The Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show runs this Thursday through Saturday (3/28 — 3/30). Presented by the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community in Gatlinburg, this event showcases a wide variety of work courtesy of the community's dozens of talented artists and crafts people.
In addition to displays of hand-made products like woodwork, jewelry, candles, brooms, pottery and more, the show will include live demonstrations of many of the local craftsmen as they practice their skills. The event is free to the public, and of course, the products displayed will be for sale.
Did you know that this Saturday is World Storytelling Day? If not, consider heading to Gatlinburg that day to give a listen to some of the area's best storytellers. Presented by the Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association, this one-day event features humorous and historically based stories to showcase the culture heritage of the Smoky Mountains.
The event takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. at Gatlinburg's American Legion Hall, which is at traffic light #1A on U.S. 321 (East Parkway). Small donations are requested at the door, and proceeds are used to fund association programs in area communities and schools.
It's warming up here in the Smokies, slowly but surely. And regardless of what the weather is like, the calendar says it's time once again for Springfest. That's when the cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville offer guests a wide range of special events designed to celebrate warm, sunny days and nature's new, colorful floral garb.
This spring's events include the Grand Rod Run, the Dolly Parade, the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, Bloomin' BBQ and Bluegrass, and the return of the synchronous fireflies in the national park.
There's something about looking down on the earth that fills people with a sense of awe and wonder. That's easy to do in the Smokies, especially considering all the beautiful mountain peaks that dominate the landscape. This week, consider a couple of different outdoor activities that will definitely provide you with a change in altitude.
The higher elevations in the Smokies received some great snowfall this weekend, which means there are still prime skiing conditions at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort. This week, they're looking at a snow base of 24 to 35 inches, and there's no snow making necessary since nature has been so cooperative with the white stuff. The resort's seven open trails are ideal for skiing and snowboarding, and there's also a 10-lane snow tubing course and indoor ice skating.
A few weeks ago, we posted a link to an extreme zipline experience in South Africa. This week, we're linking to a feature story broadcast on Good Morning America last summer. This one features what is billed as the longest, highest and fastest zipline attraction in the country, in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
Check out the link, but once your appetite for ziplining has been whetted, come take one of our Pigeon Forge zipline tours. With 24 lines, we offer longer, faster zipline runs than anyone else in the Smokies. And you won't have to travel all the way to New York to get your thrills.
This week, one of Pigeon Forge's most popular events comes back to town, helping to bridge the gap between Winterfest and the arrival of spring in the Smokies. The 13th Annual Saddle Up! event, February 21 through 24, is a great way to tap into the cowboy lifestyle as it offers up four days of cowboy-style entertainment and cultural activities.
The schedule for the weekend includes storytelling, live music, a chuck wagon cook-off, a dance and Cowboy Church on Sunday. New for Saddle Up! 2013 is Capturing the Old West, a photography exhibit and video presentation by award-winning Smoky Mountain photographer Ken Jenkins.
Since the first of the year, we've been taking a short break during the off-season. But as of this Friday, February 15, we'll be back for another great season of fun at our Pigeon Forge zip line attraction. We feature a total of 24 different ziplines, which makes us the largest zipline course in the Smokies, providing you up to three hours of high-flying excitement. Our course covers all the bases, too, starting out easy for newbies and then gradually working up to some of the highest, fastest and longest zipline runs in the area.
At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we offer more fun than any other zipline in Sevierville, TN or Gatlinburg, TN. In fact, we have more lines, more speed and offer more value than any other zipline vendor in the Smokies. You can spend an entire morning or afternoon touring our 24 ziplines, some of which are the fastest in town.
However, we have to admit that as exciting as our ziplines are, they don't quite measure up to what you'll see in this video, a zipline in Sun City, Africa that was billed as the world's tallest, longest and fastest at the time this video was made.
We're looking at some unseasonably warm days here in the Smokies this week, so whether you're already here or planning to arrive in town within the next few days, consider putting a few hours on our Pigeon Forge ziplines on your list of fun things to do while you're here.
Of course, ziplining is just one of the ways you can take advantage of the plesant temperatures and/or sunny days. Here are a few other suggestions:
Take a hike or nature walk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From easy trails to challenging, waterfalls to panoramic vistas, the Smokies 850 miles of trails offer something for everyone. Remember, however, that you won't be able to access any trailheads on Newfound Gap Road because that route is closed due to a landslide.
It's chilly now, but we'll bet you can almost feel the sun on your shoulders as you dream about traveling to the Smokies later in the year. That's a great idea, but when making your plans, you might want to avoid some of the common pitfalls. Separate yourself from the rookie travelers by taking note of these mistakes.
1. Be flexible with your travel dates. Obviously, vacation dates are always negotiable, but to the extent you can, traveling on certain days can be cheaper than others, particularly when you're flying. Flexibility also could help you save money on accommodations.
If you've ever been ziplining in Sevierville, TN or Gatlinburg, TN, you might have had a fun experience at one of the other local zipline attractions. But only at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge will you find as much zipline fun as we have to offer at so competitive a price. In fact, with 24 ziplines on our property, we can offer you a wide range of experiences at multiple price points.
If you're just looking for a taste of what it's like to fly through the air suspended from a sturdy steel cable, try our single-line tour, no training required. Then we have three levels of canopy tours, ranging from the six-line tour, which lasts an hour, to the 1.5-hour nine-line tour to the full 14-line canopy tour, which runs about two and a half hours. A short period of training from your guides is required before embarking on the canopy tours.
At this point, forecasts are calling for a gorgeous weekend ahead. There will be some rain in the middle of the week, but that's all supposed to clear out and leave us with sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s over the weekend. That means it's a great opportunity for anyone visiting the Smokies to shake off the wintertime blues and make the most of a rare mild January weekend.
You could start (Where else?) by coming to see us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Our Pigeon Forge canopy tours offer hours of fun for all ages, even if you've never been on a zipline before. We provide you with all the equipment, all the instruction you'll need and 24 ziplines full of high-flying fun.
Did you make any New Year's resolutions for 2013? If so, what was it—to lose weight? Learn how to handle money better? Spend more time with your family? A lot of people believe they could use a little more excitement in their lives, and one of the easiest ways to achieve that goal is to experience the thrill of ziplining.
Whether you're a first-timer or a familiar friend of the zipline, this unique outdoor experience is sure to get your adrenaline flowing and your blood pumping. And while there are certainly other zipline options in Gatlinburg and Sevierville, zipline fun is easy and exhilarating when you visit Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge.
If you talk to anyone who's experienced the high-flying thrills of a tour with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, chances are you'll hear nothing but rave reviews. Similarly, you'll read overwhelmingly positive reports about our canopy tours and SuperZip slides on the TripAdvisor website.
But that's not the only source that's giving us a thumbs-up as a local business entity. Just a couple of months ago, the Better Business Bureau gave us a coveted A- rating as a BBB-accredited business. Their rating scale goes from A+ to F, so we're very pleased with the score we received.
Everybody loves going on a vacation or weekend getaway, but nobody likes shelling out too much hard-earned dough. So whether you're coming to the Smokies for Christmas or planning ahead to a family trip next spring break or summer, here are some tips to consider that will help you keep your costs down.
1. Plan a trip that's not in peak season. Rates on hotels, motels and overnight rentals tend to be highest in summer and during the fall foliage period of October. Book for winter, spring or the rest of fall and enjoy lower rates. Also, lodging providers sometimes offer lower rates when you book online.
Are you a confirmed Scrooge during this time every year? If so, there may still be hope for you yet. Spend a weekend or a full week in the Smokies within the next couple of weeks, and we can almost guarantee that by the time you leave, you'll have dropped “Bah, humbug” from your vocabulary altogether. Here are a few suggestions:
1. View the Winterfest lights. The cities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have millions of lights and animated displays brightening up the nights through the end of February. Get your best view on a trolley tour in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.
Ober Gatlinburg ski resort is open all year long, but it's about this time of year that the mountaintop attraction really starts to sparkle. As the temperatures continue to drop, the conditions will become just right for enjoying all kinds of wintertime activities.
Unfortunately, we're experiencing some unseasonably mild conditions here in the Smokies, so the ski and snowboarding slopes aren't open yet. But Ober's 10-lane snow-tubing slide is open, and the indoor ice skating arena is open year 'round. Taking a turn on the ice is a traditional way to get into the spirit of Christmas.
As we all know, Santa breaks out his giant sleigh and team of ready reindeer every Christmas Eve and loads the sleigh with lots of toys for all the good girls and boys. Then he spends the entire night flying through the air as he makes his speedy annual trip around the world.
This year, you can experience for yourself what Santa's journey might be like. How? By joining us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, where you can fly through skies at high speed, the cool winter air whipping through your hair as you look down at the Smoky Mountains below.
Since 1937, the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community has been known for its authentic mountain craftsmen and artisans, all showcased together in a collection of studios and shops along a eight-mile motor loop in Gatlinburg. It is the largest group of independent artisans in North America, proudly preserving the craft heritage of the Great Smoky Mountains on a year-round basis.
Each year, however, the community brings its talents and wares to the Gatlinburg Convention center for two special holiday shows. The Great Smoky Thanksgiving Craft Show runs November 21 through 25, while the Christmas Craft Show runs November 26 through December 2.
Looking for a way to shake up the Thanksgiving holiday? This year, consider spending Turkey Day in the Smokies. The forecast for this week is terrific—sunny, with highs in the low sixties—which means great weather for either Black Friday shopping or perhaps walking off some of that pecan pie with a hike in the mountains.
It's still not to late to reserve one of the thousands of Smoky Mountain rental cabins available in the area. Dozens of different companies offer a wide selection of luxury rentals in a variety of locations. You can be close to town or out in the country, rustic or modern, large or small; the choice is yours.
Just because the seasons are changing for the cooler doesn't mean there still aren't tons of things to do when you visit Pigeon Forge this fall and winter. Here's a quick list of suggestions for you to consider, whether you're traveling alone, as a couple or with the whole family:
See the light – Safely view all the Winterfest lights in the heated comfort of a trolley on the city's Trolley Tour Of Lights.
Zip line – Pigeon Forge, TN is home of Smoky Mountain Ziplines, which has the most, longest and fastest ziplines in the area.
The temperatures have dropped and the leaves have dropped with them, which means that winter isn't far off. But that doesn't stop folks in the Smokies from getting an early start on celebrating the season. In fact, at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, their annual Smoky Mountain Christmas festival gets under way this Saturday, November 10.
Dollywood becomes a winter wonderland and becomes a sparkling paradise thanks to millions of lights displayed throughout the park, and each night the Parade of Lights winds its way from section to section with Christmas floats adorned in lights.
If you've never experienced the excitement that comes with riding a high-speed zip line, Pigeon Forge is where you need to be this week. That's where you'll find us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. There are several companies in this area that offer ziplining fun, and each makes its own claims as to what it has to offer. But Smoky Mountain Ziplines has more than one reason to clip on to one of our trolleys and hang on for the ride of a lifetime.
It's very easy for us to say that our Pigeon Forge zip line tours are the best around—not just in town but also in the whole Smokies region. After all, we have to admit that we're a little partial to all the fun you can have at our scenic little corner of the foothills. But don't just take our word for it. Check out the online ratings site TripAdvisor, and see what our previous guests have had to say.
Currently, 499 of our visitors have posted reviews at the site, and based on that, we've received TripAdvisor's highest rating, which is five on a scale of one to five. Of that 499, 457 of them rated us as Excellent and 36 as Very Good. In addition, the site's Popularity Index has us currently ranked as number one out of 65 attractions in Pigeon Forge, again, based on traveler reviews.
Visitors to the Smokies often wonder, “Which city is best to visit—Pigeon Forge, Sevierville or Gatlinburg?” Fortunately, this is one of those situations where any and all answers are correct. There's no need to limit yourself to one destination. Each of the three cities that make up our tourism region has its own unique attributes and opportunities, so the more you can squeeze into your itinerary, the better.
Gatlinburg offers easy access to Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well world-class attractions like Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and Ober Gatlinburg. You'll find cool restaurants and nightspots and abundant fall shopping at the Great Smokies Arts & Crafts Community.
It's time for another test of your zipline knowledge. This week, we're going to see how much you know about Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. The good news is that we allow cheating. All the answers can be found throughout our website. Score the most points and crown yourself the Trivia Master for the day.
1. How many total ziplines does Smoky Mountain Ziplines offer?
A) 4 B) 14 C) 18 D) 24
2. How long does it take to complete our zipline experience?
A) 30 minutes B) 1 hour C) 1 to 3 hours D) 8 hours
A lot of schools are out on fall break this week, which just happens to coincide with the kickoff of Dollywood's annual National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration. Running October 3 through November 3, this month-long festival is a great way to get out and experience everything that's great about the Smoky Mountains in autumn. And if you visit on a weekday, while the kiddos are out of school, you can beat a lot of the weekend crowds and enjoy shorter lines for rides, shows and attractions.
As those first signs of fall settle into the Smokies, more and more area visitors are getting the itch to get outdoors, enjoy those cooler temperatures, sunny days and fall colors. Here's suggestions for a couple of great ways to do that if you're visiting Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains this weekend.
It looks like conditions are going to be idea for enjoying our Smokey Mountain zip lines this weekend. You could spend an entire morning or afternoon with us, just zooming from platform to platform on our 14-line canopy tour, all the enjoying a winning combination of sunshine and cool days. And the scenery on our mountain course is pretty decent too, so you'll be able to enjoy your surroundings as the fall colors start to creep in.
At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we think we've got a great location. The surrounding foothills offer up rugged mountain scenery, with narrow ravines that snake their way through the hilly terrain, creating the perfect environment for our 14-line canopy course. With long lines and speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, we think our location near Pigeon Forge is why, when it comes to choosing the best place to zipline, Gatlinburg and Sevierville aren't able to deliver the total package.
As the nation's zipline industry continues to grow and expand, a number of trends have emerged as zipline operators work hard to attract customers and distinguish themselves form the competition.
One of the most notable trends is that zip line technology and business opportunity feed off each other. For example, as equipment has become safer, more reliable and more comfortable, the opportunity has opened up for operators to introduce new types of zipline experiences. Advanced trolley and braking designs allow riders to ride down steeper terrain, go farther and reach faster speeds. More comfortable harnesses have allowed more older and younger participants to enjoy the activity. The future? Hybrid electric trolleys will one day allow riders to go up and down lines and even around curves.
While attractions like our Pigeon Forge zip line have become quite popular in just the last few years, the zip line itself has been around in various forms for centuries. This simple device that moves people and things from one place to another via rope or cable can be found in cultures all over the world—and often as a basic means of transportation rather than as a form of entertainment. For example, in mountainous countries, ziplines are a way for people to get around, and in remote areas of China, ziplines are used instead of bridges to cross certain rivers.
This weekend, most of us get to enjoy a much-needed three-day weekend thanks to the annual Labor Day holiday. The observance was created as a way to acknowledge and reward the American worker with an extra day of leisure, so that means you have three chances this weekend to come and recreate with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines.
We offer 18 different ziplines, 14 of which are on our canopy tour and four of which are on the SuperZip course. The canopy tour can be broken down into several different package options, so that you and your party can enjoy the ideal number of zipline runs at the price that best fits your budget.
Some areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park just seem to get all the attention. The 11-mile loop around the Cades Cove community, the synchronized fireflies at Tremont and high-altitude viewing sites like Mt. LeConte and Clingman's Dome are definitely among the most visited sites in the park.
However, there are lots of other great hidden gems in the park that are worthy of note that often go overlooked. One of those is the community of Cosby, which offers the Smokies explorer its own entrance into the national park and several sites worth visiting while you're in that neck of the woods.
In some ways, whitewater rafting is a lot like ziplining. They're both adventurous outdoor activities that most people can try with no previous experience whatsoever. Naturally, we're a little partial to ziplining here, but in addition to paying us a visit at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we think you should also consider trying your hand (actually, both hands) at whitewater rafting.
There are a number of different companies that book and operate these trips. Most of the outfitters are located in or near Gatlinburg, and you can book a trip by visiting the office, calling or even going to their Web sites.
Pigeon Forge has only been an incorporated community for a few decades, but its history can be traced back much further than that. One of the city's true landmarks, The Old Mill & General Store, stands as a testimony to the fact that folks were calling Pigeon Forge home a long, long time ago. This historic structure has been operating on the banks of the Little Pigeon River since 1830.
Located just a few miles from our zip lines in Pigeon Forge, TN, The Old Mill, with help of its giant waterwheel, continue to grind out flour and meal just as it did nearly two centuries ago. The site also sells its authentic stone-ground products as well as soups, sauces, candies, souvenirs and much more.
Let's practice a little visualization this week. Close your eyes and try to imagine your ideal vacation day. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we think we could be an important part of that vision. Just imagine—ziplines, Smoky Mountains and everything that Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville have to offer at your disposal.
Maybe start your day off at our zipline attraction in Pigeon Forge and spend a few hours flying through the air on one of our 24 different zipline runs. Then you could head into town and dine at one of our great restaurants. After lunch, maybe you could cool off at your lodging's swimming pool and then spend a few hours in an attraction like WonderWorks or the Titanic Museum Attraction and ride out the hottest part of the day in air conditioned comfort.
It goes without saying that flying through the air on a high-speed zipline run is one way to beat the summer heat. But there are other ways to stay cool as well. Once you've experienced our ziplines, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are all great places to go to find other attractions that will make those hot days a lot more tolerable.
Dollywood's Splash Country – An entire theme park dedicated to getting guests soaking wet and, therefore, nice and cool. There are dozens of water slides for all ages and thrill levels, and features like kiddie attractions, a wave pool and a lazy river float all add up to pleasant outdoor fun.
If you've always wanted to give ziplining a try but haven't yet, what are you waiting for? There are lots of places in the Smokies to choose from, but if you're looking for the city with most ziplines, Pigeon Forge is your destination. That just happens to be where you'll find us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, which is less than two miles off the Parkway, in the heart of the Smokies.
Music theaters and fun museums are nice, but for some folks visiting the Smokies, nothing short of an adrenaline rush will do the trick. There are several attractions in this area that will help you get that thrill-seeking fix, and no previous experience is necessary.
Ziplines – What did you expect us to lead off with? Our zip lines in the Smoky Mountains are an easy way to get some high-speed action, as you fly through the air at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.'
Just in case you haven't noticed, it's been a little hot down here in East Tennessee lately, just like it has been throughout most of the Southeast. We know you don't want to let a little heat keep you from getting out and enjoying the Smoky Mountains this summer. After all, what are you going to do—stay holed up in your hotel room or cabin all week long?
One of the ways you can put the brakes on the heat and enjoy being outside at the same time is to visit us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. Unlike the other zip lines in Gatlinburg, TN and Sevierville, we have more ways to help you experience all the thrills of ziplining while helping you keep your cool at the same time.
From time to time, it's important that we stress to our customers (old and new) that safety is always our primary concern when you come to visit our zip lines in the Smokies. It's a priority from the moment you step on our property until we see you off safely at the end of your adventure.
We start with making sure you're geared up with equipment that's been checked out to ensure your safety. That includes a secure harness, a helmet and properly functioning hardware like the carabiners and trolleys that connect your harness to the cable.
In the big scope of things, Pigeon Forge is a pretty small town. It only runs a few miles north and south and has a year-round population of only a few thousand. But anyone who has ever been to the town knows that they pack a whole lot into that small package. So much so that a vacationer could fill an entire week with fun and never leave the city. Now, we know there are also a lot of great reasons to visit Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But just to put things into perspective, here's what Pigeon Forge has to offer.
At Smoky Mountain ziplines, our lines are higher, longer and faster than any other ziplines in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville. But we have to admit that we can't lay claim to the world's most extreme zipline attraction. That honor goes to a zipline run in Sarangkot, Nepal, which boasts a 656-yard vertical drop, more than a mile of length and speeds of up to 87 miles per hour! Check out this video:
When you compare all the area zipline attractions by location, one thing begins to stand out about Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Our ziplines in Pigeon Forge offer the ideal combination of seclusion and accessibility.
Some attractions are located right on the main drag and don't offer much of an experience when it comes to enjoying the beauty and natural surroundings of the Great Smoky Mountains. Others are so far off the beaten path that just finding them is an adventure in itself.
There's nothing fancy about zipline technology. In fact, it's pretty simple stuff that Sir Isaac Newton figured out hundreds of years ago. But there's something about strapping on a harness and letting gravity pull you from one high point to another across a great distance that conjures up feelings of excitement and adventure.
Apparently, those feelings are spreading like wildfire across the United States, where the number of zip line attractions has grown from only 10 in 2001 to more than 200, according to industry experts.
Delicious Southern barbecue and toe-tappin' bluegrass music. The two seem to go together like Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner did in the 1960s. You'll get plenty of your favorite down-home delicacies and roots music to boot at the annual Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival at Dollywood. The festival was traditionally offered in the fall, but this year, it will fit in nicely with the awesome spring we've been having this year. The dates are May 26 through June 10.
Those 16 days will be filled with more than 250 live bluegrass concerts, all of which are included in your Dollywood admission. Among the acts to look for this year are the Grascals, The Larkins, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, just to name a few.
In most cases, the easiest way to get to our ziplines in Pigeon Forge is to take Conner Heights Road off the Parkway at the southern end of Pigeon Forge (it's the last traffic light before The Spur). Conner Heights, turns into Mill Creek Road, and you'll find our outpost just 1.5 miles from the Parkway, on the left.
However, there are days when the Parkway in Pigeon Forge is a parking lot due to car shows or major events like Dolly's Parade or Fourth of July celebrations. In those rare instances, it pays to have a shortcut. Here are a couple of back ways to Smoky Mountain Ziplines:
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive—especially from first-time zipliners—is, “What kind of equipment will I need to go ziplining?”
The quick answer is that you won't need to bring anything with you other than closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothing. But once you're here, we'll be outfitting you with everything you'll need to enjoy and safe and fun day ziplining in the mountains.
When you consider the fact that we offer 18 ziplines' worth of fun and a variety of pricing points designed to accommodate everyone from beginners to all-out adventure enthusiasts, you can see how Smoky Mountain Ziplines already offers more value than any other Pigeon Forge, Sevierville or Gatlinburg ziplines.
But we add even more value to your zipline experience by offering a variety of deals, discounts and bargains to help you save even more money while you're having fun in the Smokies. Here are just a few:
Last week the Clark County Nevada Planning Commission approved plans for a zipline attraction to be built that will scoot Las Vegas tourists between the Luxor and Excalibur resorts. The lines will run day and night and send riders a total of 800 feet at speeds that reach 30 miles per hour.
That might be an interesting ride for tourists exploring the Vegas Strip in the near future, but you can get a whole lot more zipline action this very day, and do so in a naturally scenic setting, when you ride our zipline in Tennessee.
The Smokies are one of the most photographed areas in the country because of its majestic mountains and abundant wildlife. If you enjoy capturing nature at its best, you might be interested in the Spring Photography Workshop at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, running April 20 through 23.
Nationally recognized nature photographer Bill Lea and his assistants will lead shutterbugs of all levels of expertise on a four-day camera-clicking journey through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The workshop will emphasize wildlife, landscapes and macro photography. Field sessions and lectures will also cover the use of light, composition and equipment. Instruction will be offered on both the group and one-on-one level.
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the H.M.S. Titanic, which struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage on April 14, 1912 and sank within hours, killing thousands of passengers.
To mark the somber occasion and to remember the stories of those who set sail on the ship, the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge is hosting several special events this week to commemorate the anniversary.
On Thursday the 12th, the attraction will welcome Tim Lightoller—grandson of Titanic's second officer, Charles Lightoller—as a guest speaker. Starting that same day and running through the 21st, you can also see the original photo album of pictures taken by Father Francis Browne, a Jesuit priest who took the only known photos of life aboard Titanic at sea.
There's something fishy going on in the Smokies this weekend, and it's not too late to get in on the action. The 13th Annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament takes place this Saturday and Sunday, and it's a great chance to put your angling skills to the test as you compete with folks from all over the country for more than $10,000 in prizes.
Some 20 miles of area streams are going to be stocked with 5,000 trout in advance of the action, and competitors of all ages—both local and out of town—will be vying to see who can catch the most fish over the course of the two-day tournament.
Dollywood in Pigeon Forge kicks off another big season in the Smokies this weekend, and one of the new attractions that fans are looking forward to is the debut of the new Wild Eagle roller coaster. The $20 million addition to the theme park is being hailed as the first steel winged coaster in the United States, which means that passengers sit on either side of the track rather than on it or under it.
That means feet down, dangling in the air as you rise 21 stories during the initial climb and then plunge 135 feet during that first drop. Just before the drop, you'll sit 210 feet above the coaster's loading station, which affords spectacular views of the Smoky Mountain terrain below.
Although this past winter has been one of the warmest on record, spring still doesn't officially arrive until next week. But don't tell Mother Nature that, because she's already given us a head start on spring-like temperatures here in the Smokies. Look for temperatures in the 60s and 70s all week, with plenty of sunny days in the forecast.
That means it's time to shed those sweaters and winter coats and get outside and enjoy the sunshine, warmth and fresh air. One of the best ways to do that is take a zipline tour with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. If you've tried ziplining in Sevierville, TN or Gatlinburg, TN, and were disappointed by the experience, then head to Pigeon Forge soon and give us a run. Our ziplines give you more lines, more speed, and more fun than any other outpost in the area.
As you travel around this part of the Smokies, you're bound to run across more than one company advertising its zipline course. It seems that just in the past few years, they've been springing up everywhere. But before you are lured in by the first sales pitch you hear, take some time to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. When you do, we think you'll still agree that our Pigeon Forge ziplines are the best thing going around.
Let's have a little fun this week and test your zipline knowledge. So put on your thinking caps. And also remember that if you're looking for fun in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg or Sevierville, zipline action at its best can be found at Smoky Mountain Ziplines!
1. Referred to as "an inclined strong,” a zipline appears in the novel The Invisible Man, written by _______ in 1897. A) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle B) Earl Stanley Gardner C) H.G. Wells D) Jules Verne
In case you haven't noticed, zipline attractions have become very popular in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It's an easily accessible activity that most people can participate in, and the payoff is high thrills, speed and excitement. And that's reason enough for more and more zipline businesses to keep springing up in this area.
It's hard to calculate exactly how many ziplines there are, mainly because they're found not just at tourist attractions but also in summer camps, schools and outdoor education programs. Plus sales of backyard zipline kits have grown significantly in the last few years. However, some estimates say that there are more than 13,000 ziplines in the U.S. alone, and the numbers are increasingly similarly in Canada as well.
Just in case you're worried that we're going to just turn you loose on a zipline course with no assistance whatsoever, you can put those fears to rest. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we send out experienced guides with every group.
Their first job is to get you geared up before you leave the outpost. They'll help you select the harness, helmet and gloves that will keep you safe during your journey, and they'll make sure everything fits securely and properly.
SuperZip is just our biggest, baddest zipline run here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. If you plan to do any ziplining in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville, you won't find anything fiercer than the four lines of fury we have at our Pigeon Forge outpost.
These lines run side by side and start 100 feet off the ground and take you 800 feet in distance. It's ziplining to the extreme, and once you've conquered this course, you can say that you've done the best the Smokies has to offer.
Well, there's sort of a dress code. Here are a few things you'll need to know about what to wear before you go ziplining with us.
Dress for the weather. You'll want to know the current outdoor conditions before you clip onto a zip line. Tennessee weather can be unpredictable, especially with the crazy winter weather we've been having lately. Make sure that you have enough layers to stay warm, especially considering that on some lines, you'll be zipping along as fast as 40 miles per hour.
Just in case you're not in the Smokies area when you read this, we thought we'd let you know that the weather forecast for this weekend is calling for mostly sunny skies with highs in the low 50s on Saturday. That surely does sound like great ziplining weather to us, so if you haven't already, make plans to give us a spin this weekend at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge.
Zip lining in Tennessee, especially on an unseasonably warm winter day, accomplishes a lot in one handy stop. First, it's a unique experience, whizzing along a cable suspended high in the air and feeling the wind in your face. Once you take that leap of faith and launch yourself from the platform, you get a sensation that not everyone has had the chance to enjoy, so you're participating in a different form of recreation.
People often ask us if we run our Pigeon Forge zipline tours in the rain. Yes, we do, unless conditions include strong winds, extremely heavy rain or lightning. After all, we're all about safety first around here. So for the rare occasion that we don't have tours running, we'll give you some options for what to do on a rainy day in the Smokies.
Go on with the show
There are nearly 20 different shows in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg, and unlike the old days, when it was all about the music, you'll find a little bit of everything on the stages of the Smokies these days. Yes, you'll hear plenty of country, gospel and bluegrass music, but other theaters entertain with horseback exhibitions, lumberjack competitions, comedy and variety, acrobatics, magic and even murder mysteries. These shows are great for all ages, and in many cases, you'll get a meal along with your show as well.
Have you seen the Geico commercials starring Maxwell the pig? You know, the one where he's riding in the back seat of a car and crying “Wheee! Wheee! Wheee!” all the way home? In the latest ad featuring Maxwell, we actually see him squealing with delight, trademark pinwheel in hand, as he's zooming his way along a zipline! He aptly describes the experience in the commercial as “Pure. Adrenaline.”
If you've never been on a zipline before, you might want to take Maxwell's cue and experience a little bit of pure adrenaline yourself. Ziplining is tons of fun, it's safe, and it's something that virtually anyone can experience, even if you've never had any previous experience. But best of all, it'll give you a natural rush as you speed along our ziplines, suspended in the air and traveling as fast as 40 miles per hour.
Here we are in January, but evidently no one has told Mother Nature. We've had some pleasantly mild days so far this winter, which makes the conditions ideal for enjoying some outdoor fun in the Smokies. Here are a few suggestions for ways to take advantage of the unseasonably balmy days:
Go ziplining, of course! And if you're going to try out a zip line, Pigeon Forge, TN is where you'll find us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Go faster, farther and higher than any other zipline course in the area and enjoy our beautiful Smoky Mountain surroundings.
The start of a new year always brings with it a clean slate and the promise of new beginnings. Maybe one of your New Year's resolutions could be to do something exciting that you've never done before. If one of those things happens to be ziplining, then Smoky Mountain Ziplines is a great place to get started!
Whether you're staying in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, zipline with us at our outpost just a mile or so outside Pigeon Forge. We have all the gear you'll need, including helmet, gloves and harness, and our zipline guides will tell you everything you need to know to start flying through the air safely.
If you've still got names on that Christmas list that still haven't been crossed off, you can go from naughty to nice pretty quickly with some last-minute shopping in the Smokies. Here are a few ideas to get things kick-started:
Give the gift of ziplining in Pigeon Forge! Check with us at here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, and we'll help you put together a zipline package that's sure to spread lots of holiday cheer.
A mall gift certificate! There are several outlet malls around here, and with one gift certificate or gift card, you can let someone shop the stores they want to visit and pick out just what they need.
So you're planning to do some ziplining on your next trip to the Smokies? Our Smokey Mountain zip lines should do a great job of feeding your need for speed, adventure and excitement. But after a full afternoon or morning of clipping up, taking off and flying through the air, you may have a hunger of a different kind.
Fortunately, from our location just outside of Pigeon Forge, you won't be far from any number of great restaurants that can accommodate both your budget and your appetite. In this one city alone, you'll find everything from fast food to fine dining and everything in between. Here are just a few suggestions for where to eat:
Some of you Scrooges out there are still having a tough time getting into the mood of this holiday season. Well here's a sure-fire way to turn that melancholy into holly-jolly. Start by checking in at the Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge and check out the area's most seasonally festive lodgings. This hotel is decked out for Christmas 365 days a year, from tasteful décor and beautiful trees and lighting displays that spread Yuletide cheer winter, spring, summer and fall.
With Christmas stampeding toward us like a bull dressed in red and wearing a white beard, it may be time to consider getting some of your holiday shopping done while you're having fun in the Smokies. Of course, for many of you, shopping is a fun activity in itself, and if that's the case, here's an overview of some of the best places to find unique merchandise and moneysaving deals.
Let's start with the bargain part. There are several outlet malls in the area, all of which offer a wide selection of name-brand merchandise at substantial savings over retail. Inventory includes clothing, footwear, kitchenware, housewares, tools, books, music and more. In Sevierville, destinations include Tanger Outlet Center at Five Oaks as well as Governor's Crossing Outlet Mall. In Pigeon Forge, look for Belz Mall, Tanger Outlet World and Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall.
We may be just on the brink of winter, but autumn is still having a last hurrah this week thanks to a forecast of unseasonably warm days. Looks like highs are going to be in the upper 50s to mid-60s throughout the week with rain-free days, for the most part.
That means that whether you're visiting Pigeon Forge, Sevierville or Gatlinburg, zip line fun is still in store for the whole family at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. Just make sure that before you visit, you check the latest weather conditions so that you can dress appropriately. We generally recommend wearing long pants anyway, so it's mainly a matter of how many upper-body layers you'll need to wear to keep warm.
This time of year, seeing the sights in Pigeon Forge isn't an activity that's limited to daylight hours only. Now that Winterfest is in full swing, the city's millions of Winterfest lights provide a big bowlful of eye candy once the sun goes down.
Whether you're cruising up and down the Parkway in your own vehicle or hopping a trolley at Patriot Park for one of the city's Winterfest Tours of Light, the streets of Pigeon Forge light up and sparkle with winter magic. In addition to the snowflakes that run the length of the Parkway, there are several key spots around town where animated light displays dazzle the senses, and many individual businesses like music theaters and attractions have their own lighting scenes that add wonder and joy to the holiday season.
Whether you're fortunate enough to live in this area or you just make it out this way once or twice a year, the beauty and majesty of the Great Smoky Mountains are cause for even the most jaded of visitors to be thankful this time of year. The most visited of all the national parks, its GSM's 800-plus square miles encompasses unspoiled forests, pristine streams and some of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River.
Those who travel to the park benefit from the fact that it is one of the few national parks left in the system that allows folks in without a fee. Where else can you enjoy scenic sights such as cascading waterfalls, floral glory and even the occasional live black bear for absolutely no cost?
This season, lots of holiday lovers and cold-weather fans will be descending on the Great Smoky Mountains as Winterfest returns to Sevier County for its 22nd big year. Winterfest is a four-month-long celebration not just of Christmas but of everything that makes this region great during the winter season. Once upon a time, winter was referred to as the “off season,” and while it's still not as big as summer and fall, more and more people have been traveling to the mountains to enjoy the area in a whole different kind of atmosphere.
While our location gives our guests a genuine, out-in-the-wilderness experience, full of rugged timber-filled terrain, our Smoky Mountain zip lines are remarkably easy to find.
If you're coming from Sevierville or Pigeon Forge, go south on the Parkway to traffic light #10 (it's the last one before you hit The Spur) and turn right onto Conner Heights Rd. Shortly thereafter, the road changes names to Mill Creek Rd. Our outpost is just a mile and a half out on the left.
We're smack in the middle of peak fall foliage time here in the Great Smoky Mountains, and there's no doubt that if you're visiting this week, you'll want to get the best views of the leaves. But just as there's more than one way to skin a cat, there's more than one way to gain a little perspective when it comes to fall color watching.
One popular method is to just get in the car and drive. Following Newfound Gap Rd. through the national park exposes you to sweeping multihued mountains vistas. So does driving along the Foothills Parkway. You could also get a true bird's-eye view of things by taking a helicopter ride high above the Smokies in all their splendor.
If you're reading this from the comfort of home, perhaps you're researching different places to go ziplining, whether you're a first-timer or a repeat zipper. Sure, there are plenty of places around the Southeast—or the country, for that matter—that offer zipline adventures.
But we're here to say that if you're looking for the best area to enjoy this adrenaline-pumping activity, consider planning a vacation around a zip trip to East Tennessee. When you're speeding along on our ziplines, Smoky Mountains beauty surrounds you on all sides, from lush hardwood forests to rolling terrain to the colorful annual show that is our fall foliage.
If you've never been ziplining before, you may be wondering if it's a safe recreational activity. Let us put any fears you may have to rest by assuring you that safety is our number one priority from start to finish at Smoky Mountain Ziplines.
All of our zipline cables are reinforced and rigged to the meet the most stringent requirements. The lines are inspected regularly to ensure their integrity as is the safety equipment and gear that we issue to our customers. Our harnesses, clips and caribiners are all in topnotch shape, and our staff checks and double checks them when you get suited up at our outpost. You're also issued a helmet as well as safety gloves, which are used to help you slow yourself down on the ziplines.
The change is usually subtle at first, but if you take a close gander, you'll notice that the leaves are starting to turn colors in the Great Smoky Mountains. In the higher elevations, the transformation has already begun, but even in the lower regions, you can already see blips of yellow, red and orange starting to appear in the summery greens.
The fall colors won't peak for a few weeks yet, but with the moderate rainfall we've been getting mixed in with sunny, cooler days, the conditions may be ideal for having a spectacular color show this autumn. One of the best ways to get the most out of the fall foliage is to get out in the middle of it, and one of the most funs ways to do that is to spend a few hours with us here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines.
Here's an idea for a double-header of family fun if your travel plans are bringing you into the Smokies within the next few weeks. This particular combo takes you to extremes, from high-flying, up-in-the-air adventure to a disorienting, down-to-earth challenge.
Get the most out of these cooler, sunnier fall days by suiting up for our ziplines in Pigeon Forge, TN. One cost-effective price gets you all the gear you'll need as well as thorough instruction on how to zipline and observe safety rules. Then it's three hours of high-adrenaline excitement as you learn the ropes on our 14-line canopy tour, which gradually takes you faster, farther and higher as you progress through the course. You might want to cap it off with the granddaddy of area ziplines, the four-line SuperZip course, which goes to extremes in all dimensions.
There aren't many other attractions you can visit in the Great Smoky Mountains that let you spend as much time and have as much fun as Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. At mini golf courses and go-cart tracks, you're done before you know it, or perhaps you can squeeze a couple of hours out of a music theater show or a museum.
But at our ziplines in Pigeon Forge, TN, you can usually expect an outing to last about three hours. And we're talking about three hours that includes 18 canopy tour ziplines on the largest course in town. Reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour as you zoom from tree to tree, all the while appreciating the beauty of the rolling foothills of our East Tennessee surroundings. When you compare zipline prices zipline for zipline, you'll see that no other company in the area gives you as much fun and excitement for the money.
You can make your next trip to Pigeon Forge a celebration of things that go fast if you combine our zip lines in the Smoky Mountains with two upcoming special events that cater specifically to the car lover in all of us.
The 29th Annual Shades of the Past Rod Run runs September 9 and 10 and is being staged this year at Dollywood's Splash Country. Less than a week later, get in gear for the annual Grand Fall Rod Run, which is based at the Grand Resort Hotel Convention Center. Like Smoky Mountain Ziplines, both venues are located in Pigeon Forge.
Here's an idea for a fun two-part outing that's bound to please everybody in the family. Consider spending half a day with us at our zip lines in the Smokies and the other half of the day engaging in some retail therapy. Whether you zip first and cool off in the shops or follow up your bargain hunting with one of the biggest adrenaline rushes in the area, you're bound to put together a plan that will leave everyone smiling by day's end.
Now that most schools are back in session and the harsh summer heat has settled down a good bit, this is a great time to consider visiting Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains in the middle of the week. Midweek traffic drops off considerably compared to the weekends, and waits for lines at most attractions are way down as well.
If you book your lodgings for the middle of the week, you also stand a good chance of getting a better rate on a hotel room, cabin or condo, and then you're all set to get out and make the most out of your weekday vacation. Whether you're spending time at Dollywood, going to a music theater show or shopping at the outlet malls, you'll be able to squeeze in more fun for less money and enjoy not having to fight the traffic and crowds.
Not that ziplining isn't extreme enough of an adventure, but if you want to take this recreation to it's extreme extreme, then set your sights on our SuperZip course.
Imagine four side-by-side zipline runs, each 800 feet long and 100 feet high that our happy customers have called the best zip lines in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Once you've conquered SuperZip, you've survived one of the highest, fastest and farthest zipline experiences in the Smokies.
It's going to be another scorcher this weekend, folks, but don't let that deter you from looking for good times in the great outdoors. In fact, short of taking a plunge in a pool, ziplining is one of the coolest things you can do—in more ways than one—outside this summer.
Our Pigeon Forge zipline adventure features a 14-line course that treks its way back and forth across a Smoky Mountain foothills valley. The wooded terrain provides lots of shade throughout the experience, whether you're traveling between landing and launch platforms or waiting your turn for the next high-speed run. The walking distances between zipline runs is short, which will help keep from you working up a sweat, and during the longest walk of the day, we provide a shaded pavilion area and ice-cold water for you while you chill.
There are lots of things you can do in the mountains, especially in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can hike, swim, fish, camp, explore historic sights, take photos, go on scenic drives, picnic, ride horses and more. But there's one thing you can't do in the national park and that's experience the beauty, thrills and excitement of riding a zipline.
In addition to all the fun you can have in the national park and in Gatlinburg, ziplines are the ideal activity to round out your time in the Smokies, and the best place to get in on that action is Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. We combine high-speed adventure with the scenic awesomeness of the mountains into one picture-perfect package.
Let's say you have a child with an upcoming birthday (or an adult, for that matter). You could trot out that old celebration standby—a pizza party at a certain rodent-themed restaurant—or you could unleash a birthday bonanza like no other by hosting a Smoky Mountain zipline adventure for your child and some of his or her soon-to-be-closest buds.
At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we've got the makings of an hours-long party that starts off with the birthday boy or girl and guests getting harnessed up and taking off on one or both of our zipline adventures. You'll start off with a canopy tour that takes you on 14 different zipline runs of increasing lengths and speeds. After that, if you wish, you can try out the four-line SuperZip attraction, which takes you higher and faster than any other lines in the area.
Here's a suggestion for the ideal one-two combo this summer—an activity plan that will let you get outside, have fun with the whole family and stay cool while you're doing it. First, spend a morning with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Our Pigeon Forge canopy tours will provide you and your gang with hours of excitement in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Located in a hillside ravine setting, our zipline experience offers 360-degree scenic beauty, complete with abundant views and peaceful wooded terrain. Our canopy tour offers you 14 different zipline runs that will thrill while keeping you cool as you fly through the air like a breeze. And visiting in the morning will help you beat the worst of the daytime temperatures.
Summer means warmer temperatures, which means being able to have fun outdoors. But it also means having to be careful not to get overheated when the mercury is on the high end of the stick. The good thing about ziplining is that it lets you get outside and enjoy being outdoors in the summer, but at the same time, the nature of the activity helps you keep your cool.
For those planning to zipline, Smoky Mountains woodlands make an ideal setting for outdoor adventure. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, for example, we have a 14-line canopy course utilizing existing mature hardwoods that provide natural shade for our participants. So when you're waiting your turn to take off on a run down one our ziplines, chances are you'll be standing under a tree, which will help keep you protected from the sun's harshest rays.
The Fourth of July weekend is coming up, which means it's time to celebrate not just the independence of our nation but also your own personal independence. That means not settling for the same old attractions and vacation activities that you've been doing for years. It's time to make your declaration of independence and try something new and different by taking a zipline adventure in the Smoky Mountains.
Ziplining gets you outside and interacting with nature in the midst of one of the most beautiful locations in the country. With wooded Smoky Mountain hillsides as your backdrop and the fresh smells of the outdoors filling the air, ziplining lets you see nature at its best and experience it at its wildest, as you zoom from platform to platform at speeds as fast as 40 miles per hour. And with more than a dozen zipline runs built into the course, you're guaranteed a thrill fest that goes on and on.
Some people just feel the need—the need for speed, as they said so famously in the movie Top Gun. If your idea of fun is all about fast-paced action, then Pigeon Forge has several options for you. The Parkway is home to several amusement providers with go-cart tracks, where you can burn rubber speeding around hairpin turns. Other attractions offer bungee jumping, allowing you to build up a little freefall speed as you plummet from dizzying heights. There's also an indoor skydiving attraction where you're actually motionless but suspended in mid-air on a column of wind air generated by a giant propeller underneath the wire mesh floor. It simulates the sensation of a real high-altitude freefall.
We've finally gotten a break from the heat here in East Tennessee. That means if you're headed to the mountains any time this week, you need to shuffle those outdoor fun activities to the top of your list of vacation priorities! One thing we can always recommend is taking an excursion into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Especially in the middle of the week, when tourism numbers a little lower than the weekend, it's a great time to get out on the trails and do some hiking or pitch a tent in one of the park's campgrounds. Don't forget to bring a fishing pole for some trout fishing and a camera for capturing images of all the great scenery. (Also don't forget that you'll need a fishing license if you plan to do some fishing.)
Looking for something to do next weekend that'll break you out of that vacation rut? If you're traveling in the Smokies the weekend of June 18, we've got some suggestions that'll let you experience some of the best entertainment and fun the area has to offer—and all of it with Smoky Mountain Flair.
Gatlinburg's 6th annual Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales celebration kicks off on the 17th and runs through August 13. This summer-long street performance event features musicians, storytellers and artisans, all with costumes depicting time periods as far back as the 1800s. Performers gather nightly at 6 p.m. downtown, at which point the sidewalks become stages and the various performers travel up and down the Parkway, delivering their respective brands of entertainment. The fun continues until 11 p.m., with as many as 14 acts appearing nightly.
There's no getting around it—hot weather has settled into to Tennessee, and it's not even officially summer yet! But don't let that deter you from having some outdoor fun when you're visiting the Smokies. In fact, ziplining is the ideal warm-weather outdoor activity. And when you're thinking zip line, Pigeon Forge, TN is the place to go—home of Smoky Mountain Ziplines.
In geometry, they say the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. That's true, especially at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, where you'll also find the shortest distance between yourself and a whole mess of hair-raising fun. At our mountain zipline courses, you can hook yourself up with as many as 18 different ziplines, each of which takes you on a direct path from a launch platform to a landing platform. And along the way, you'll experience exhilarating speeds, awe-inspiring heights and the feel of the wind in your hair on a fine summer day. You'll start out on our 14-line canopy course, where wooded mountain foothills set the scene for hours of family fun, and then, if you wish, move on to our SuperZip course, where the highest, farthest and fastest zipline action in the Smokies awaits your arrival.
If you're looking for the best place to zipline in Tennessee, you've found it at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. We're located just outside Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, which is in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains tourist Mecca of Sevier County. Whether you're staying in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville, our zipline experience is easily accessible by car and easy to find.
Located just a mile off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge our outpost offers the perfect blend of country seclusion and city convenience. Built into the rugged, rolling, wooded hillsides of the Smoky Mountain foothills, Smoky Mountain Ziplines gives you the peace, solitude and beauty of a true outdoors experience, but when you're done, you can be back where all the action is in just minutes.
Maybe that title is a little misleading. Maybe ziplining isn't exactly a fine art. But if you hang out for a while with us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge, you'll find it to be a beautiful and inspiring experience all the same.
Imagine yourself outside on a gorgeous spring day with the rolling hills and woodlands of the Great Smoky Mountains as your backdrop. You're surrounded by lush greenery and caressed by spring breezes as you speed from platform to platform on our 14-line canopy tour. And the view from above is indeed inspiring. As you zip along at speeds as fast as 40 miles per hour, you'll get a birds-eye view of the hillsides and valleys that lie far beneath your dangling sneakers.
Had enough headlines for a while? Between Charlie Sheen, the royal wedding and Osama Bin Laden, there's enough chatter and information overload going on around school, the office and the Internet to make your head spin. What you need is some time well spent in the great outdoors of the Smoky Mountains, where you can clear your head, get some perspective and escape from the real world for a while. Or maybe we should say that it would be your escape to the real world.
And the best place to escape is Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Our Pigeon Forge zip line course provides hours of fun, relaxation, excitement and memories, all bound together in one big package. You'll experience the thrill of strapping your harness onto a steel cable and whizzing your away from one platform to another and then zigzagging your way back and forth across rugged, wooded foothills terrain. With two courses and 18 ziplines at your disposal, you'll cover a lot of ground and rack up a lot of smiles.
One of the great things about Smoky Mountain Ziplines is that we provide virtually everything you need to have a high-flying great time in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. We only ask that you bring one thing—an eagerness to have fun and experience a true sense of adventure!
As for the rest, we've got it taken care of and all at one value-driven price. We provide all the safety equipment you'll need, including a helmet, a harness and the protective gloves you'll use to adjust your speed as you zip your way through our canopy tour and/or our thrilling Super Zip lines. (We do advise wearing long pants not wearing open-toed shoes or sandals.)
Spring is in full swing in the Smokies, which means you have more and more opportunities to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the mountains and all that they have to offer.
One way to get the most out of the great outdoors is to visit us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, where our 14-line canopy tour gives you a scenic treetop view of our rugged hillside terrain, which is in full bloom this time of year. The lush forest canopy provides shade and cooler temperatures and makes for a spectacular backdrop as you whiz from platform to platform with the greatest of ease.
If you're planning to visit our Smokey Mountain zip lines this spring or summer, at some point, you'll have to make decisions regarding your accommodations. There's a wide range of lodgings available here in the Smokies, and what's best for you should take several factors into consideration, including geographic location and the size of your travel party.
Smoky Mountain Ziplines is located just a mile and a half from traffic light #10 on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. So staying somewhere in Pigeon Forge would make a lot of sense if you want to be close to our zipline course in the mountains. Being in Pigeon Forge would also give you equally convenient access to Sevierville and Gatlinburg since Pigeon Forge is located between those two cities. So if you wanted to do some outlet mall shopping in Sevierville, check out the Titanic museum attraction in Pigeon Forge or Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge makes the most sense.
Now that spring is here, it's time to take full advantage of all that nature has to offer. Maybe your kids are out for the week on spring break, or maybe all you can do is a weekend getaway with the whole family. In either case, here's an idea for some specific things you can do with the kids to make the most out of your time in one of the most scenic, outdoorsy places in the country.
Start out your day with some zipline fun at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge, TN. We'll fill up your whole morning with an experience you won't forget, ziplining through our 14-line canopy course at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. We've got some long and high ziplines that will give you a nice perspective on your outdoor surroundings—the rolling, green, wooded foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
These days, more people are watching where their hard-earned dollars go, even when it comes to playtime. When you're on vacation, chances are you're a little more selective about where you spend your money, which means that when you're traveling with the family or as a couple, you want to pick the activities that let you get the most bang for the buck.
That's where Smoky Mountain Ziplines can help you stretch your vacation dollars, by offering an activity that can fill an entire morning or afternoon, and give you more value than any other zipline outfitter in the area. That's because we offer a total of 18 different ziplines, and when you break down the cost per zipline ride, you'll see that we're the best deal around. None of our competitors can give you as much zipline for as low a per-line cost.
It's finally here—spring—that season when nature slowly awakes from its long winter slumber and comes back to life with sunshine, warmer temperatures and beautiful blooming flowers and trees. And what better way to mark the occasion by doing a little ziplining in Pigeon Forge? At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we know how to get you out in the midst of nature's spring spectacular and help you have a blast in the process.
Our canopy tour consists of 14 different ziplines of varying lengths and heights, strung primarily among a series of trees. Whether you're standing on a launch platform and preparing for your next zip, speeding from tree to tree at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, or coming to a stop at the next landing platform, your entire experience puts you smack dab in the middle of the Smoky Mountain outdoors. Our canopy course is laid out on a rugged mountain hillside that's covered in mature hardwoods, and this time of year, as those green buds blossom with foliage, it's a real sight for sore eyes to see.
In the process of researching Smoky Mountain Ziplines, you've probably seen a number of references to our canopy tours. What's a canopy tour, you may be wondering?
Well, it's our main attraction here at SMZ. As the name suggests, you'll be ziplining under the canopy of acres and acres of mighty Smoky Mountain hardwood trees. Our canopy tour consists of 14 different ziplines, which are designed to help anyone get the hang of zipping, even if you've never done it before.
It's true that virtually anyone can zipline, even if they have absolutely zero experience ziplining. But before arriving at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, there are a few things that will be useful for you to know so that you can be prepared to get the most out of your experience.
Wearing proper attire is important. Sturdy footwear is recommended, such as hiking boots or good sneakers. Also make sure that you have shoes with backs. Flip-flops, sandals and mules can easily fall off your feet, and in most cases, once they've fallen, there's no going back for them. Plus, the previously recommended footwear will better protect your feet, particularly when you're coming to a stop on a landing platform.
Last week, we gave you a few suggestions as to how you might spend a typical day in the Smokies. Naturally our plans have you coming out and spending a few hours with us at our ziplines in Pigeon Forge, but this week, we thought we'd throw out even a few more ideas for ways you and your family can do the Smokies right while zipping your way to an unforgettable vacation.
Fun With Children – Get up, grab breakfast at your hotel or favorite local restaurant and then get your day started early at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. We'll get your blood pumping for the day with our 14-line canopy tour, which is a great way for moms, dads and kids to spend a morning together. Take a lunch break at another restaurant and then take a tour of the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge. This might be a good evening to swim in the hotel pool (if it's indoors) or maybe go to a movie at the new Forge Cinemas in Pigeon Forge.
It's no understatement to say that there are enough things to see and do in the Great Smoky Mountains to fill up weeks and weeks of vacation time. Sometimes the challenge becomes narrowing down all those choices and picking just the right activities for you and your family.
Here are a couple of suggestions for how to spend a typical day in the Smokies. Each scenario presents a balanced set of options that would be suitable for any age, although naturally, we think spending part of one of those days with us is an ideal vacation choice. Our ziplines in the Smoky Mountains combine fresh air, outdoor beauty, physical activity and exhilarating fun in one gi-normous package!
Depending on where you currently live, you may or may not know that we're going to enjoy some unseasonably warm temperatures in the Smokies through this weekend and into early next week. Highs are going to be in the 60s and even into the low 70s one day.
That means if you're traveling to East Tennessee in the very near future, you might be able to squeeze in some outdoor activities that you might otherwise not have considered. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, for example, we'll get you into the great outdoors for a multi-hour adventure that may just induce an early Spring Fever and that you and your family will remember for the rest of your lives.
Hooking yourself up to a zipline that's suspended high in the air and speeding from tree to tree like a bird is truly one of the most adventurous and memorable experiences you can have in the Great Smoky Mountains.
But at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we want to assure you that ziplining has nothing to do with being a daredevil. In fact, we give you all the right equipment and provide you with all the instruction you'll need to navigate our 14-line canopy tour or our 4-line SuperZip course with the assurance that you're in the best of hands.
While the Smokies offer a lot of different ways for folks to have fun, sometimes it's easy to get lost in the shuffle of all the attractions, theaters, restaurants and shops. Those things are great, but sometimes visitors to the area fail to see the forest for all the trees. In other words, it's too easy to overlook the Great Smoky Mountains, even though they're pretty hard to miss!
So consider a trip to East Tennessee that gets you outdoors and enjoying nature's best. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has hundreds of miles of hiking trails as well as scenic auto loops that are packed with nature-watching opportunities and historic structures and sites. Park visitors also have abundant opportunities to camp, fish, ride their bikes and even do a little horseback riding.
OK, fellas—let me plant this seed somewhere in your brain, and you can do with it what you will. Valentine's Day is coming up in just a few weeks, right? And perhaps you're the romantic type who is looking for a unique way to tell that special someone “I love you” or perhaps even pop the big question: “Will you marry me?” Instead of the traditional dinner and flowers routine, try sweeping her off her feet with a uniquely fun ride on our zipline in Sevierville, TN.
Let's be honest. Just about all of us have had that experience where we plunk down a big chunk of our hard-earned vacation money on an attraction or activity that just didn't seem to measure up. Maybe it wasn't what you expected or maybe the experience just didn't last very long, leaving you feeling as if you were a little short-changed.
We're here to tell you that you won't have that problem when you visit Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Our ziplines in Pigeon Forge, TN offer more bang for the buck than any other zipline outfitter in the Smokies.
Anybody notice all that white stuff on the ground? If you're in the area and hail from a much warmer climate, we call this stuff “snow.” It usually doesn't make its first appearance until well into the new year, but this winter, we've already had a white Christmas and a big early-January snowfall. If you're currently not in the Smokies and are planning a trip here, you'll get a chance to see the mountains in all their snow-covered glory.
However, if you're thinking that the snow might limit your outdoor activities, think again. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, our course is generally up and running year 'round (although it probably wouldn't hurt to call ahead on snowy days just to make sure). But if we're open for business, what better way to take in all that gorgeous, snow-blanketed beauty than by viewing it from high off the ground, on one of our 18 zipline runs?
How do we help you zipline? Let us count the ways. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, our course, staff, facilities and amenities all add up to one amazing package, making us the best ziplines Pigeon Forge, TN has to offer. For that matter, we're the best zipline experience in the area!
For example, we have the largest zipline course in the area, with 18 lines total—14 on our canopy tour and four SuperZip lines. We're also located less than two miles from the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, making us one of the most convenient zipline attractions as well. But even though we're handy to get to, we still offer a true mountain experience that comes with the authentic sensation of seclusion in nature.
It's that time of year already, when we're winding down at the end of one year and looking ahead to the next one. It's the time when many of us start making resolutions for the new year. If you fall into that category, have you considered resolving to try something new in 2011—perhaps something tremendously fun that's also a little outside the box?
If so, consider trying your hand at ziplining. That's just for daredevils and young people, you say? Not so, we say! Our zip lines in the Smoky Mountains offer two different zipping experiences designed to accommodate folks of any age, even if you've never ziplined before. We have all the equipment, and our staff will teach you everything you need to know to get up and zipping in no time at all.
One of the greatest things about ziplining is that virtually anyone can participate, even if he or she has never hooked up to a zipline before. Unlike high-thrill activities like skydiving and bungee jumping, ziplining is a completely accessible recreation, suitable for anyone who falls within our age and weight requirements.
Even total novices can soon be ziplining thanks to our trained instructors and guides, who work with first-timers and repeat customers alike every step of the way—from getting everyone suited up with just the right safety gear to instructions on how to exit a launch platform and safely arrive on each landing platform. You'll also receive detailed information on what to do during your high-speed ride along our 18 zipline runs—from steering and braking to enjoying the sights along the way.
Too cold to go ziplining, you may be thinking? No such thing! It may be a little nippy out there this week, but don't let that stop you from getting out and experiencing one of the most memorable thrills to be had in the Smokies. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we believe that any time is the right time to zoom your way through our forest treetops and discover the true meaning of “chills and thrills.”
Naturally, we recommend that you bundle up before heading our way. With frigid temperatures abounding lately, it's a good idea to wear plenty of layers and protect exposed areas like ears and hands. But once you get hooked up with one of our 18 ziplines and start speeding your way through the air, suspended high above the ground, you'll experience the double rush of speed and brisk winter temperatures. If you're not feeling alive and invigorated after a day with us, you may need to check for a pulse!
There are dozens of fun attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains, offering more ways to fill your vacation hours than you could possibly squeeze into one trip. But be honest. Do you find yourself doing the same things every time you go on vacation with your spouse or family? Have you had your fill of go-carts and miniature golf courses? Are your tired of the arcades and all the indoor attractions that keep you from enjoying the fresh air and scenic beauty of the great outdoors?
Looking for the biggest, baddest ziplines in Tennessee? Your search begins and ends at Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge, home of the awesome SuperZip course. That's four side-by-side ziplines—each 800 feet long and 100 feet high—that are ready to rock your world with a zipline experience that's truly extreme. SuperZip will take you higher and faster than any other zipline course in the Smokies.
Looking for a holiday gift idea that'll really stand out from all the others? We know you always try to give the people on your list something special, and what we've got in mind can't be wrapped, and it's too big to stuff in a stocking. But it is something they'll definitely never forget. This year, give your friends and loved ones the unforgettable experience of ziplining in the Great Smoky Mountains. We have gift certificates available that not only say Merry Christmas in a fun and exciting way but let the people who receive them know that you care.
One of the greatest assets of the Great Smoky Mountains and their neighboring communities is that there's something to suit virtually anyone's idea of the ideal vacation or getaway.
Do you like music and other entertainment? Then take your pick of nearly a dozen different live theater shows, with productions ranging from country, gospel and bluegrass to magic, comedy and acrobats. If family-friendly attractions are on your agenda, then you may just be overwhelmed by your choices, thanks to all the go-cart tracks, mini golf courses, museums and unique attractions like a ski resort, world-class aquarium and Titanic exhibit.
Maybe you've only seen people enjoy ziplines on television. If so, perhaps the sight of folks speeding along a metal cable high above the ground might have seemed a little intimidating to you. But if you're thinking that ziplining is akin to jumping out of an airplane with a parachute or bungee jumping off a tall bridge, then allow us to present ziplining in a whole new light.
Ziplining is one of the most accessible adventure activities around, offering big fun and big thrills for a wide range of ages—and all possible with no previous experience required and a minimum of preparation and training. Unlike skydiving or even scuba diving—which require hours and hours of instruction and training, ziplining can be picked up in just a few minutes thanks to our well-trained staff of zipline pros. And don't worry, we provide all the equipment you'll need to zipline with the best.
Now that Halloween is over and there are a few weeks yet until Thanksgiving, this is actually a great time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains. There's a nice fall nip in the area, and winter's harshest temperatures are still weeks away. There's still some nice fall foliage on the trees, Winterfest is about to get underway, and now is a great time to start doing some Christmas shopping at the local outlet malls.
But even though there's a lot going on, the mid-week crowds in the Smokies are much smaller than on the weekends and during other seasons of the year. Traffic is easy to manage, and best of all, you typically don't have to wait long in line for area attractions. And that includes the outdoor excitement we offer at Smoky Mountain Ziplines.
The leaves may be changing colors, but it won't be long before they're gone altogether and winter starts to settle into the Great Smoky Mountains. But in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, that's just when the fun is getting started thanks to Smoky Mountain Winterfest, a four-month-long celebration of Christmas and everything's that great about being the Smokies in winter.
All three cities stage kickoff events for their respective Winterfest celebrations in early November. No matter which event you attend, there is usually music, refreshments and the official flipping of the switch to turn on what is collectively millions and millions of holiday lights.
If you're looking for the best place to zipline in Tennessee, shop around, but in the end, we're confident that you'll find Smoky Mountain Ziplines to be the best ziplining experience in the region.
Why? The main reason is the number of ziplines that we have to offer. Our canopy tour has 14 different zipline runs of varying length and thrill levels, which allows you to gradually build up to the larger lines as your skills increase and ensuring that everyone in your group will have fun flying through the air at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
Been outside lately? The weather in the Smokies has been absolutely picture-perfect during the past couple of weeks, with cool nights and mild, sunny days. And this time of year, that's the perfect recipe for great fall foliage.
The transition from the greens of summer to the reds, yellows and oranges of autumn is unmistakable now, and with a nice mix of all those colors, visitors to the Smokies are getting a real feast for the eyes. It's hard to predict from year to year exactly when the colors will be at their peak, but generally it takes place in the late October to early November range.
There's no doubt that hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains is one of the top activities for the millions of people who visit this area each year. It's a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Smokies, get some fresh air and bond with family and friends. Some folks, though, enjoy their outdoor recreation at a slightly higher speed, and that's where ziplining emerges as the high-energy outdoor activity alternative.
Think about it. Ziplining offers those same benefits—mountain beauty, the freshness of the great outdoors and quality time with friends and family—but the thrill factor is definitely higher! Imagine doing all those things while cruising through the mountain treetops at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, the wind in your hair, the ground far below your feet and with eye-level views of gorgeous Smoky Mountain foliage.
There are a number of zip line operators in the area, but not all of them are the same. So before you choose which location to visit, you might want to call ahead and ask a few questions, to make sure you're getting the best ziplining experience for yourself and your family or group.
Where are your ziplines located? Just because a company has ziplines doesn't necessarily mean that they're offering a scenic tour. Our Pigeon Forge zip line location offers a 14-line canopy tour that treks through scenic Smoky Mountain hillside terrain. Summer or winter, you'll enjoy a true outdoors experience instead of views of other nearby attractions and businesses.
There are a number of Smoky Mountain zip line operators in the area, but not all of them are the same. So before you choose which location to visit, you might want to call ahead and ask a few questions, to make sure you're getting the best ziplining experience for yourself and your family or group.
How many ziplines do you have? Many companies only offer a few ziplines for the customers to enjoy. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we have a total of 18, more than any other area zipline business.
Let's face it. Not all of us have the will or the nerve to freefall from an airplane. Or base jump off a high, sheer cliff. Or bungee jump from a bridge. Those activities require not just sheer bravery (or stupidity, depending on your perspective) but also a certain amount of training and skill. So how can the rest of us get that sense of adventure but without so much risk?
Naturally, we strongly recommend one of the Pigeon Forge zipline tours at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. We have canopy tours that let you experience coasting through the air at treetop level on 14 different zipline runs. Or for those looking for a little more of an adrenaline rush, we have our SuperZip course, featuring four high-speed, high-thrill ziplines that are guaranteed to give you the most exciting zipline experience in the Smokies.
If you're visiting the Smokies as a group, you probably already realize that planning group travel isn't as simple as planning a family vacation. Everything must be done on a larger scale, and trying to find fun group activities is no exception. Many don't allow groups to experience much interaction throughout the activity or, in some cases, to even stay together as a group.
Doing a zipline tour, however, is ideal for groups of any kind, whether it's a family reunion, corporate outing, church group or school field trip. Each of our Pigeon Forge canopy tours, for example, allows as many as 10 guests to stay together as a group. Only one person is allowed on a zipline at one time, but the group travels as a unit from tree to tree, which can add up to hours of fun interaction.
Believe it or not, we're actually smack in the middle of one of the best times to visit the Great Smoky Mountains. Once schools are back in session, the number of visitors to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville drops off significantly, which makes everything a little easier for visitors—from booking lodgings to not waiting as long in lines for attractions to spending less time in traffic.
That advantage applies to our Sevierville ziplines too. Between now and October, when the fall colors start to change, you can enjoy warmer weather but still get all the benefits of smaller visitor numbers. Here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, this is the ideal time to hook yourself up with one of the fastest growing family activities in town and experience for yourself what it's like to speed your way through the treetops.
One of the toughest parts about being on vacation in the Smokies is choosing from all the activities available in the area. There's enough going on here to fill several months' worth of vacations, so when you're planning your hard-earned play time, it's important to prioritize.
It goes without saying that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the primary tourist draw in these parts. The park gets about 9 million visitors a year, who get to enjoy a lot of scenic beauty, hiking trails, fishing and camping for no admittance charge.
It's hard to believe, based on the record-setting heat we've seen in the Smokies this summer, but autumn really is just around the corner. And that means the cooler temperatures of fall will blow in as a welcome relief before you know it, in just a matter of weeks, really.
The best part of fall in the Smokies is watching the leaves turn from their normal summery green into their autumnal coat of many colors, like yellows, oranges and fiery reds. A great way to see the fall foliage up close this year will be from the vantage point offered on a Pigeon Forge zipline adventure. Just imagine speeding through air, suspended from a zipline, as you fly among the multicolored Smoky Mountain treetops.
No doubt, there are several zipline operators to choose from in the Smokies. But of all Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg ziplines out there, Smoky Mountain Ziplines is the obvious choice when it comes to getting more airtime. And after all, when you're talking about ziplining, time actually spent flying through the air is what it's all about.
That's because Smoky Mountain Ziplines offers more actual ziplines than any other business in the area. In fact, the canopy tour alone features 14 lines, which means you get to hook up to the zipline and coast from one platform to another, speeding from tree to tree, 14 different times. Some of the faster lines help you reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. And if that weren't enough, don't forget about our SuperZip course—four more ziplines that go to the extreme when it comes to height and distance.
Are you having trouble unplugging the kids from their cell phones and iPods this summer? Are you considering having them surgically removed from those video-game controllers and TV remotes? If so, then you're family may be in need of a zipline intervention. And when it comes to getting the whole gang together for some family fun time, our Pigeon Forge ziplines are definitely what the doctor ordered.
We realize that once you decide to take a zipline tour, you've got plenty of options when it comes to choosing a local zipline company. There are several Smoky Mountain zip line operators in the area, so you may be wondering what sets us apart from the others.
In a nutshell, Smoky Mountain Ziplines offers the best ziplining value around. Our 18 different ziplines—including both our canopy tours and our extreme Super Zipline experience—add up to hours of thrills in the mountains, depending on the size of your tour group. Along the way, you'll enjoy speeds of up to 40 miles per hour and plenty of beautiful Smoky Mountain scenery as you zip your way from tree to tree on the largest zipline course in Pigeon Forge.
Summer is well under way here in the Great Smoky Mountains, and if you're looking for a way to enjoy the great outdoors without feeling too much of the sun's sizzle, our Pigeon Forge zipline tours are a unique alternative.
For starters, our canopy tour makes the most out of our remote, wooded setting, keeping guests in the shade throughout much of the course, which spans 14 different ziplines. And of course, that's 14 different opportunities to travel through the air, suspended from a zipline cable, enjoying the cooling effects of the breeze as you travel at speeds as fast as 40 miles per hour.
Those of you who have done a zipline course before know how much fun it is to fly through the air like a bird and see the world from a whole new perspective. But if you've never joined us here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, you may be curious about exactly what kind of zipline experiences we offer.
f you're more interested in getting close to nature and doing some sightseeing, you might want to consider our canopy tour, which takes you zipline by zipline through the hills and forests of our scenic Smoky Mountain setting. The 14 different ziplines on this tour start out comparatively low and slow and gradually build in height and speed, which allows newbies to get acclimated to the experience. Between ziplines, the course utilizes both trees and manmade structures to give you plenty of room to take in the scenery around you. You can even take your camera with you on your Pigeon Forge zipline adventure, provided you keep it secured to your body with a wrist or neck strap. The canopy tour lasts anywhere from two to three hours, depending on the size of your group.
“How high are the lines, and how fast do you go?”• These are two of the most common questions we hear at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Sometimes people are asking because they're a little afraid of heights. Sometimes it's because they want to make sure they'll get the most out of their adventure. Whatever the reason, we have the answers.
You start out in zip school, learning the ins and outs of zipping and getting comfortable with the equipment. Our guides help you suit up then show you how ziplines work. Don't worry if you're new to the sport: we'll teach you everything you need to know.