Crow Family Happenings

Monday, June 27, 2016

Family Reunion Activities 2016

Smoky Mountains (Free)

Auto Tourism 

These are places you mostly drive to in the Park. There might be some walking but it is generally under a mile. This includes...
  • Newfound Gap (on the way to the top, not much here, but it is a pretty stop on the way to...) Clingman's Dome (the highest point in Tennessee) which has a visitors center and a steep but short & paved 0.3 mile hike to the top where there is a spiral ramp up a tower. There is no shade, but there are plenty of places to stop and rest.
  • Cades Cove is a beautiful valley surrounded on nearly all side by the Smoky Mountains. The residents were forced out when the park was formed in the 1930's and their homes & farms were preserved and can be toured. The drive around the park can be crowded & painfully slow as people stop frequently to photograph the wildlife. There are also trails to at least one waterfall and a one way dirt road back to Townsend.
  • Cataloochee is a smaller version of Cades Cove.
  • Roaring Fork is a 5.5 mile drivable scenic nature trail that follows a mountain creek. There are historic building to stop and see and a hiking trail to a waterfall.
  • Rich Mountain Road in a one way dirt & gravel road over the mountains from Cades Cove to Townsend. Open only in the summer.
  • Little River Road runs from Townsend up the Little River into the park. The views are pretty. There are several numbered pull offs for some areas like Meigs Falls & The Sinks and some without numbers like White Oak Falls Flats & Cane Creek Twin Falls. Some are right off the road, some have a short hike to see the waterfall. Some are great for picnics, others for hiking.


There are a couple dozen waterfalls in the Park. Some can be walked to easily, others hikes are strenuous. The name of the falls is followed by it height, the round trip distance of the hike, a difficulty rating, and the trail head location.

NorthWest Side (where we are)
  • Abrams Falls, 20 ft, 5m, moderate, Cades Cove (short falls but lots of volume)
  • Lynn Camp Prong Cascades, many & small, 1.3m, easy, Tremont
  • Grotto Falls, 25 ft, 3m, moderate, Roaring Fork
  • Rainbow Falls, 80ft, 5.4m, moderate, Roaring Fork
  • Laurel Falls, 80ft, 2.6m, moderate, Sugarlands (popular)
NorthEast Side
  • Ramsey Cascades, 100ft, 8m, strenuous, Greenbriar (popular)
  • Hen Wallow Falls, 90 ft, 4.4m, moderate, Cosby Campground
  • Mouse Creek Falls, 45ft, 4m, moderate, Big Creek
North Carolina Side
  • Mingo Falls, 120ft, 0.4m, moderate, Mingo Falls Campground
  • Indian Creek and Toms Branch Falls, 25 ft, 1.6m, easy, Deep Creek Campground
  • Juney Whank Falls, 90ft, 0.8m, moderate, Deep Creek Campground


The are some popular hikes for every skill level. The views will depend upon the weather. Noted for each line is the elevation change, the round trip distance as well as the starting point.
  • Charlies Bunion, 1600ft, 8m, a picturesque stone outcrop on the AT, Newfound Gap.
  • Andrews Bald, 1200ft, 4m, a clearing at the top of the mountains, Clingman's Dome
  • Chimney Tops, 1400ft, 4m, popular but very steep hike, Sugarlands
  • Mt LeConte. 6593ft, This mountain inspired the song Rocky Top, There are five different trails leading to the summit. The shortest in just under 10m round trip, but is closed on week days.

Attractions (Usually Not Free)

Cherokee Indian Reservation (90 minute away)

Located on the North Carolina side of the park, The Qualla Cherokee Land Trust is populated by those Cherokee who hid in the Smokys to avoid forced removal. Today they are the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. There are several attractions, a museum, a traditional village, outdoor dramas, art galleries, arts & crafts markets, golf course, and a casino.

BIA Highway 441, Cherokee, NC 28719

State Road 1361, Cherokee, NC 28719


123 Cromwell Dr, Townsend, TN 37882 Admission $7
        July 29 Concert 7:00pm Emisunshine and the Rain $8.

Sugarlands Visitors Center (free)
2 miles south of Gatlinburg on US-441, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

A historic grist mill located on the North Carolina side of the GSMNP

121 Schoolhouse Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771 

5040 Highlands Road, Franklin, NC 28734

Dollywood (40 minutes away)

Dollywood is really two parks in nearby Pigeon Forge: A theme park ($65 all day pass) with roller coasters, shows, & pricey food, AND a water park ($48 all day pass) with water slides of various heights and intensity. Open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (7:00 PM for the water park)

Alpine Slides

There are a couple of these. Each is $15 per ride with discounts for buying multiple rides.
Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster
Ober Gatlinburg Ski Mountain Coaster
The Coaster at Goats on the Roof

Inner Tubes on the Little River

On the Little River which runs through Townsend. Prices range from $10 to $15, but are for all day and include unlimited shuttle rides back up river to start again.
River Rage Tubing $10
River Rat Tubing $15
Cowboy Tubin $10

White Water Rafting

On the Pigeon River, Trips are about $30-$40 per person, depending upon the intensity of the trip.
Big Creek Expeditions
Rafting in the Smokies

Zip Line/Tree Ropes Courses

There are more of these in the Smoky's than you can shake a stick at. None of them are cheap, but for 1 to 2 hours of high flying excitement you will pay between $50 & $100 per person. Here are two of them.
Smoky Mountain Ziplines
Wears Valley Zipline Adventures


Forbidden Caverns
455 Blowing Cave Road, Sevierville, Tennessee 37876
Tuckaleechee Caverns
825 Cavern Road, Townsend, Tennessee 37882

Bike Rentals

10035 Campground Dr, Townsend, TN 
8125 Old Highway 73 Townsend TN 37882
Motor Cycle Rentals
8459 TN-73, Townsend, TN 37882

Horseback Riding

Guided Trail Rides cost $30 per person. Maximum of 9 riders per group. Rides are about 1 hour through the "wilderness" of Cades Cove. No reservations.
Guided Carriage Rides cost $12 per person. Maximum of 6 riders per group. Rides are about 30-45 minutes along forested trails. Guide will tell some of the history as well as the point out wildlife. No reservations.
Guided Hayrides cost $12 per person, and carry up to 65 people (minimum 2 people). Rides take 90-180 minutes depending upon traffic (apparently they use the same roads as the cars). Only 4 rides are scheduled per day. 10am, 12pm, 3pm, & 6pm.

505 Old Cades Cove Rd. Townsend, Tn 37882
1\2 hr - $15; 1hr ride - $25; 1 1\2 hr - $37; 2 hr - $50
Reservations preferred. 865-448-6411

Next To Heaven
Unguided Horseback Riding - $37 plus tax
1239 Wears Valley Road
Townsend, TN 37882

Other Fun Stuff

Outdoor Gravity Park - Because rolling down a hill inside of giant plastic ball your idea of fun. Bring your swimsuit cause the ball has water inside it. $14-$20 a roll
Flyaway Indoor Skydiving - Because no one want to jump out of perfectly good airplane. $35 for the first 3 minutes. Additional minutes are cheaper.
Helicopter tours - Because why see it from the ground when you can fly over it. Depending on the tour you pick the rates are from $35 per person on up (way up).
ATV Rides - Because we don't need no stinking roll cage. $60-$160 per hour plus tax and insurance. depending on the size of the machine you want to drive.
Balloon Rides - Because the view is outstanding, and you are on a tether so you wont float too far from your car. Pick daytime or evening, weather permitting. $17 per person. (an untethered balloon ride will run about $250 per person).
Circe G Ranch Safari Drive - Because you want to see zoo animals but you hate to see them in cages. $9.00 per person.
Zip Coaster - Because ziplines through trees are for tree huggers. Its $29 but the price includes a ride from the ticket booth up to the Zip Coaster "Dome" in a giant yellow Monster Bus! The Zip coaster itself is almost half a mile long. And when you are all done you get to ride the Monster Bus back down to the parking lot!
Monster Truck Rides - Because monster trucks!! $13 per person
Indoor Shooting Range - Because you could be shooting. $14 hourly, $8 daily gun rental

Gatlinburg (50 minutes away)

Gift shops, candy shops, clothing shops, lots of restaurants (Hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream and an oddly large number of places for pancakes). You pay for everything, including parking. Lots of people walking around. Driving is painfully slow in places. There is the Sugarland Cellars Winery, though I can make no claim for its quality. There is even a tram/cable car ride to the top of the mountain.

Pigeon Forge (35 minutes) & 

Built up around Dollywood, there are places to mini golf, go carts, bungee jumping, laser tag, and endless varieties of themed dinner shows (Hatfields & McCoys, Magicians, Titanic, Ripleys Believe-it-or-Not, etc). It also has lots of shopping, similar to Gatlinburg (above), but it is more spread out, with wider streets, and fewer pedestrians.

Maryville/Alcoa (20 minutes away)

Food Lion
1707 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Maryville, TN 37804

244 S Hall Rd, Alcoa, TN 37701
507 N Foothills Plaza Dr, Maryville, TN 37801

836 Louisville Rd, Alcoa, TN 37701

Parkway Drive-In -
2909 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.
Maryville TN 37804

Vienna Coffe House -
212 College Street, Maryville, TN 37804

Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria
128 W. Broadway, Maryville, TN 37801

Smokey Mountain Brewery -
743 Watkins Road, Maryville, TN 37801

Townsend (5 minutes away)

Called the peaceful side of the Smokies

Townsend Historical Trail
Bike path & walking trail) about 10 mile loop
Markers along the way and an informative booklet tell the histories of Native Americans, settlers, special places such as springs and cemeteries, railroad and logging days, and features along the Little River.
from 6959 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy
to 8520 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy

Townsend IGA - Supermarket
7945 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882

Burger Master Drive In
8439 TN-73, Townsend, TN 37882

The Chocolate Bar - Sweet Shop
7807 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882

The Artistic Bean - Coffee Shop
8027 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882

Trailhead Steakhouse
7839 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882

Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro - Restaurant/Bar
7140 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882

Cades Cove Cellars - Winery
7126 East Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882

Other Stuff

Old Knoxville home (45 minutes away)
214 Druid Drive, Knoxville Tenn 37920

Closest LDS Chapel (20 minutes away)
706 Amerine Rd, Maryville, TN 37804


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