Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast
Scenic Drives in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 25 Oct 2012, 10:11 am
To help you find your way around, inexpensive booklets are available at park visitor centers and online. Self-guiding tour booklets are also available from dispensers at the start of the roads they cover.
These booklets are keyed to numbered posts or landmarks and include information on park history, wildlife, and plants. Booklets are available for the following roads:
- Foothills Parkway East or West
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Balsam Mountain
- Rich Mountain Road
The Devil's Courthouse Is A Spectacular Hike 21 Oct 2012, 11:42 am
Devil’s Courthouse may have received its name because of the sinister aspect of the rock formation, or because, as legend holds, the devil held court in the cave that lies beneath the rock. In Cherokee lore, this cave is the private dancing chamber and dwelling place of the slant-eyed giant, Judaculla.
This rugged mountaintop is home to a variety of rare and exotic plants, such as Spreading Avens and Rock Gnome Lichen. To help protect these delicate plants always stay on the trail when hiking the steep half-mile route to the bare rock summit.
Clingmans Dome a Must-See in the Smokies 1 Oct 2012, 4:06 pm
Temperatures here can be 10 -20 degrees cooler than in the surrounding lowlands, and clouds and precipitation are to be expected. Dress in layers and be sure to bring a jacket, even in summer.
Clingmans Dome is a popular area for photographers and mountain view enthusiasts. When the weather is relatively clear, you will find photographers lined up for the perfect shot at sunset.
Directions: From Cherokee, NC, proceed on Newfound Gap Road and turn off onto Clingmans Dome Road near Newfound Gap. follow Clingmans Dome Road to the large parking area at the end. It’s seven miles to the end of Clingmans Dome Road and there are scenic pullouts with endless views of ridges and valleys along the way. Total mileage to Clingmans Dome from Cherokee is 25.
Although Clingmans Dome is open year-round, the road leading to it is closed from December 1 through March 31, and whenever weather conditions require.
All Aboard! Fall Excursions on The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad 24 Sep 2012, 5:44 amLooking for a great way to view the fall colors of Western North Carolina's mountains? Scenic rail excursions from the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad take you from a historic depot through the beautiful countryside of Western North Carolina. The variety of train excursions and special event trains makes it perfect for making memories with your friends and families.
THE POLAR EXPRESSAll Aboard The Polar Express™! This memorable journey will take you on an incredible journey! Believe the magic this Holiday season! Over 42,000 passengers rode The Polar Express™ with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2011. The 1 ¼ hour round-trip...Learn More ›
Dinner Train Tribute to ElvisGreat Smoky Mountains Railroad is excited bring you the new Dinner Train; Tribute to Elvis! Partnering together with Communities in Schools, they are happy to participate in the upcoming Elvis themed dinner train. All proceeds from this special train will be going...Learn More ›
PEANUTS™ Pumpkin Patch ExpressThe leaves are turning this October and the pumpkins are ready to be carved! The PEANUTS gang return to the GSMR Pumpkin Patch this October.Ready for some family fun? What is MSN.com saying about this Family Fun? Check it out! PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express returns to the Great...Learn More ›
Fall Foliage AblazeIn autumn, the mountains of Western NC are a dramatic display of fiery sugar maples, buttery poplars and crimson oaks.We would love for you to see it! BOOK YOUR SEAT NOW! Enjoy the cool crisp air of fall from one of our Open Air Gondolas or one of our First Class Cars....Learn More ›
Pisgah National Forest 16 Sep 2012, 1:46 pmThe Pisgah National Forest is a land of mile-high peaks, cascading waterfalls and heavily forested slopes in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Comprised of over 500,000 acres, the Pisgah is primarily a hardwood forest with whitewater rivers, waterfalls and hundreds of miles of trails.
The Pisgah National Forest is famous for it's waterfalls just outside of Brevard, NC, including Looking Glass Falls.It's right next to the road on Hwy 276 north, kid friendly and wheelchair accessible to the upper view. Other attractions in the area include Looking Glass Rock, Slide Rock, Shining Rock Wilderness, Middle Prong Wilderness, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, swimming, fall colors, and scenic views.
|Looking Glass Falls|
Additional features of the Pisgah National Forest and directions can be found here: http://www.ncwaterfalls.com/pisgah1.htm
Black Balsam Knob - A Spectacular Hike on the Blue Ridge 9 Sep 2012, 6:21 pmThe Black Balsam area of the Blue Ridge Parkway includes one of the most spectacular mountain balds in the Southern Appalachians, Black Balsam Knob. This treeless mountaintop draws people from afar due to their sweeping views.
The quickest way to the summit of 6214' Black Balsam Knob is via the Art Loeb trail. This is a walk of about 1/2 mile which gains about 400' in elevation. The first quarter mile passes through a thick Balsam Grove (hence, Black Balsam Knob) after which the trail abruptly breaks out onto the wide grassy ridge. It passes through open, grassy and rocky mountain meadows and this short walk is highly recommended!
What sets this peak apart from others in this region is expansive grassy summit. Almost entirely devoid of trees above 6000', you can hike almost 3 miles without dropping back into the trees. This is likely due to the more popular peaks that can be found to the east and west.
Black Balsam Knob is one of the most uniquely beautiful mountains in the Southern Appalachians. It lies on the southern edge of the Shining Rock Wilderness, in the Pisgah National Forest, and is only a mile or so off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Directions: The Black Balsam Knob Access Road is located just west of Milepost 420 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The nearest access points to the Parkway are US-276 which crosses the Parkway at Milepost 412 on its way from Waynesville to Brevard. The other is by way of NC-215 which crosses at Milepost 423 on its way from Canton to Rosman.
Things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 4 Sep 2012, 1:19 pm
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. Here are a few of the highlights we recommend:
- Cades Cove - A very popular wildlife viewing area, Cades Cove is the most visited area of the park. Stunning views, old homesteads and mills, and deer, black bears and other wildlife can be viewed up close on this one-way 11 mile loop.
- Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail - This five and half mile one-way road is just a short trip from downtown Gatlinburg. Several pull-offs along the trail allow visitors to take in stunning creekside settings, old homesteads and cabins, with a spectacular view of fall colors.
- Abrams Falls - A five mile hike round trip follows an up and down trail to Abrams Falls which is located in Cades Cove. Abrams Falls is only 20 feet tall but the amount of water that flows over the falls is well worth the hike.
- Grotto Falls - Visitors can walk underneath and behind this waterfall. Watch the water flow over your head as it plunges the 25 feet down the falls. Grotto Falls is at the end of a three-mile uphill walk.
- Laurel Falls - Laurel Falls is a relatively short but moderately difficult trail; 1.3 mile uphill hike to the falls on a paved trail.
- Rainbow Falls/Mount LeConte - Mount LeConte is one of the tallest mountains in the park, and Rainbow Falls is located on the way to the top. At 80 feet tall, Rainbow Falls is the highest waterfall in the Smokies.
- Newfound Gap Road - This 33-mile stretch runs from Cherokee North Carolina to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. At its highest point, Newfound Gap Road crosses the mountains at 5, 046 feet.
- Clingman's Dome - The highest point in the Smokies, Clingman's Dome offers amazing views from its observation tower.
- Mountain Farm Museum - This 19th century farmstead at the Cherokee, NC entrance to the park, iscomplete with a farmhouse, work buildings, and a barn. If you go in the summertime you will be able to see live demonstrations of what it would have been like to live on a farm during this time period.
Fall Color in Western North Carolina 27 Aug 2012, 10:12 amPredicting exactly when fall color will arrive in the mountains is impossible, however some color change can start as early as mid-September in the higher elevations with the turning of yellow birch, American beech, mountain maple, hobblebush, and pin cherry. We usually experience an autumn leaf season of several weeks as fall colors travel down the mountain sides from high elevation to low.
From early to mid-October, fall colors develop above 4,000 feet. To enjoy them, drive the Clingmans Dome Road, the Blue Ridge Parkway, or the Foothills Parkway in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Fall colors generally peak at mid and lower elevations between mid-October and early November. This is a time of more colorful displays including sugar maple, scarlet oak, sweetgum, red maple, and the hickories.
Why are fall colors so remarkable in the Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina? One reason is the amazing diversity of trees. Another reason is that the cascading of mountain views, which display a wide variety of elevation changes and outstanding colorful views.
Quilt Trails in Waynesville and Haywood County, NC 19 Aug 2012, 5:33 pm
Quilt TrailsThe stories represent agriculture, history, charity, honor, family traditions, and so much more. The colorful patterns are instantly recognizable as being associated with quilts — those ‘icons of tradition’ that are connected to comfort, warmth, security and home. The Haywood County Quilt Trail beckons us to take to the road. You’ll experience life through the stories and traditions of our beautiful county; you might even come away with a unique life story of your own.
Schools, churches, banks and a variety of other establishments are “stitching” a trail throughout Haywood County that is giving tourists the opportunity to see rural areas that they would not have had before. Vacationers are traveling to Clyde, Canton, Waynesville and Maggie Valley to see the brightly painted quilt squares while getting a taste of its heritage as they explore this Western North Carolina County that is immersed in American history. Vibrant quilt patterns are painted on pre-built wooden squares ranging from two feet to eight feet in size, creating a vibrant trail throughout the area.
Quilting as a sewing method has been an American tradition for centuries, with fabrics and patterns representing a family or story pertaining to that particular timeframe. Now, through the organization of the Quilt Trails project, the much-loved symbol of comfort, family, heritage, and community that quilting symbolizes is represented by large wooden quilt squares that have taken on the same meaning, with its patterns representing the history of the land, the building or the family.
Up-to-date information about blocks, including site locations, is available at www.haywoodquilttrails.org.
Article from http://www.visitncsmokies.com/blog/haywood-county-quilt-trails
Webcams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 12 Aug 2012, 6:21 pm
Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is America's most visited national park, yet many out-of-town visitors long to see the views and vistas year round. Webcams in the park provide endless opportunities for viewing any time of the day.
There are two webcams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that provide a current view of the park and information about air quality conditions. The cameras record a new image every 15 minutes. Note that a black image is due to nightfall, when a new photo cannot display.
Purchase Knob webcam
Located at high elevation on the eastern end on the park, the Purchase Knob webcam offers views to the northeast.
Look Rock webcam
Located on the western edge of the park at mid elevation, this webcam offers views of Mount Le Conte, Clingmans Dome and Cades Cove.