What’s New(ish) In The Smokies For 2015?

Just as the change of seasons brings new life to the Smokies, it also brings new things to do and places to see for visitors to the mountains of East Tennessee. From attractions and theater shows to restaurants and shops, there are lots of new businesses and special events popping up all the time.

 

This week, we thought we’d share several ideas for places to go that are new for 2015 as well as some that just made their debut within the last year or two. After all, it may have been a few years since you’ve been to the Smokies. So if you happen to be staying in one of our Wears Valley cabin rentals in the next few months, you’ll be up to date on all the fun that awaits you here in the Great Smoky Mountains.

 

Attractions

Segway Rentals and Sales of Pigeon Forge – This shop is set up in the Old Mill neighborhood of Pigeon Forge, and lets guests take those fun, mobile Segway scooters out for a uniquely efficient way to get around town.

The Island – This multipurpose destination in Pigeon Forge continues to grow and already offers visitors a wealth of choices when it comes to shopping, dining and entertainment. Restaurants like Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Timberwood Grill are already open, and Paula Deen’s new restaurant will be open within just a matter of weeks. You can also browse a host of specialty shops, and construction continues on a Margaritaville-themed hotel on the property. Of course, don’t forget about fun attractions like the giant Smoky Mountain Wheel, a Ferris wheel that gives passengers fantastic 360-degree views of the Smokies.

Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster – This fun attraction, located on the Parkway – just as you’re entering Gatlinburg from The Spur – takes riders on a twisty, curvy downhill ride on a track-mounted coaster car. Passengers control their own speed with hand brakes.

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster – This attraction is similar to the coaster mentioned above but is located on Wears Valley Road near Pigeon Forge.

The Coaster at Goats on the Roof – And here is yet another alpine coaster ride, this time at the Goats on the Roof attraction. Located on Wears Valley Road on the outskirts of Pigeon Forge, this attraction also features goat-feeding, gem-mining and lots of sweet treats.

Shows

Tribute Theater – This Pigeon Forge theater takes audiences back in time with a production that showcases the life and times of Patsy Cline. It’s a 90-minute show featuring her most popular country/pop songs, as performed by Carol Glass-Cooper. More than 20 songs are presented in this tribute, which also includes Mike Cooper performing hits by George Jones, Conway Twitty and others.

Sable Theater – In an all-new show called Imagination on Sand, this Pigeon Forge production features acrobats, dancers, comedians and trick horse riders performing to the inspirational narration of a sand artist. A truly unique live experience.

Check back with us on next week’s blog to learn about even more new finds in the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains!

What’s New In Pigeon Forge This Week?

If you’re staying in one of our Tennessee cabin rentals this week, there’s a more than decent chance that you’ll be doing something in Pigeon Forge at some point. After all, most of our properties are only a 10 minute drive from that community, so if you’re looking for something fun to do in the Smokies, you might be interested in hearing about some of the city-sponsored special events as well as some promotional activities going on at Pigeon Forge attractions.

With St. Patrick’s Day taking place this week, it’s only fitting that March is Irish Month at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge. After all, the actual ocean liner itself was built in Ireland, so this month, its namesake attraction salutes everything Irish, from Gaelic folklore and music to singing and dancing. In addition to the usual history lesson you get at Titanic Pigeon Forge, you’ll learn a lot about the famed ship’s Irish roots.

This week, from March 18 through 21, the city presents the 21st Annual A Mountain Quiltfest, taking place at the LeConte Event Center. Quiltfest preserves the timeless art of quilting through displays of finely crafted quilts from all across the country and more than 60 quilting classes geared toward quilters of all levels of expertise.

Quilters can compete for more than $20,000 in cash and prizes in this event, which is produced by the City of Pigeon Forge and hosted by the Piecemakers and Sevier Valley Quilters Guilds.

Last but not least, Dollywood kicks off its 2015 season this weekend with its annual Festival of Nations, March 21 through April 20. This month-long celebration features live performers, foods, and arts and crafts from more than 20 nations, all with the goal of giving Dollywood visitors a glimpse into cultures around the world.

This year’s lineup of shows includes two brand-new ones, Rhythm of the Dance (Ireland) and TIMBER! (Canada). Also on the schedule are Los Pampas Gauchos (Argentina), Invaders Steel Orchestra (Trinidad), Alash Ensemble (Tuvan throat singing), Mariachi Divas (Mexico), Atahualpa (Ecuador) and Zebra Stelzentheater (Germany).

That’s just a small fraction of what’s in store this week for those staying with us in one of our cabins; considering everything that’s in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, you could fill up multiple weeks of vacations and still never do the same thing twice.

Besides world-class attractions like Dollywood and Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge there’s also Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg and WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge. And there are dozens of other attractions in addition to those recognizable names, as well as outdoor activities like golfing, whitewater rafting and horseback riding.

The Smokies are also home to outlet malls, specialty stores, arts and crafts studios, and flea markets, not to mention literally hundreds of restaurants and eateries.

And don’t forget about Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is quickly accessible from our cabins in Wears Valley, Tennessee. In the national park alone, activities like hiking, fishing, picnicking, cycling, camping and more make for scenic warm-weather fun, and best of all, there’s no admission fee.

This Week In The National Park

Spring means a lot of welcome changes in the Great Smoky Mountains, and that goes for the national park as well. Roads are reopening now that the snow has thawed in the lower elevations, and we’ll soon start to see early signs of spring in the form of blooming flowers and budding trees. It also means that the national park’s ranger-led programs are back on schedule, offering a lot of cool, fun and mostly free ways for folks of all ages to get just a little more out of their national park experience.

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll find going on this weekend and into the following week. Note that for now, these programs are being offered on a limited basis, but once we get further into spring and summer, you’ll find activities being offered every day of the week.

Sunday, March 15

Cataract Falls Walk – Get away from the hustle and bustle by taking an easy stroll to a beautiful waterfall and learn more about the Great Smokies. 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Sugarlands Visitor Center. Free.

So You Wanna Take a Hike? – Learn the dos and don’t’s of how to prepare for a day hike or an overnight trip in the Smokies with this fact-filled program for all ages and experience levels. 1 to 1:45 p.m. Sugarlands Visitor Center. Free.

Thursday, March 19

The Stories That Flowers Tell – Take a walk to hear some interesting folklore about the flowers the Smokies are famous for and get to know your favorite varieties a little better. 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sugarlands Visitor Center. Free.

Friday, March 20

Forks of the River – The site of the present-day Sugarlands Visitor Center and Park Headquarters was once known as Forks of the River. Take a walk with a ranger to learn about the once vibrant communities of Sugarlands, Fighting Creek and Forks of the River. 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sugarlands Visitor Center. Free.

Also note that there are a number of ranger-led programs also scheduled for the next week or so at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, which is at the entrance to the North Carolina side of the national park. To access that, just follow U.S. 441 (Newfound Gap Rd.) through the national park to the southern end. Along the way, you’ll see some stunning views as the roads wind and twist their way to the crest of the Smokies range and then back down toward the North Carolina foothills.

Any time you’re planning on visiting the national park, be sure to reserve your overnight accommodations with us here at Timbercreek Cabins in Wears Valley. Our luxury cabin rentals are conveniently located so that anyone visiting the national park, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville can be at their destination within a reasonable amount of time.

Our properties are packed with amenities and conveniences and make traveling more like experiencing a new home away from home. Whether it’s a one-bedroom honeymoon getaway or a five-bedroom lodge for a large group, you’ll find fireplaces, hot tubs, game rooms, decks, mountain views and so much more. Give us a call today.

Cabin Of The Week – Little Feather

Summer’s coming up, and that means wedding season here in the Great Smoky Mountains. June has historically been a popular month for getting married, and in the Smokies, it also happens to be a time when many people are able to take vacations and get away to the mountains, whether it’s for a family trip, a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.

If a wedding/honeymoon combo is on your list of things to do this year, then consider getting hitched at one of the Smokies’ many wedding venues and then honeymooning with us at Timbercreek Cabin Rentals. In fact, this week’s showcased property, Little Feather, has been one of our most popular honeymoon hideaways.

It’s a one-level, one-bedroom, one-bathroom log cabin located close to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a non-smoking property where you’ll find plenty of privacy and seclusion in the beauty of our East Tennessee mountains. You will have a few neighbors, however; but we don’t think you’ll have a problem saying howdy to the white-tailed deer, turkey and other critters that call this neck of the woods home as well.

The living room has ways to relax and ways to play. You can enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate in the overstuffed chair or on the couch, both of which sit in front of a large, stone, wood-burning fireplace. Or you could enjoy your favorite TV shows, movies and even Xbox 360 games thanks to the flat-screen television. The living room also boasts hardwood floors, a cathedral ceiling and an all-wood interior, all of which create an inviting and cozy atmosphere.

The spacious, single bedroom offers a king-size bed and a private bathroom featuring a whirlpool tub. The tub is surrounded by mountain stone and is notable for its waterfall faucet and tree trunk shower.

You can also soak your cares away in the outdoor hot tub, which is located on the back deck. That’s also where you’ll find a charcoal grill, and just as you’ll find with any of our cabins, Smoky Mountains views and views of surrounding woodlands are abundant.

Interior features include a washer and dryer and a kitchen that’s fully equipped with all the appliances, dishes, cookware and utensils you’ll need to prepare and serve your own delicious meals – especially a romantic, candlelit dinner for two. The kitchen also has plenty of cabinet space to accommodate whatever provisions you purchase at one of our local supermarkets.

Of course, if cooking on vacation isn’t your cup of tea, remember that you’ll be a short drive from Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg, home to hundreds of restaurants and other eateries as well as attractions and shops.

And as we mentioned, the national park is very close by. The cabin is very handy to a little traveled entrance to the park, which will take you directly to the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area, and then from there, it’s just a short drive to park destinations like Elkmont, Tremont and Cades Cove.

7 Things To Do On A Snowy Day

In case you hadn’t noticed, much of the country is embraced in the icy grip of winter. Like it or not, that goes for us here in the Great Smoky Mountains too. And while snow can make for some beautiful scenery, it can also mean being stuck and unable to travel. If you’re not visiting us here in the Smokies this week, things will hopefully be more accessible when you do make your next trip to the area.

But if you are already staying at one of our cabins in Gatlinburg, TN or in Wears Valley or Pigeon Forge, you may find that the road conditions are not favorable for getting out and enjoying everything the area has to offer, including the national park.

Not to despair. This week, we’ll offer seven suggestions for fun things you can do right there at your cabin or wherever you might be staying in the Smokies. For that matter, if you’re snowed in at your own home right now, there are plenty of tips here to help fight off cabin fever, so to speak – especially if you have a tribe of restless kids wreaking havoc in the house.

  • Make a snowman. That’s snow-fun Rule #1, right? And I don’t care how old you are; making snowmen is a blast, and you know it. See who can build the biggest snowman or the weirdest or the ugliest. You might also put your snow construction skills to the test by building a snow fort or igloo.
  • Go to Ober Gatlinburg. If you can safely get to downtown Gatlinburg, or if you’re already there, take the Aerial Tramway up to the Smokies’ very own ski resort, where you can snow ski, snowboard or even have fun on their 10-lane snow tubing course. They also have indoor ice skating year ‘round. Equipment rentals and ski lessons are available on site.
  • Go sledding. If you can’t safely get to Gatlinburg, find a hill in your neighborhood and do some downhill coasting. No sled? Maybe you can make do with some cardboard. In any case, just watch out for those trees and rocks.
  • Read. This is perfect weather for curling up near a fireplace with a good book and catching up on all that reading you’ve been putting off because you’ve just been too busy lately.
  • Go to a movie. If you can safely get to a theater, movies are an ideal way to spend some down time. Even if you’re snowed in at home or at your cabin, pop in a DVD or stream your favorite movies on Netflix or HuluPlus. If all else fails, cable TV usually has plenty of movie options around the clock.
  • Exercise. Bad weather is no excuse for not staying fit. Hop on that treadmill or pop in a yoga DVD. Or just do some push-ups.
  • Bake. Make a pie or a batch of cookies or your favorite kind of bread. It kills the time, and best of all, when you’re done, you’ve got some delicious treats to enjoy with the family.

Saddle Up 2015

This week, if you’re staying with us at Timbercreek Cabins, Gatlinburg is probably not your best bet as a destination for an outing, especially considering the road conditions this week. However, it might be more convenient to travel into Pigeon Forge, which will be hosting what has grown into one of the biggest special events to take place in the city each year. The 15th Annual Saddle Up celebration rides into town February 18 through 22, bringing a uniquely fun cowboy-themed experience to these here parts.

This five-day event that celebrates the American West will feature live entertainment by musicians and poets as well as other cowboy-themed activities like dances, cook-offs and even a church service. Most happenings are headquartered at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge.

Many of the daily events are free, including Old Time Cowboy Songs and a Western Swing Fiddle Class on Wednesday, a Western Dance Class on Thursday, Stories & Strings and Tales & Tips From A Cowboy Cook on Friday, Buckaroo Roundup on Saturday and Cowboy Church on Sunday.

Other events are ticketed activities and mostly revolve around the Intimate Evening Dinner Concerts. The dinner shows ($54.88, with tax) have limited seating and feature steak and all the trimmings, served at local venues such as Mama’s Farmhouse and the LeConte Center. There are also several Saddle Up Concerts ($21.95, with tax) scheduled, featuring a wide variety of live music acts.

Other paid admissions include Cowbucks Café at Pigeon River Pottery on Thursday morning, Stories & Strings at Stages West on Friday and the Chuck Wagon Cook-Off and Lunch and the Cowboy Dance on Saturday. Prices range from $5 for the dance to $21.95 for Stories & Strings.

Featured performers this year include:

Baxter Black – This cowboy poet, former veterinarian and current entertainer has traveled the U.S. and Canada for more than 25 years, scattering his wit and left-handed observations to those looking for a bright spot in their day.

Wylie & The Wild West – This musical act has spent a quarter-century performing their unique blend of cowboy, swing, folk and yodeling music worldwide. Wylie is the voice of the famous Yahoo! yodel in the TV commercials.

Brenn Hill – This Utah native’s music reveals the heart of the American West to anyone who takes the time to listen. He revisits many of the stories that come from his homeland with a fresh, contemporary and personal twist.

Chuck Pyle – For more than 40 years, this performer has mixed infectiously hummable melodies with straight-from-the-saddle poetry. An accomplished songwriter, his songs have been recorded by John Denver, Suzy Bogguss and many more.

Jean & Gary Prescott – This couple has been entertaining folks from the concert stage, around campfires and in churches all over the country. Their Texas songs go straight to the heart, and the music is always toe-tapping good.

Andy Nelson – This Idaho native is a second-generation farmer with the experience, talent and humor to bring authenticity to every performance. He is a two-time recipient of the Western Music Association’s Male Poet Of The Year award.

Skip Gorman – Skip is a masterful cowboy singer, a fine Western and Celtic fiddler, and one of the country’s premier mandolin players.

T. Scot Wilburn & The Shut Up-N-Playboys – This group draws on their musical influences to play the best in hillbilly swing and Western tunes.

Kent Rollins – This entertainer and chuck wagon cook entertains audiences with his poetry and storytelling about the life and legacy of the cowboy.

 

A Hike On Middle Prong Trail

Looking for an easily accessible hike in the Great Smoky Mountains that’s pretty easy and offers some gorgeous waterfall scenery? Consider spending an hour or so hoofing it along the Middle Prong Trail, which is located near the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, inside the national park.

Overall, the trail stretches 4.1 miles and generally follows the Middle Prong of the Little River. At the 2.3-mile mark, the trail intersects Panther Creek Trail then continues for another 1.8 miles, ending at the junction of Lynn Camp Prong Trail and Greenbrier Ridge Trail.

To get to the trailhead from Timbercreek Cabins, drive to Lyons View Road in Wears Valley (which is very close to most of our cabins) and take that road south until you enter the national park. The road will take you through the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area and eventually to Little River Road. Turn right on Little River Road, travel 10.6 miles and turn left onto Tremont Road to go toward the Great Smoky Mountains Institute.

Instead of turning off Tremont Rd. to enter the Institute, continue straight as the road turns from paved to gravel. Continue several more miles until the gravel road dead ends at the Middle Prong trailhead. Park wherever you can find space.

The trail is very gently sloping uphill for most of the way out, but the path is wide, because it once served as a railroad bed. In fact, you can still see a small length of rail still embedded in the ground not far from the start of the hike. Also note that this trail is often used by horseback riders, so you may want to watch your step, if you catch our drift.

Most of the scenery comes in the form of great views of the many cascades and falls that make up the turbulent journey of the Middle Prong waterway. At 4/10 of a mile into the hike, you’ll see one of the largest cascades, and there’s even a bench designating a scenic spot to sit and rest or take some photos.

At many other points along the trail, you can worm your way off the path and right down to the river itself, where you can cool off in summer or pose for some great photos year ‘round. In winter, keep an eye out for cool icicle formations on the rock walls that will often come up to your right.

Another point of interest along the way is the cool rock formation on the left, where two giant boulder slabs are resting against each other, forming an arch. It’s plenty big enough for hikers to walk through and pose for pics or gain access to the river.

At the two-mile mark, look for some hand-stacked rocks just to the right of the path. Turn off the path there and venture about 50 yards over a swell and into the woods to find the rusted shell of a vintage car from the early 20th century. There’s also a huge fallen tree near the car that makes a great place to stop and have a snack.

This is just some of what’s in store on this hike, and the good news is, it’s all gently sloping downhill on your way back. And since there’s no specific destination on the Middle Prong Trail, it’s ideal for hikers who are interested in only biting off as much as they feel up to taking on.

Cabin Of The Week – Smoky Mountain Solitude

When searching for the right accommodations, it’s sometimes hard to strike a balance between having all the amenities you want and finding a rustic setting that captures the spirit and essence of the mountains. This week’s property, Smoky Mountain Solitude, walks that fine line between roughing it and living in luxury.

This one-bedroom, one-bath chalet on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is reminiscent of an old-style camping lodge, but it’s packed with features that ensure you’re far from roughing it.

Although it does sleep four, thanks to the sleeper sofa, this particular cabin is ideal for a honeymoon, anniversary trip or romantic getaway. Everything is laid out on one level and centers primarily around the living room and kitchen areas.

The living room boasts a 42-inch flat-screen satellite TV, a wood-burning fireplace and a six-foot pool table. Architecturally, that mountain feel is evidenced by hand-hewn beams that draw attention to the cathedral ceiling and serve as a counterpoint to the rustic hardwood flooring.

Meanwhile, the kitchen is set up so that you can buy your own groceries and prepare your meals in-house, if you like. All the appliances are there, including refrigerator, oven, microwave and dishwasher, and basic cookware and dinnerware is on hand as well. The nearby dining area is capable of seating four, in case you bring friends or children along for the journey.

The master bedroom also has a rustic camp motif thanks to the king-size log bed and accompanying dresser. The bedroom has its own TV/DVD/VCR capabilities, and the bathroom offers a separate shower and a corner whirlpool tub.

Other interior amenities include washer/dryer, all the linens you’ll need, central heat and air, iron and ironing board, and wireless Internet.

But the amenities don’t stop there. Outside on the back covered deck, you’ll find a gas grill, a couple of rocking chairs and a hot tub. Winter or summer, you can take advantage of the deck and enjoy the long-range mountain views.

Because it borders Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Smoky Mountain Solitude is convenient to outdoor recreational opportunities like hiking, biking, fishing, sightseeing and more. Its location is also just a few minutes’ drive from tourist destinations like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, home of hundreds of attractions, restaurants and shops.

And remember that even though it’s technically the off-season in the Smokies, there’s still plenty to see and do. This is a great time to hit the outlet malls, craft shops and attractions, and you won’t find many long lines, especially while the crowds are down for the season.

If you’re staying in one of our scenic-view cabins, Gatlinburg should be considered as a daytrip option as well. One place that does get busy this time of year is Ober Gatlinburg ski resort, and this is the ideal time to head up to the mountains of Gatlinburg to do some skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing or ice skating. And that’s just a sampling of everything that attraction has to offer.

Plan Your Valentine’s Getaway Today

No sooner does Christmas come and go that Valentine’s Day swoops right in as calendar date that a lot of us need to keep an eye on. But this year, instead of the usual unimaginative gifts like chocolate and flowers, how about giving that special someone a memorable romantic weekend getaway in the Great Smoky Mountains?

Our Wears Valley, TN cabin rentals make a great foundation for a night or two or three of solitude in the peaceful mountains of East Tennessee. For example, we have a dozen one-bedroom luxury rental properties in our inventory, any of which would make a great love nest in the Smokies. Features include bedrooms with whirlpool tubs in the bathrooms, outdoor hot tubs, wood-burning or gas fireplace and great views of the nearby mountains and/or valleys.

If you choose to stay in, you can prepare your own romantic dinner for two in the fully equipped kitchen or have fun shooting a game of pool or watching your favorite movie on the large-screen television.

But our cabins are also conveniently located near all the great places to visit in the Smokies, including Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

That means dozens and dozens of restaurants are only a short drive away, so you should have no trouble finding one that would serve as a great place to have a Valentine’s Day dinner. Just keep in mind that most area restaurants don’t take reservations, but even though it’s first-come, first-served service, the number of area visitors drops off significantly in February, so you probably won’t have a huge wait on your hands.

Our communities also have lots of fun nightspots to take your favorite guy or gal for some dancing or live music, or maybe you can spend your getaway days and evenings at any of the cool attractions in the area. Places like the Titanic Museum Attraction, WonderWorks and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies are just a few of the fun spots where you can have a great time, even without a bunch of kids in tow.

In between are dozens of family-friendly museums, amusement centers and interactive exhibits to try. And you might even be able to find a music theater show or two on the weekends, even during the off-season.

Another idea for a romantic outing is to take a scenic drive in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As long as the roads are open, you can see some great sights in places like Cades Cove, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and even the scenic drive along U.S. Hwy. 441 between Gatlinburg and Cherokee, NC.

And for you guys, you know that taking your lady shopping is one sure-fire way to win her heart. Fortunately, there’s no way to go wrong in the Smokies. We have everything from outlet malls to antique shops to the hundreds of studios and galleries in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.

So give us a call at Timbercreek Cabin Rentals today to get started on planning your awesome Valentine’s Day getaway in the Smokies.

Wilderness Wildlife Week

Once the Christmas and New Year holidays have passed, the number of special events to enjoy in the Smokies tapers off significantly until the arrival of spring and summer. However, there’s one event in particular that takes place in Pigeon Forge every year that has turned out to be one of the single most popular events in the region.

This week, visitors from all over the country will be coming to the Smokies for the 25th presentation of Wilderness Wildlife Week, Pigeon Forge’s annual salute to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which incorporates a wide variety of topics related to nature and outdoor recreation. The event takes place January 24 through 31, 2015.

When it was first suggested 25 years ago by East Tennessee wildlife photographer Ken Jenkins, few probably had any idea that his idea for a winter program about the Great Smoky Mountains would become a much-loved winter event drawing visitors from across the U.S.

In fact, that first year of what would evolve into Wilderness Wildlife Week consisted of only a half-day of programs, but it was so successful that it blossomed into a weeklong event in only its second year. Today, the event features some 400 programs taking place over eight days, plus 66 hikes and excursions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Each year offers photography workshops, wildlife lectures, mountain music mini-concerts, crafts classes and special sessions for children. More than 200 experts – nature photographers, biologists, raptor rehabilitators, social historians, musicians and just plain folks who grew up in the Smokies – donate their time to lead the programs.

The Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism organizes the week, and admission is free. Most of the events are held indoors at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, a city-owned special events facility.

Note, however, that outings like hikes and nature walks require participants to sign up in advance, so check out the city’s website (below) to learn more about how to get your name on the list for your favorite field trip.

Wilderness Wildlife Week 2014 drew attendees from 41 states, including Alaska. Total program attendance was 27,800, and almost 550 hikers logged 2,588 miles. New last year was the Southern Trout Fly Fishing Fair, a day of programs about mountain trout, fly fishing and fly tying, produced by the online magazine Southern Trout. The second Southern Trout Fly Fishing Fair is set for Jan. 31.

Wilderness Wildlife Week, which 10 times has been named as a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event, is a part of Pigeon Forge Winterfest, which starts in November and runs through February.

Pigeon Forge wraps up its Winterfest February 18 through 22 with Saddle Up, a celebration of cowboy poetry, western music and chuck wagon cooking. Learn more at www.mypigeonforge.com or call 800-251-9100.

And if you decide you want to come in later this week to attend part of Wilderness Wildlife Week, it’s not too late to book one of our Tennessee cabins. Most of them are located in the Wears Valley area, which is only a 10-minute drive from the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Give us a call today!