In The National Park This Week

Now that spring is here, there’s a lot more going on in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. All the trails, campgrounds, historic sites and such are yours for the exploring as usual, of course, but through most of autumn, visitors can take advantage of a wide array of daily programs and special outings that are led by park rangers and/or volunteers.

These programs offer great ways for guests to interact with their environment, have some fun and even learn a few things along the way. They’re designed to appeal to all ages, and they’re almost always free of charge to park visitors. Here’s an overview of what’s going on in the national park for the next week.

Wednesday, April 23

Gather at Sugarlands Visitor Center at 11 a.m. for a one-hour excursion on an easy stroll to Cataract Falls. Along the way, you’ll see some beautiful scenery and learn some fascinating facts about the Great Smoky Mountains. Free.

At 1 p.m., take a short walk from the Visitor Center to the John Ownby Cabin to learn what life was like in the Fighting Creek community before the national park was established. This is an easy hike. Free.

Friday, April 25

From 1:30 to 2:15 p.m., you can learn about logging in the Smokies at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Park staff will teach you how “misery whips and woodhicks” changed the Smokies landscape in the early 1900s. Wheelchair accessible. Free.

From 2 to 2:45 p.m., the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in North Carolina is hosting Newborns of Spring, during which a park ranger will help you discover the sights and sounds of newborn wildlife of all kinds. Free.

At 7 p.m., go to the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend for the 10th Annual Music of the Mountains festival, which is a great way to experience the rich musical traditions of the Southern Appalachians. The concert also features Celtic music with Good Thymes Ceilidh.

Saturday, April 26

The WILD program takes place at the Cades Cove Visitor Center from 2:30 to 3 p.m. This talk and hands-on demonstration focuses on wild things in the park. Note that it can take an hour to drive the six miles from the start of the loop to the Visitor Center, so plan accordingly. Free.

Sunday, April 27

Learn about some of the characteristics of the North American black bear at Bear With Us, taking place at the Sugarlands Visitor Center from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Learn the dos and don’ts of observing these animals in the wild. Free.

If you’re staying in any of our Wears Valley cabins this week, take Lyons View Road in Wears Valley and head south. Just a few miles away is an infrequently used entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s quick and easy, and you’ll come out at the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area. From there, you can turn right to head to Cades Cove or go left to travel to the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

Before venturing into the national park in spring, be aware that roads can still close due to ice, particularly in the higher elevations at night. For road status information, call 865-436-1200, ext. 631 for updates or follow Twitter updates at

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

If you’re staying in one of our cabins in Gatlinburg this week, we have a very special event to recommend that you consider, especially since spring has finally sprung in the Smokies (this week’s brief cold snap notwithstanding). The 64th Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage takes place in Gatlinburg April 15 through 19 and helps celebrate the transition of winter into spring as the Smokies begin to blossom forth in new color.

Throughout the week, everyone from serious botanists to weekend gardeners can gain unprecedented access to some of the nation’s leading botanical experts as well as authorities on Appalachian wildlife.

“It’s a rare opportunity for those with a personal love of flowers to have the same access to leaders in the field as researchers,” said Ken McFarland, botanist and professor at the University of Tennessee. “Through seminars and intimate guided tours, each participant will expand his or her skills and knowledge of the unmatched flora and fauna of the Smokies.”

The Wildflower Pilgrimage, which dates back to 1951, offers more than 150 programs, including an array of instructional walks and guided hiking tours tailored to meet individuals’ walking skills and abilities. In addition, demonstrations and guest lecturers help showcase the abundant varieties of wildflowers, plants, ferns, mosses, trees and shrubs as well as birds, reptiles and amphibians—all of which are native to the Great Smoky Mountains.

Most classes and outings are scheduled to take place in the great outdoors, but a number of educational classroom sessions and evening entertainment productions are taking place at W.L. Mills Conference Center in downtown Gatlinburg, which is the main headquarters for the event.

In addition to all the nature-related presentations and outings, the Pilgrimage includes a photography contest. Although it’s too late to enter the competition, the entries will be on display at the Mills Center, and winners will be announced this Saturday the 19th.

This year’s individual programs and outdoor explorations include: Birding for the Experienced, Native Peoples’ Use of Nature’s Garden, Edible Mushroom Walk, Nature Sketchbook, The Mystery and Magic of Monarchs, Black Bear and Wild Hog Walk, Tree and Shrub Identification Walk, Beginner’s Photography Workshop, Friend or Foe Among the Flora, Urban Gardening, Cultural History of Elkmont and many more.

Other walk and hike destinations include: Courthouse Rock, Baskins Creek Trail, Ash Hopper Branch, Grotto Falls, Porters Creek Trail, Noah “Bud” Ogle Trail, Bullhead Trail, Road Prong Trail, Grapeyard Ridge Trail, Ramsey Cascades Trail, White Oak Sinks and more.

With few exceptions, most of these activities are free to the public. Just note that you do have to sign up for many of the programs and outings in advance. Visit to learn more about how to participate this year.

Sponsors include Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Great Smoky Mountains Association, the City of Gatlinburg, University of Tennessee department of ecology and evolutionary biology, Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Southern Appalachian Botanical Society and Gatlinburg Garden Club.

Cabin Of The Week – Scenic Solitude

It’s getting to be about that time. Maybe it’s been almost a year since you’ve taken a vacation, and right about now, you’re getting the itch to get out of the house, get away from your job or maybe even take a break from the kids for a few days. If any of those applies to you, then it’s time to get on the phone or get online and contact us at Timbercreek Cabin Rentals.

We have a fantastic selection of cabins in Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, which means that no matter what your reason is for escaping to the mountains, we have a comfortable place to land, relax and enjoy a little solitude in the Smokies.

And if solitude is what you seek, we have an aptly named property for you to check out this week. Scenic Solitude is one of our premier one-bedroom rentals and is the ideal place for couples to stay, whether you’re on a honeymoon, an anniversary trip or just a romantic weekend getaway.

This one-bedroom, two-bathroom log cabin benefits from a private, secluded location on two and a half acres, so it’s the place to go if you’re serious about not being disturbed by neighbors. The setting is idyllic, with scenic views of the foothills of the Smokies and the sounds of a small mountain stream drifting up from the valley below.

On the main level, you’ll enter to find a beamed cathedral ceiling with tongue-and-groove pine, a stacked-stone wood-burning fireplace that runs from floor to ceiling, a comfortable seating group and a satellite TV with DVD player. Imagine curling up together here to take the chill off an unseasonably cool night or perhaps to pop in your favorite movie with a bowl of popcorn.

The eat-in kitchen comes equipped with all the necessary appliances, cookware and dishes, and the dining table seats four. This cabin has a pool table that’s also on the main level, and nearby is the master bedroom. A rustic, queen-size bed is the centerpiece of this comfortable space, which also features its own satellite TV with DVD player.

The upstairs loft enjoys the same cathedral ceilings and eye-level views of the mountains through the upper half of the great room windows. There’s also a king-size bed, TV and DVD player in case you want to travel with another couple, and the upstairs bathroom has a large whirlpool tub and a walk-in closet.

One of the most popular features of this cabin is its wraparound deck with hot tub, which is sheltered by a covered porch. This is a great place to enjoy the fabulous views during the day or the stars at night, whether you’re kicked back in a rocker or soaking in the hot tub. Also look for a charcoal grill and outdoor dining set for peaceful, relaxing al fresco meals in full view of nature.

Although you’ll have plenty of seclusion, Scenic Solitude is still conveniently located just a few minutes’ drive from Pigeon Forge, giving you handy access to dozens of attractions, shows, special events, shops and restaurants.

Call us at 800-837-7022 today to book Scenic Solitude for your next Smoky Mountain getaway. 

No Boring Museums Here! – Part II

Last week, we took a quick look at many of the cool museums to be found in the Great Smoky Mountains communities of Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Our main point was that in contrast to the imagery that usually comes to mind when you hear the word “museum,” the museum attractions of the Smokies are very fun, very interesting and offer a great way for family members of all ages to enjoy some vacation time together.

So if you’re planning a stay in one of our cabins in the Smokies this spring or summer, get ready to have your typical museum expectations challenged. That’s because the museums you’ll find in our neck of the woods are interactive, hands-on attractions where guests of all ages can immerse themselves in some pretty fascinating subjects. This week, we’ll be giving you part two of our overview of the Smokies’ anything-but-stuffy museums, taking a look this time at the many museum destinations you’ll find in Gatlinburg.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium – Billed as “the strangest place in Gatlinburg,” this Ripley Entertainment attraction proves that truth really is stranger than fiction. This three-story self-guided tour features more than 500 amazing artifacts and exhibits from around the world, including an eight-legged buffalo, two-headed calf, shrunken human head and much more. 

Christ In The Smokies – This inspirational family attraction utilizes lifelike three-dimensional scenes with life-size figures and dramatic settings to tell the story of the life, death and resurrection of Christ.

Cooter’s Place In The Smokies – This Dukes of Hazzard-themed museum and gift shop is operated by Ben Jones, who played Cooter on the beloved 1970s TV show. In addition to photos, props, costumes and memorabilia from the show, the attraction also offers mini golf and go-cart racing.

Guinness World Of Records Museum – The Guinness Book Of World Records comes to life at this downtown attraction thanks to hundreds of displays, interactive games, trivia, themed galleries and videos. Learn about world records from such categories as sports, space, animals, food, human achievement and more. The tour features memorabilia from such well known record holders as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson, to name just a few.

Hollywood Star Cars Museum – This automobile showplace is home to more than 40 authentic vehicles representing some of Hollywood’s best-known and most beloved films and TV shows. With exhibits that date back more than 50 years, this self-guided tour showcases vehicles used in films such as The AvengersBatman ReturnsGone In 60 Seconds and the Fast And Furious series as well as TV shows such as The Beverly HillbilliesNCISThe Andy Griffith ShowThe Munsters and more. One of the showpieces is the Batmobile used in the 1966 Batman TV series.

Salt And Pepper Shaker Museum – Yes, there’s a salt and pepper shaker museum, and it’s in Gatlinburg! This attraction is home to more than 20,000 sets of shakers collected from around the world. They even have a huge pepper mill collection.

No Boring Museums Here! – Part I

Be honest. When you hear the word “museum,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A stuffy, boring place full of sculptures, paintings, tapestries and, if you’re really lucky, maybe some dinosaur bones?

If you’re going to be visiting the area soon and plan to stay in one of our Pigeon Forge cabins, we should probably tell you to leave your typical museum expectations back at home. That’s because in the Smokies, museums can be some of the most fun places to visit! We’re talking interactive, hands-on attractions where guests of all ages can immerse themselves in some pretty fascinating subjects. So this week, we’ll be giving you part one of a two-part overview of the Smokies’ anything-but-stuffy museums, looking first at the attractions located in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. Next week, we’ll take a look at what Gatlinburg has to offer.


Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum – Located on Tenn. 66 as you approach downtown Sevierville, this attraction pays tribute to some of America’s legendary iconic muscle cars and vintage show cars. The exhibit features more than 90 vehicles from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, including Firebirds, Camaros and Mustangs.

Tennessee Museum of Aviation – You’ll find this gem adjacent to the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport, which is actually in Sevierville. Inside, the museum takes you on a chronological discovery of the Tennessee people and events that have contributed to the history of aviation. Inside the museum’s massive hangar, see actual aircraft of all types, from vintage to modern.

Pigeon Forge

Titanic Museum Attraction – This half-scale replica of the famous passenger liner takes guests on a fascinating look inside the legendary ship as well as its passengers, crew and legacy. Interactive exhibits offer an inside glimpse at what it might have been like to sail on Titanic on its ill-fated maiden voyage in 1912.

Hollywood Wax Museum – This classic wax museum showcases America’s favorite movie stars in life-size, lifelike wax representations. The self-guided tour offers plenty of photo opps while teaching lots of interesting facts about the stars depicted, which include Morgan Freeman, Michael Jackson, Christian Bale and more.

Elvis Museum – The Elvis Museum is home to the world’s largest private collection of Elvis Presley-related memorabilia, including The King’s last limousine and his famous $250,000 ring. The self-guided tour lets you get up-close looks at personal items such as clothing, jewelry, sports gear and more.

WonderWorks – A self-billed “amusement park for the mind,” WonderWorks combines entertainment and education in a fun, hands-on manner. For starters, the 82-foot-tall building appears to be turned upside, and inside, exhibits like an “anti-gravity” chamber, Mercury spacecraft replica, hurricane chamber and earthquake simulator help guests take part in out-of-this-world experiences. 

Chasing Rainbows – This museum is actually a part of Dollywood theme park, so you have to pay park admission to see it. But if you’re a Dolly Parton fan, this one’s a must-see. The tour takes you, stage by stage, through Dolly’s life and career, as exhibited by personal memorabilia, outfits and multimedia displays. 

Special Events Round-Up – March 19, 2014

We’ve already got a lot of bookings for our Smoky Mountain cabins for spring and summer alike, which means a lot of visitors to the area are soon going to be looking for new and exciting things to do while they’re here. Now that spring is officially here too, the number of special events going on in the Great Smoky Mountains region is really picking up.

So in addition to the usual plethora of attractions and shops in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, there are all kinds of festivals and other celebratory activities that help give this area an added dimension of fun. Here’s a quick look at what’s in store for those of you who might be already in town this week.

Let’s get things started off with the official kickoff of Smoky Mountain Springfest this week. The communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are all laying down the welcome mat for warmer temperatures as well as blooming flowers and trees with a wide array of special events to commemorate the season.

In Gatlinburg, for example, World Storytelling Day takes place this Saturday, March 22. Taking place at Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre downtown from 2 to 4 p.m., this event features storytellers from throughout the region, all weaving tales in keeping with this year’s theme, which is Dragons and Monsters.

Also on Saturday, the Gatlinburg Firefighters Association hosts its annual 5K run/walk to raise awareness of cardiac health. This 9 a.m. race starts in front of the fire station on East Parkway, rain or shine, and proceeds benefit the association’s community education programs. The race is open to all ages, so call 865-661-0685 to see if there is still availability to register on race day.

There’s a lot going on in Pigeon Forge this week too. Beginning March 19,

The 20th annual A Mountain Quiltfest comes back to town with its celebration of the timeless art of quilting. More than 60 classes will be available throughout the event, which runs through Saturday the 22nd.

The week also includes a quilt show featuring quilts from all over the country, representing a variety of fabrics, threads, patterns, notions and more. Those participating in the competition will be vying for more than $20,000 in cash and prizes. The event is produced by the City of Pigeon Forge and hosted by the Piecemakers and Sevier Valley Quilters guilds.

Probably the biggest event taking place in Pigeon Forge this weekend is the opening of Dollywood theme park for its 2014 season. As always, the park is launching its season with its annual Festival of Nations celebration, which welcomes entertainers from across the globe to the hills of East Tennessee.

This year’s performers include The Paper World Show by Mimirichi from the Ukraine, Los Pampas Gauchos from Argentina, Spirit of the Dance from Ireland, Zebra Stelzentheater from Germany, Atahualpa from the Andes and the Zambian Vocal Group from Africa.

In addition to these live performances, merchandise and cuisine from all these nations will be available for sale at the park’s World Market area. And of course, Dollywood’s usual lineup of live shows, shops and eateries will be up and running throughout Festival of Nations.

Dollywood will also be unveiling its brand new roller coaster, FireChaser express, which takes passengers through a gauntlet of harrowing dips, turns and loops while rushing to put out a wildfire.

Cabin Of The Week—Little Feather

This week, Timbercreek Cabins would like to introduce you to a charmer of a one-bedroom cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Little Feather is already making a name for itself on our rental program for being a popular honeymoon hideaway. So if you’re getting married at one of the many wedding chapels in the Smokies, why not honeymoon in the area too? Little Feather will also tickle the fancy of you lovebirds who may be looking for an anniversary destination or simply a love nest to escape to for the weekend.

They say good things come in small packages, and that’s definitely the case with this one-bedroom, one-bathroom cabin on one level. However, Little Feather is big on comfort and amenities. The spacious, private bedroom features a king-size bed and a whirlpool tub in the adjacent bathroom. Tub details like a mountain stone surround as well as a small waterfall feature that fills the tub and a tree-trunk shower add upscale character to these accommodations.

The living room offers many ways for guests to relax or keep themselves entertained. There’s an Xbox 360 system connected to the cable TV for those who want to bring their favorite video games from home. Meanwhile, the overstuffed chair and couch sit in front of a large wood-burning fireplace, which makes this the ideal place to warm up on a chilly morning, relax with a cup of coffee or tea, read a book, or kick back and watch your favorite move in the DVD player.

And the living room is gorgeous as well. Between the stone features of the fireplace, the cathedral ceiling, the hardwood floors and the all-wood interior, you’ll be immersed in a natural-looking setting that still benefits from plenty of modern features like a full kitchen and a washer and dryer inside

Little Feather is a great cabin for anyone interested in privacy. The property borders Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which means your neighbors will be critters like whitetail deer and wild turkey. And with the weather getting all nice again, this is the perfect time of year to explore the property or head into the national park for a hike or nature walk.

The property also has a covered front deck and a back deck, both of which are ideal for relaxing and taking in the sights around you. The covered deck is also where you’ll find a charcoal grill, for those nights when a grilled steak sounds just about right for dinner, and a hot tub, which is perfect for chilling after a long day of hiking, shopping or enjoying all the local attractions and amusements.

Speaking of which, this cabin is just a short drive from all the fun and excitement to be found in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. And if you don’t feel like taking advantage of the full kitchen to prepare your own meals, you’re never a long drive from a plethora of area restaurants.

If Little Feather sounds like a cabin that you’d enjoy, give us a call today at Timbercreek Cabin Rentals. Or you might want to browse our entire selection of overnight rental cabins to find the property that best suits your travel plans.

Special Events Round-up

No matter what time of year you visit the Great Smoky Mountains, one thing you can almost always count on is a unique special event taking place. Even as we transition from winter to spring, there’s plenty going on in the cities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to help families create new memories on their Smoky Mountain vacations.

This week, we’ll run you through a quick overview of just some of the special happenings that are taking place around the area. Some of them are simply promotional events being offered by area attractions and shops, while some are industry events by entertainment professionals to which the public is invited.

• Teacher Appreciation Days – Two Pigeon Forge attractions—Tomb: Egyptian Adventure and MagiQuest—are offering discounted prices for education professionals through March 9. Call 865-548-1702 for details.

• Irish Month at Titanic Museum Attraction – Visitors who board this Pigeon Forge attraction during March will be able to experience singing, dancing and traditional Irish storytelling very similar to what many of Titanic’s actual passengers might have experienced.

• Sock Hop Under The Sea – Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies presents a fun tribute to the 1950s, complete with food, beverages, music and a dance contest for all ages. The event benefits the Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, and this year’s door prize will be a flat-screen television. Tickets are $50 each and $10 for kids ages 3 through 11. Call 865-774-7684, ext. 219 for details.

• Gatlinburg Improv Fest – Improvisation groups from all over the country will converge on Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre in downtown Gatlinburg for three days of performance and instruction, March 6 through 8. In addition to classes, there will be shows that are open to the general public. Call the theater for more details.

• Winter Carnival of Magic – Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge plays host to a very magical weekend as magicians from all over the country gather for a three-day convention, March 6 through 8. Visitors are welcome to join in the excitement as there will be two shows open to the public. This is a great event to bring kids to.

• North American Country Music Association International – Fans of country, gospel and bluegrass music won’t want to miss the NACMAI’s annual Country Music Week at Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge, March 9 through 16. Admission for the general public is free.

If you plan to be in town in the next week or so for these or any other upcoming special events, be sure to make your lodging plans through Timbercreek Cabin Rentals. We have cabins in Gatlinburg, TN, as well as in Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley and Sevierville.

With everything from one-bedroom to five-bedroom properties, we have just the right overnight rental to suit your travel needs, whether you’re in town for your honeymoon, a romantic getaway, a family vacation, a business outing or family reunion.

All of our properties are listed here on the website, complete with lots of photos and details about the features and amenities. You’ll find that we offer luxurious, well decorated cabins complete with all the comforts of home and then some. Call us today!

Smoky Mountain Theater Preview

As spring draws closer, you can almost hear the musicians, singers and dancers warming up and tuning up as all the local music theater venues gear up for another big season in the Great Smoky Mountains. Actually, a handful of locations have continued to operate on a limited schedule through the winter months, but by the end of March, all area productions should be up and running for the remainder of the year.

If you’re going to be staying in one of our Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville cabins this year, you might be interested in this sneak peek at what you can look for on the stages of the Smokies in 2014. Except for Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, which is in downtown Gatlinburg, all venues are located in Pigeon Forge:

Biblical Times Dinner Theater – Enjoy a multicourse dinner while listening to a wide range of Gospel music, from old-time hymns to contemporary Christian and patriotic music.

The Comedy Barn Theater – This house of hilarity has been making audiences laugh for more than 20 years with its cast of live comedians, magicians, fire eaters, jugglers, ventriloquists, musicians, animal acts and more.

Country Tonite Theatre – This venue hosts a variety of shows throughout the year, including their headline production, Country Tonite. This show presents everything from classic country to today’s chart toppers as well as comedy. The theater is also where you’ll find the American Oldies show and First Class Celebrity Concerts, featuring legendary names such as Loretta Lynn, Sawyer Brown, Don Williams and Jim Ed Brown.

Dollywood – In addition to thrill rides, crafts, shops and restaurants, this multifaceted theme park offers dozens of live music shows each year, staged in different venues throughout the park. Shows range from oldies rock to country to gospel and much more. During the holidays, the shows take on festive Christmas themes.

Dollywood’s Dixie Stampede – This theater attraction serves up a multicourse dinner as well as thrilling live entertainment, all centered on a cast of horses and daring riders. It’s North vs. South in this competition for bragging rights.

Grand Majestic Theater – Two shows, “Soul of Motown” and “America’s Hit Parade,” offer audiences a wide range of oldies rock and roll music.

Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery – Put your detective skills to good use and have a few laughs in the process as you enjoy this classic whodunit stage production, which includes a three-course meal.

Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show – West Virginia’s favorite feudin’ families are at it again in this live show, which seeks to settle the score once and for all while feeding audiences a multicourse meal.

Lumberjack Feud – Satisfying home-style cooking is on the menu here, as are two hours of head-to-head lumberjack competitions featuring real-life lumberjack athletes.

Memories Theatre – This theater has been celebrating the music of Elvis Presley for more than 20 years. Their musical salute features live performances of The King’s music as well as artists paying tribute to the music of Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Buddy Holly, Tom Jones and more.

Smith Family Dinner Theater – These long-time local favorites have been entertaining folks for decades with their fun brand of live music, comedy and audience participation, all accompanied by a tasty multicourse meal.

Smoky Mountain Opry – This musical variety show features a wide range of music as well as dancers, aerialists, exotic animals and funny comedians, all presented with state-of-the-art lighting and production elements. The theater is also home to the Blackwoods Morning Variety Show, showcasing the Blackwood family’s blend of pop, country and gospel music.

Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre – This longest-running theater show in the Smokies has been making folks laugh for four decades with its original musical comedies and hilarious audience participation segments.
TCB Theater – Enjoy live theatrical and musical presentations through the season.

Wonders of Magic at WonderWorks – This stage show stars magician Terry Evanswood in a jaw-dropping presentation that includes magic, comedy, large illusions, impressions and more.

Hit The Slopes!

We’ve certainly been getting more than our usual share of nasty winter weather these past few weeks. In fact, we’ve gotten more snowfall in the Great Smoky Mountains than we have in any of the past 20 years. And while most folks may be tired of all the weather-related mess and hassle, there’s one place in the Smokies that says, “Bring it on!”

At Ober Gatlinburg ski resort, more snow means more fun, especially for skiers and snow boarders. And even though it’s warming up a little in the lowlands this week, conditions are still prime for some exciting downhill action.

The latest slope reports indicate wet granular snow with a base of more than 60 inches. And the fact that they’re not manufacturing snow this week is an indicator that there’s plenty of powder on the hillsides. In fact, all four lifts and all nine trails are open, including the Grizzly, which is one of the most challenging courses on the mountain

The snow skiing is great whether you’re an expert or a beginner. For first-timers, Ober offers equipment rentals and professional instructors who will help get you up and skiing or snowboarding at the instructional Snowsports Center.

Speaking of snowboarding, Ober Gatlinburg has a freestyle terrain park with a variety of ramps and features such as a smooth pipe, a lift tower rail a smooth jump and a C box. For those who want to enjoy downhill fun without lessons or previous experience, there’s a snow tubing area where you can enjoy sliding down the multiple-lane hill on an inner tube during one-and-a-half-hour sessions.

In addition to outdoor snow activities, Ober Gatlinburg has a lot of other ways to enjoy winter in the mountains. The resort’s wildlife encounter showcases live animals such as black bears (after hibernation), river otters and birds of prey. Inside the facility, you can enjoy year-round ice-skating as well as dozens of shops, a restaurant, a deli and arcade.

In warmer seasons, the attraction still draws plenty of visitors as well. Activities like the alpine slide, mini golf, carousel, scenic chairlift and outdoor maze keep families having fun together all year long.

Ober Gatlinburg has a number of pricing options as well as ticket packages, depending on how many activities you want to pursue while you’re on the property. Discounts are offered for AAA, AARP, military personnel and groups.

If you’re staying at one of our Gatlinburg cabin rentals, you can either take Ski Mountain Road to the top of Mt. Harrison and park at the resort, or you can park downtown and take the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway to the top of the mountain.

The ski resort was founded in 1961, the Aerial Tramway was added in 1973, and in 1975, the attraction became known as Ober Gatlinburg, eventually evolving into the year-round destination that it is today.

By the way, if you’d like to get a gander at what the current conditions are on the slopes, check out the live webcam from the Ober Gatlinburg website: