• Smoky Mountains

    The 10 Best Hikes in the Smokies

    From the smoke-shrouded summit of LeConte and the open-armed expanses of Andrews Bald, down into the laurel laden hollows of Porters Creek and the historic homesteads of Cades Cove, it’s difficult to overstate the majesty of the Smokies. If anything, the grandeur can be overwhelming. With such a depth and breadth of wilderness to take in, it’s hard to know where to start. Have no fear. We introduced you to the general layout of the park with our Guide to the Smokies, and now we’re ready to dig a little deeper with our list of the best hikes in the Smokies. Any difficulty, any length, and in any season, we’ll…

  • Smoky Mountains

    15 Tennessee Hikes with Amazing Views

    There’s a reason we hike mountains. For some, it’s all about the journey and the challenge it presents. For others, it’s the reward at the end—the views. No matter what your reason for setting off into the mountains, we’ve put together a list of 15 great hikes with postcard-worthy views. From easy walks to tough climbs, we’ve got something for every style hiker, too. Check out this list and add one (or 15) to your Tennessee adventure bucket list. 1. Gorge Overlook and Woodland Trails at Fall Creek Falls State Park Distance: 2.9-mile loop  This loop is a relatively easy trek to the impressive Fall Creek Falls. While some of…

  • Smoky Mountains

    The Fascinating Story Behind Frozen Head State Park

    At first glance, Tennessee’s Frozen Head State Park might not seem so different from other natural areas in the Southeast: vivid wildflowers, an array of native birds, surging waterfalls, and misty mountain panoramas. There’s no doubt that it’s an exquisitely beautiful place. But if you extend your stay at the park, you might find yourself with the eerie feeling that there’s a little more at Frozen Head than meets the eye—and you’d be right.  In addition to its natural and largely undisturbed beauty, Frozen Head State Park has a chilling history that that includes a high-security prison, murderous manhunts, and a brutal and mysterious ultramarathon. With all but 330 acres…

  • Smoky Mountains

    6 Great Outdoor Date Ideas Around Knoxville

    Forget the cliché date night ideas: It’s not the old dinner-and-a-movie routine that’s going to make your next romantic outing a memorable one. For the active minded, why not try stretching your wings and experiencing something new with your significant other? Knoxville is packed with intimate outdoor experiences, and not all of them require you to break a sweat to enjoy. With such a variety of activities and scenic hideaways, there are plenty of destinations worth exploring with someone special when the love bug bites—or solo anytime. Picnic at the highest point in Knox County Less than a 30-minute drive northeast of Knoxville, the House Mountain State Natural Area makes…

  • Smoky Mountains

    Look Rock Trail – Hiking

    Difficulty: 1 Time To Complete: 1.0 hours Usually under an hour round trip. Distance: 1.0 miles Seasonality: Spring, Summer, Fall, and WinterYear-round, unless the parkway is closed due to inclement winter weather. There are wonderful views of the changing leaves in the fall. Dog Friendly: On Leash OnlyDestination Highlights: Quick Workout and Panoramic Views  The western segment of the Foothills Parkway has 18 miles of scenic views and overlooks, perfect for an afternoon drive, or as a shortcut from Chilhowee to Walland (or vice versa). Look Rock is a natural observation ledge at the halfway point along the parkway, and across from the parking lot is a .9-mile out-and-back paved trail that leads hikers…

  • Smoky Mountains

    Abrams Falls – Hiking

    Destination Highlights: Classic Destination  Dog Friendly: No  Seasonality: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter While the Smokies are an amazing year-round destination, road closures due to snow and flooding are common; be sure to check the NPS website for current conditions.  Distance: 5.0 miles There is also a 6.5 mile loop (see parking information).  Time To Complete: 3.0 hours2-4 hours is common depending on pace. Difficulty: 3

  • Smoky Mountains

    Where to Find the Best Fall Colors in Virginia

    Virginia’s expansive woodlands, famously blue-tinged mountains, and rambling scenic byways are the place to be when colorful autumn leaves are at their fiery peak. Fortunately for seasonal color seekers, the Old Dominion state is also sprinkled with state parks, national forests, and vast wilderness areas. For those to prefer to do their leaf-peeping on foot, Virginia boasts a staggering 554 miles of the Appalachian Trail—more than any other state. When you are ready to seek out some fall color, take to the state’s wild spaces, and cherish the seasonal transition at these 10 stunning Virginia locations.Southwest Virginia serves as an excellent starting point to explore the foliage. Abingdon is one…

  • Smoky Mountains

    6 Best Stargazing Spots in the Southeast

    When you live near a city it can be easy to forget just how many stars are in the night sky. But if you take the time to get away from the light pollution, spread out a blanket, and look up, there are more to see than you can imagine. It’s relatively easy to find a dark sky out west—what about in the southeast? Where can you escape the city lights and find a truly dark sky for stargazing? Here are six of the best places in the southeast to take in the majesty of the night sky.Before you head out, read this quick guide so you know what to…

  • Smoky Mountains

    Fall Creek Falls – Hiking

    Destination Highlights: Classic Destination, Weekend Trip, Good For Beginners, Great For Families, Waterfalls, and Panoramic Views  Dog Friendly: Yes  Land Website: Fall Creek Falls Seasonality: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter  Each season brings something special to the park, but winter may just be the best time to go, as there are fewer people, and the water is often higher; meaning the waterfalls are plunging with full force. Distance: 35.0 miles There are 14 hiking trails in Fall Creek Falls State Park, which combine to create 35 total trail miles. From two overnight backpacking loops—the Upper Cane Creek Loop (14 miles) and the Lower Cane Creek Loop (13.2 miles)—to moderate 4 mile hiking…

  • Smoky Mountains

    10 Must-Visit Waterfalls in Northeast Tennessee

    With the heat of summer quickly approaching, everyone is looking for ways to be near water. Luckily, Northeast Tennessee is abounding with beautiful rivers and streams, many of which flow into spectacular waterfalls of all shapes and sizes, from surging cascades to plunging showers. Whether you’re in the mood for an all-day trek, or a short hike, you can experience spectacular falls throughout Northeast Tennessee. To get you started on your journey, we’ve highlighted 10 of our favorite waterfalls in the region. Jones Falls This 100-foot waterfall is situated between Roan Mountain, Tennessee, and Elk Park, North Carolina, and has a couple of different access points. A popular approach is…