Great Smoky Mountains NP

Great Smoky Mountains NP

Wow – what a great park. Busy, but beautiful…

Our stay started at the Townsend / Great Smoky Mountains KOA. Which was awesome because one turn and we are on the road into the “peaceful side” of the park.

I have to share – if you are in an RV of any type, do not travel the road from Pigeon Forge to Townsend (RT 321). The last few miles (after Wears Valley) of that road are nerve wracking, full of tight corners and will heat up your brakes (yes, we could smell them!).

We asked the KOA folks if there was a better way out and they said to use 321 S to Maryville. We did – and they were right! A much easier and safer ride.

On the morning of our visit (Wednesday) we began the drive up to Cades Cove – but just a mile in and there is a big sign “Cades Cove Closed to vehicles”… but we pressed on – just in case.

FYI: Cades Cove is an 11 mile loop and supposed to be a great place.

We made a few stops along the way to admire the beauty and snap some pics. But alas, at the entrance to the Cades Cove loop, “closed” signs and barriers – but with lots of people walking around and a Ranger talking with people in the cars just like us. Turns out the drive thru is closed every Wednesday to allow for walking / bikes.

After turning around we made our way back down and headed towards Pigeon Forge to do some wine tasting, grab some lunch and check out the Heritage center and then my wife convinces me to try this “Mountain Coaster type thing” on the side of a mountain. If you know me, you know I hate roller coasters. But I did it – and yes, I’d do it again!

On to the next stop….

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