The Mountains are calling and it is time for a vacation. It’s never too early to plan your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With so many fun things to do in and around the park the choices are endless. We are here to help get you ready for the best vacation ever. Whether you plan to just relax at our hotel, hiking, long mountain drives or explore Townsend, the mountains are calling you.
The Highland Manor Inn located in Townsend, Tn is a great choice for a hotel near the Smoky Mountains. Known as the peaceful side of the Smokies for a reason, this quaint town with gorgeous mountain views has little traffic and its own entrance to the mountains. In addition, Townsend is home to the Tuckaleechee Caverns, The Little River Railroad Museum, The Townsend Wye and much more.
Hidden Gems of The Smoky Mountains
The great things about a trip to the Smokies is there is always something new to do. No matter how many times you visit, there is always a new path or sight to explore. Here are some not so known spots in the mountains that we think you will enjoy.
Elkmont Troll Bridge – The Elkmont Troll Bridge is located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee near the Elkmont Campground. In the early 1900s, Elkmont was one of the largest towns in the area. Logging and mining were responsible for the growth. In addition, the town had a post office, a hotel, school and a store. The bridge is definitely a must visit. The moss and stone give it a unique appearance.
House of the Fairies – One of our favorites and a must if you love to explore is the House Of Fairies. A true gem of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this old stone house has quite a history.
The House of the Fairies is located in the Twin Creeks area of the park. To get there hike the Twin Creeks Trail, a 1.9-mile that is moderate to hike. Covered by moss and vines the house looks as if it may be occupied by fairies. Pack a camera!
Harrisburg Covered Bridge – Although the bridge has become more popular there are many that still do not know it exists. It is one of only four covered bridges in Tennessee and has held a spot on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975. The Harrisburg Covered Bridge is approximately 83 feet long and 14 feet wide and is worth a visit. It is located minutes from downtown Sevierville.
Picnic in the Smokies
A picnic is a great way to take a break and refuel during your daily adventure. The mountains are calling you to enjoy a family picnic. With so many great spots to choose from throughout the park, here are a few favorites:
– Greenbrier Picnic Area – The Greenbrier picnic area, which is open year-round, has 12 picnic sites
– Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area = The Metcalf Bottoms picnic area has 122 picnic sites.
– The Chimney Tops picnic area has 68 picnic sites and is a great way to spend the day. Several tables sit overlooking the river and are safely placed away from others.
– Deep Creek Picnic Area – The Deep Creek picnic area, features a picnic and 10 picnic sites. It is surrounded by mountain streams, wildflowers, and trees.
Make Sure To Visit Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s highest point. It is the highest point in Tennessee and a perfect place to escape for the day. Here you will find that the Appalachian Trail crosses Clingmans Dome which borders Tennessee and North Carolina.
If you make the trip to Clingmans Dome make sure to take in the sunset. Breathtaking views of the sun and mist, with a gorgeous mountain backdrop.
The Mountains Are Calling You To Townsend
This peaceful mountain town provides you great views and a private entrance to the Smokies. A true gem, you will find the people to be very friendly and there is always something for visitors to do. Many fairs, festivals, craft shows and celebrations throughout the year. If you choose Townsend for your stay or if you are just passing through, make sure to visit:
Tuckaleechee Caverns In Townsend
Known as the “Greatest Sight Under the Smokies” for a great reason. Enjoy a nice hour tour through the caverns on your next trip. The guides are excellent and share the history of the caverns during the tour. Cameras are encouraged as there are many great places to stop and snap photos.
The Townsend Visitor Center
The Townsend Visitor Center is a great place to start for anyone new to Townsend. They are always helpful with directions, have public restrooms and a very nice gift shop. The gift shop has a great variety of items, from books on local history, to travel and local resources. You can also find local vendors set up inside as well.
The Swinging Bridge is located in Townsend and a landmark to the area. Just minutes from the hotel by foot, the swinging bridge provides great views of the river. Walk out take some photos or just listen to the water rush by. Watch as the tubers pass right under you and enjoy the water. Therefore, you must make sure to add the Island Swinging Bridge to your list of Townsend things to do.
The Little River Railroad and Lumber Company
Located across the street from the Highland Manor Inn the Little River Railroad in Townsend TN is a free attraction that should be on your list of things to do.
The outside exhibits include larger artifacts, like the Shay 2147, a vintage caboose, two vintage flatcars and more. In addition you will find a portable Frick steam engine, one of the original “setoff” houses (used for logging families in the mountains) and a wooden water tank.
Alongside the depot platform, museum volunteers have constructed a replica of the Elkmont Post Office which houses our Gift Shop.
Known as the peaceful side of the Smokies, our little town is a great choice for a family vacation. If you need information or a cozy room with a view please call our front desk at the Highland Manor Inn. (865) 448-2211
We love making new friends and will do everything we can to make your Townsend Vacation the best ever.