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Win A Getaway To The Smokies

This offer has expired.

Hey all my Tennessee readers! How would you like to win a 2 day getaway to the Smoky Mountains?

WBIR: Ed Rupp’s Free Ticket Giveaway -Enter to win a a 2 night cabin stay from Bluff Mountain Cabin Rentals, 4 tickets to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, 4 meals from Corky’s Ribs & BBQ plus 4 gift cards provided by The Marble Slab Creamery. Entries must be received by noon on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. One entry per person, open to Tennessee residents only, must be 18 years of age to enter.


Blessings,

Denese


It’s Firefly Time In The Smoky Mountains

This event is finished for this year but reoccurs around the same time each year in June.

It’s peak flashing season for the synchronous fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and you can see this this natural phenomenon at Elkmont, from June 5th-13th. This year, there are two options for getting there:

Trolley service from Sugarlands Visitor Center
Trolleys from the City of Gatlinburg will pick up visitors at the Sugarlands Visitor Center RV/bus parking area starting at 7pm and will run continuously until the parking area is full -or until 9pm if the parking area doesn’t fill up. The cost for the trolley service is $1 per person.

Shuttle Service from Townsend, TN
Cades Cove Tours is offering a shuttle service from Townsend. The 3 hour tour starts at 8:30 and the cost is also $1 per person, but space is limited and the shuttles are filling up fast.

Please note: The Elkmont entrance road will be closed to all motor vehicles and pedestrians every night from 5:00 p.m. until midnight, June 5-13.


Happy viewing,

Denese


You might also be interested in:

Free Things To Do Next Week In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Free Activities In The Smokies For The Week of April 25, 2010

Every week there are all kinds of fun and educational things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park -plus they’re free!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Junior Ranger Activity: Charismatic Mega-fauna -What is “charismatic mega-fauna”? Where can I see it? Find out from a ranger if there is something they’re not telling you! This event repeats every Sunday through May 9, 2010. Wheelchair accessible.

When: 10:30am to 11:00am
Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, South Porch

Sunday Morning in Sugarlands Valley -Reflect on how old-time religion satisfied both spiritual and social needs of the mountain people on this easy, one mile walk. This event repeats every Sunday through May 9, 2010.

When: 10:30am to 11:30am
Where: Sugarlands Visitor Center

Bear with Us -The North American black bear has become a symbol of the Smokies. Learn about some of their characteristics and how to observe these wonderful animals. This is a good activity for Junior Rangers and repeats every Sunday through May 9, 2010. Wheelchair accessible.

When: 2:00pm to 2:30pm
Where: Sugarlands Visitor Center Patio

Ranger Guided Hike: Where the Waters Sing! -Join a ranger and experience the melody of the mountains. This is a 2 hour, moderate hike -4 miles roundtrip and repeats every Sunday through May 9, 2010.

When: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Where: Kephart Prong Trailhead

Monday, April 26, 2010

Elkmont Nature Trail -Come and enjoy a glimpse into the past. This is an easy, 1 hour walk and repeats every Monday through May 10, 2010.

When: 11:00am to 12:00pm
Where: Elkmont Nature Trailhead

The Smokies Largest Mammal: The Elk - Join park staff to discover the life of the Smoky Mountain elk. This event repeats every Monday through May 10, 2010. Wheelchair accessible.

When: 12:30pm to 1:15pm
Where: Sugarlands Visitor Center Patio

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 Smoky Mountains. This is an easy, 1 hour walk and repeats every Monday through May 10, 2010.

When:  1:30pm to 2:30pm
Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Take a Walk with a Naturalist -Take a closer look at the harbingers of spring–birds, flowers, trees, and amphibians. Easy walk. This event repeats every Tuesday through May 11, 2010.

When: 9:00am to 11:00am
Where: Sugarlands Visitor Center

Little Greenbrier School -Readin’ and writin’ and fun. Turn back the clock to 1900 and find out what it was like to attend school in a one-room log schoolhouse. This event repeats every Tuesday through May 11, 2010.

When: 11:00am to 12:00pm
Where: Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Porters Flats Walk -Discover the natural and cultural wonders of the Greenbrier area of the Smokies. Easy to moderate walk. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring water. This event repeats every Wednesday through May 12, 2010.

When: 12:00pm to 2:30pm
Where: Porter Flats Trailhead in Greenbrier

Newfound Gap Appalachian Trail Walk -Join a park ranger and walk along part of the Appalachian Trail. Discover the beauty and secrets of this high elevation ecosystem. Moderate hike. Wear sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots. This event repeats every Wednesday through May 12, 2010.

When: 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Where:  Rockefeller Memorial at Newfound Gap

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trees of the Smokies -Join us on this leisurely walk along the Fighting Creek Nature Trail as we identify some of the trees found in the Smokies. Easy walk. This event repeats every Thursday through May 13, 2010.

When: 11:00am to 12:30pm
Where: Sugarlands Visitor Center Patio

Highland Homeland -Sit a spell on the front porch of the Ogle cabin and learn about the families who once lived here. Guided walk at 1:00 p.m.; short talks and stories presented from noon to 2:00 p.m. This event repeats every Thursday through May 13, 2010.

When: 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Where:  Noah “Bud” Ogle Nature Trail on Cherokee Orchard Road

Most Dangerous Animals in the Smokies -What is the most dangerous animal in the park? Is it the bear? Surely it is the snake! Come join park staff and find out, you might be surprised! Easy walk and a good activity for Junior Rangers. This event repeats every Thursday through May 13, 2010.

When: 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Where: Sugarlands Visitor Center

Friday, April 30, 2010

Myth and Medicine -Join a ranger for a guided hike to learn about early settlers of the region and their use of nature`s bountiful resources. Easy walk. This event repeats every Friday through May 14, 2010.

When: 11:00am to 12:00pm
Where: Sugarlands Visitor Center

Civil War in the Smokies -Join us for a short walk to hear about Colonel Thomas and his legion of Confederate Cherokees, the Civil War outposts of Clingmans Dome, Fort Harry, and Alum Cave, and the Battle of Gatlinburg. Easy walk. This event repeats every Friday through May 14, 2010.

When: 12:30pm to 2:00pm
Where: Sugarlands Visitor Center

Waterfalls Walk -Discover the beauty of three waterfalls on this easy to moderate, 3 hour walk -2.5 miles roundtrip. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring water and snacks. This event repeats every Friday through May 14, 2010.

When: 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Where: Juney Whank Falls trailhead at the Deep Creek trailhead parking area

Elkmont History Walk -Logging and tourism were both factors in the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Elkmont played a major role in this history. Walk back through time on this easy walk. This event repeats every Friday through May 14, 2010.

When: 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Where: Elkmont Campground at the Bridge

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Enjoying Spring`s Beauty -Experience a guided hike observing the spring season through the beauty of wildflowers on the Chestnut Top Trail. Meet at the parking lot at the intersection of State Road 73 (Townsend entrance road) and Little River Road, also known as the Townsend Wye. This is a difficult (trail is very steep), 1 hour hike -1 mile roundtrip. Wear sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots.

When: 9:30am to 10:30am
Where: Chestnut Top Trail

Junior Ranger: Fishy Facts -Join a Ranger for a short walk down to the river to learn about the Smokies fish species. This event repeats every Saturday through May 15, 2010. Wheelchair accessible.

When: 10:30am to 11:00am
Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, South Porch

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 Smoky Mountains. This is an easy, 1 hour walk.

When: 11:00am to 12:00pm
Where: Sugarlands Visitor Center Patio


Bear with Us -The North American black bear has become a symbol of the Smokies. Learn about some of their characteristics and how to observe these wonderful animals. This is a good activity for Junior Rangers and repeats every Saturday through May 15, 2010. Wheelchair accessible.

When: 1:00pm to 1:30pm
Where: Sugarlands Visitor Center Patio

Down on the Farm -Walk down to the farm for a glimpse into the past. Demonstrations vary. This event repeats every Saturday through May 15, 2010. Wheelchair accessible.

When: 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Where: Mountain Farm Museum adjacent to Oconaluftee Visitor Center

For more information:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Schedule of Events
-Search for upcoming events by date.

Great Smoky Mountains Maps -Downloadable park, trail, region and campground maps.

You can also stop by any Visitor Center -be sure to pick up a free Smokies Guide newspaper that lists all these activities and more.


Blessings,

Denese




No More Passion Play In Townsend

The Passion Play in Townsend, Tennessee is no more.

From the Passion Play website -dates for 2010:

We regret that this past year we lost the lease to the Amphitheatre in Townsend. The woman who owned the property deeded it to the National park and the Amphitheatre and set were torn down to the ground ….We are planning on doing a limited engagement of the Passion play in Sevier county ..most likely Sevierville or Pigeon Forge this fall. Please keep us in your prayers as we hope to find a new home for the ministry .

For updates, please check the Passion Play website and I’ll post any new information on their status as it becomes available.

It would be nice if they could find another place here in Townsend…they will be missed.

:(


Blessings,

Denese




Severe Weather Heading For The Smoky Mountains

Severe weather is in the forecast for East Tennessee, including the great Smoky Mountains.

Thunderstorms, along with extremely large hail, damaging winds, locally heavy rainfall and isolated tornadoes are possible this weekend:

Smoky Mountains Hazardous Weather Outlook

Great Smoky Mountains Tennessee 7 Day Forecast

East Tennessee Radar

At least it’s not this:

SNOW

Although you can never tell…my momma lives in New Mexico and she just called to tell me they got snow last night on their mountains!

Be careful if you’re headed up here to the Cove this weekend.


Blessings,

Denese




Free Junior Ranger Day Activities In The Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is celebrating Junior Ranger Day with some free activities tomorrow -Saturday, April 24- from 10:00am-2:00pm.

Children and their families can join in on a variety of free, hands-on activities that will range from a Junior Naturalist Walk to making dinner bells at a blacksmith shop.  Making historic toys, beeswax candles, cornhusk dolls, and visiting touch tables with animal skins, skulls, and scat are a few of the other natural and cultural opportunities that will be available. Children can earn their Junior Ranger badge by completing three of the specially planned activities.

Activities are planned at the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, N.C and the W. L. Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg, TN. Information on the specific programs is available at the visitor centers.

For more information:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 2010 National Junior Ranger Day Programs

You might also be interested in:

Free Things To Do Next Week In The Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Blessings,

Denese

Cades Cove Loop Road Re-Opening Tomorrow

Cades Cove Loop Road is scheduled to re-open this weekend, April 24-25, but with limitations for motorists.

On Saturday, the Loop Road will be open to pedestrians and bicyclists only until 12:00pm and on Sunday, the Cades Cove Loop Lope is scheduled from 8:00am-12:00pm. Motor vehicles will not be allowed in the Cove until noon on each day.

The Cove’s regular schedule will resume on Monday:


Blessings and happy traveling,

Denese

Mayapples In The Mountains

The Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) are up and starting to bloom…

Mayapple Patch

A nice little patch of Mayapples

-they look like little umbrellas

Mayapple Bud

Mayapple bud

Mayapple Bloom

Mayapple flower

-only Mayapples with two leaves will have a flower

Looking For Mayapples

“I don’t see any apples!”

Mayapple tidbits:

  • All parts of the plant, except the fruit, are poisonous
  • Mayapple fruit was traditionally used to make jelly
  • Supposedly, Morel mushrooms can be found near Mayapple patches (but I’ve never found any)

Blessings,

Denese

Free Weekend Events In Townsend And The Great Smoky Mountains

It’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend in the Smoky Mountains and there are all kinds of free things to do!

Concert in Townsend Tonight (not free but very low-cost)

Friday,April 9, 2010

Music of the Mountains -An evening of Celtic Music with the Good Thymes Ceilidh Band.

  • Time: 7:00pm (gates open at 6:00pm)
  • Admission: $4/free for members

Free Events In Townsend

Saturday, April 10 -Sunday, April 11, 2010

Art Exhibit -by Cathy Coulter

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Book Launch -by author Lin Stepp

Free Events In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Enjoying Spring`s Beauty -Experience a guided hike observing the spring season through the beauty of wildflowers on the Chestnut Top Trail. Duration: 1 hour, 1 mile roundtrip -moderately difficult due to steep trail, wear sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots. Repeats on May 1.

  • Location: Chestnut Top Trail -Meet at the parking lot at the intersection of State Road 73 (Townsend entrance road) and Little River Road, also known as the Townsend Wye.
  • Time: 9:3am to 10:30am

Cataract Falls Walk -Take an easy stroll to a beautiful waterfall and learn more about the Great Smokies. Repeats every Saturday through May 1.

  • Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center Patio
  • Time: 11:00am to 12:00pm

Bear with Us -Learn about some of the characteristics of the North American black bear and how to observe these wonderful animals. This is a great activity for Junior Rangers. Wheelchair accessible, repeats every Saturday through May 15.

  • Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center Patio
  • Time: 1:00pm to 1:30pm

Music of the Mountains -Old time music of the southern mountains, featuring a variety of musical groups, including Matt Morelock, Tony Thomas, and Boogertown Gap.

  • Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center -Call (865)-436-1291 for details.
  • Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm

Also see: Music of the Mountains Schedule

Junior Ranger: Fishy Facts -Come join a Ranger for a short walk down to the river to learn about the Smokies fish species. Wheelchair accessible, repeats next week and the first three Saturdays in May.

  • Location: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, South Porch
  • Time: 10:30am to 11:00am

Down on the Farm -Walk down to the farm for a glimpse into the past. Demonstrations vary. Wheelchair accessible, repeats repeats next week and the first three Saturdays in May.

  • Location: Mountain Farm Museum adjacent to Oconaluftee Visitor Center
  • Time: 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Morning in Sugarlands Valley -Reflect on how old-time religion satisfied both spiritual and social needs of the mountain people on this easy, one mile walk. Repeats every Sunday through May 9.

  • Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center
  • Time: 10:30am to 11:30am

Bear with Us -Learn about some of the characteristics of the North American black bear and how to observe these wonderful animals. This is a great activity for Junior Rangers. Wheelchair accessible, repeats every Sunday through May 9.

  • Location: Sugarlands Visitor Center Patio
  • Time: 2:00pm to 2:30pm

Junior Ranger: Charismatic Mega-fauna -”What is “charismatic mega-fauna”? Where can I see it? Find out from a ranger if there is something we`re not telling you!” Wheelchair accessible, repeats every Sunday through May 9.

  • Location: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, South Porch
  • Time: 10:30am to 11:00am

Ranger Guided Hike: Where the Waters Sing! -Join a ranger and experience the melody of the mountains. Hike is 2 hours, 4 miles round-trip and moderate difficulty. Repeats every Sunday through May 9.

  • Location: Kephart Prong Trailhead
  • Time: 2:00pm to 4:00pm

More Information About The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains Directions -includes driving directions, traffic and travel tips, maps and trip planner

Great Smoky Mountains Schedule of Events -calendar of upcoming events, search by date

Blessings and have a lovely weekend,

Denese

Spring In The Mountains

It’s spring in the Smokies and the redbuds and dogwoods are all abloom…

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.

Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.

Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth.

1 Chronicles 16:31-33

Blessings,

Denese