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    Smoky Mountain Life

Sights, Sounds, Events, Exploration, Flavors, and Life in the North Carolina Smoky Mountains

Best Hikes in Smoky Mountain National Park - Mt LeConte via The Boulevard Trail by Brian Whitener

Hiking in Smoky Mountains National Park is a real thrill and there is just something about nature that can revamp our soul. One of the most epic and best hikes in Smoky Mountains National Park is without a doubt Mt LeConte via The Boulevard Trail. This is a slightly longer hike compared to the traditional way to Mt LeConte, via Alum Cave Trail, but it is a more gradual climb with interesting geological features, flora, fauna, panoramic views, historical buildings, and, yes, you are still able to see the Alum Cave Bluffs!  This is without a doubt a trail worth exploring so grab a group, plan a couple days, and allow us to share with you an overview of what you will experience while hiking The Boulevard in Smoky Mountains National Park.

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Hike along the Appalacian Trail to the Jumpoff by Sarah Whitener

Looking for a ridge top Hike along the Appalacian Trail? We have the perfect one for you! The hike to the "Jump Off" is relatively easy for an intermediate hiker while adding a challenging for the novice. No matter what it's well worth the trek and very rewarding!  Once you reach the peak you will experience one of the best views in the Smoky Mountains.  With the panoramic views of the mountains, beautiful woodland paths, and impressive rock features this hike certainly qualifies as one of the most scenic places in the Smoky Mountains.

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The World Famous Nantahala Outdoor Center and Nantahala Gorge by Sarah Whitener

Traveling to the Smokies? If you are looking for things to do in Bryson City, NC the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) offers fun for adventurers of all ages.  It is conveniently located only a scenic 20 mile drive from town.  Guests can also make their way to NOC by train on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad(link). Founded in 1972 the NOC headquarters are positioned at the intersection of the Appalachian Trail and the Nantahala River.  The 500 acre adventure center provides a variety of outdoor activities, shopping, and dining.

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A Winter Wonderland - Hiking in Bryson City NC by Sarah Whitener

Looking for a tranquil setting while hiking near Bryson City? Try planning a visit in one of our winter months for some of the best hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park! We have a such a temperate climate that Winter is short, and at times almost forgotten. The town streets are quiet, everything slows down, and there are mostly only locals in the area. It truly makes for some of the best hiking and relaxing Smoky Mountain experiences you can imagine.

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A Unique Exploration the Lakebed of Fontana Lake in Bryson City NC by Sarah Whitener

Visitors to Bryson City during the months of December through March have the unique opportunity to take a stroll on the bottom of the lake.  Adventurers can glimpse remnants of the towns flooded with the creation of the lake, hunt for shells and drift wood, and witness nature’s quick work reclaiming the fertile soil.

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Take a Road Trip to Absolutely Nowhere! by Sarah Whitener

The Road to Nowhere is a great stopping point for visitors to the Bryson City area.  It is an interesting reminder of the area’s history and a topic of local scandal.  People of all ages will enjoy taking a short walk up this road and through the massive tunnel ending in the Great Smoky Mountain National Forrest. After you explore this curios spot you can honestly say you’ve been to the end of the line, reached the end of the road, gone off the beaten path, seen the light at the end of the tunnel, and found yourself in the middle of nowhere. Happy Exploring!

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Hike to Alarka Falls by Sarah Whitener

This is truly one of the most exquisite waterfalls in the area.  I love that you can get up close to it and experience the falls with all of your senses. Although difficult at points it is not a long hike so guests to the area can fit this gem into most schedules.  Also, since the beginning of the hike is less strenuous this trail is a good fit for groups with varying fitness levels. This uncrowded trail leading to an exceptional natural beauty would be a great addition to your trip.

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Close to all Bryson City and Cherokee NC attractions!

front view of the deck and mountain laurel railing on Spectacular Valley Views large cabin rental

Spectacular Valley Views

Sleeps 8

4 Bed

2 Bath

Our unique 4 bedroom log cabin near Bryson City NC and Cherokee NC with spectacular views!

sunny Spring sunrise at the Hive Lodge large group cabin rental

The Hive Lodge

Sleeps 19

6 Room

5 Bath

Our large group and family lodge capable of sleeping multiple families with breathtaking views of Waterrock Knob and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

wood planks tongue and groove interior of the Historic Ol Gun Range Cabin

The Historic Ol Gun Range

Sleeps 8

4 Bed

2 Bath

Our most quaint and relaxing lodging experience; this historic and secluded cabin in the woods also has a very unique history to it! See the difference at our NC mountain cabin.