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Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Wedding Capital of the South

weddingmarineAnother way the Smokies are endeared to many, they come here where the scenery shouts life, peace, and joy to promise a lifetime of love to one another.  The area has everything a couple planning a wedding could want or need, including beautiful wedding chapels, local florists, bakers, salons, spas, catering services, photography, entertainment and more.

Looking for something a little more intimate?  Local ministers will come to your cabin, condo or chalet and perform your perfect Smoky Mountain wedding.  Another great perk, you are already at your honeymoon destination! 

Need a one stop shop, help in planning or just general information, then check out (by clicking their name) the Smoky Mountain Wedding Association page for wedding planning made easy!  You’ll want to get their free planning guide and read their blog articles for great ideas, hints, tips and more.

Here are a couple other helpful links.

Package Deals:  New Beginnings Wedding Photography

For a list of wedding providers/wedding services in Sevier County click here.

With the helpful resources of the links above the planning of your wedding just got easier, and your life more stress free!  After all isn’t that what coming to the Smokies is all about?  Why yes it is!  Is all about love, fun, relaxation and memories.  No better place than the Smokies to fall in love, pledge your love and enjoy your love.  Now get busy planning those honeymoon activities!

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge

 

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The Lost Cove of Cataloochee

Tucked in the remote southeastern corner of the Smokies is is a place of rare and special beauty, what some call the lost cove of Cataloochee.cataloochee

I think of it as the almost forgotten side of the Smokies.  Forgotten may not be entirely true but for sure it is less traveled and less well known than many other areas of the Great Smoky Mt National Park (which means less crowded too!)  It is a bit harder to get to but well worth the effort.  Located approximately 65 miles from Gatlinburg and 39 miles from Pigeon Forge, the easiest and most scenic route is I-40 to Exit 20 (US 276). then look for Cove Creek Rd about .2 of a mile on the right.  The road is paved for 4 miles, gravel for 3 then back to pavement.  The gravel section is narrow with some sharp curves and  can be rough at times.

While Cataloochee seems to be a lost or forgotten area now, not long ago that wasn’t so. It was once the largest settlement in the Smokies with more than 1200 people.  It was an early thoroughfare for travelers through the mountains, used by animals, Indians and European settlers long before automobiles and interstate highways.

People like Mark Hannah, one of the first rangers in the park were instrumental in the preservation of the history and heritage of the people of the Great Smokies. Mr Hannah himself was a descendant of early settlers who came to the valley to farm.  He collected first hand accounts of the mountain people, which are preserved in the park’s archives.  Visit the Palmer House (which housed one of the post offices in the area), the areas visitor center and hear some of the recorded stories of those early settlers.

Besides Palmer House there are other historic buildings you will want to visit like Palmer Chapel,              Beech Grove School, the Woody House, and the Caldwell House.  To see a video of the area see an interview with Hattie Caldwell whose great grandfather was first into the area in 1834 click on this youtube link.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lbGd8JYl84

Another unique feature of this area are the elk, spectacular creatures that roam free here after being reintroduced to the park in 2001/2002.  Other wildlife commonly seen in the area are black bears, wild turkey, deer and red wolves.  Best viewing times are early morning and early evening.  Be sure to view all wildlife from a distance with binoculars or zoom lenses.

Out of 200 buildings near the turn of the 20th century only a handful remain to give us a glimpse of life as the settlers knew it.  Forest has reclaimed much of the farmland and orchards, the deer and elk graze next to the ruins of a stone chimney in the lost cove of Cataloochee and all is well.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2013 in Great Smoky Mt National Park

 

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