Embark on an unforgettable adventure with a two-hour road trip to Roaring Fork, nestled in the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Discover the rich history of the area as you explore preserved historic buildings, including the Ephraim Bales House, Alfred Reagan Tub Mill, and Ely's Mill. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area as you hike along the Trillium Gap and Grapeyard Ridge trails, taking in stunning vistas of the Roaring Fork stream and majestic waterfalls. With so much to explore and discover, this road trip is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature.
Cherokee Orchard Road is a scenic drive located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. It is a winding, narrow road that is approximately 3.5 miles long and connects the town of Gatlinburg to the Cherokee Orchard area of the national park.
The road is popular among visitors to the area because of its beautiful scenery, which includes old-growth forests, streams, and waterfalls. It also provides access to several hiking trails, including the famous Gatlinburg Trail, which begins at the Sugarlands Visitor Center and follows the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.
Visitors should be aware that Cherokee Orchard Road is a narrow and winding mountain road, and it can be challenging for those not experienced with this type of driving. It is recommended that visitors drive slowly and carefully and be prepared to yield to oncoming traffic.
Rainbow Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. It is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the park and is located near the Bullhead Parking area.
To reach the falls from the Bullhead Parking area, visitors must hike approximately 2.7 miles along the Rainbow Falls Trail. The trail is rated as moderate to strenuous and climbs steadily through a beautiful forested area before reaching the base of the falls.
Rainbow Falls is approximately 80 feet tall and is named for the rainbow that can often be seen in the mist when the sun shines on the falls. The area around the falls is also home to various wildlife, including black bears, so visitors should exercise caution and be prepared to encounter wildlife.
It is essential always to be aware of your surroundings when visiting areas where bears live. Here are some specific actions you can take to reduce the risk of bear encounters:
• Dispose of garbage and food scraps properly in bear-proof garbage containers or take them with you. • Do not feed wildlife, including bears. Feeding a bear can teach it to associate humans with food, leading to more aggressive behaviour and potentially deadly encounters. • Keep a safe distance of at least 50 yards from bears and other wildlife. Do not approach or attempt to get closer for a better view or photo. • If you encounter a bear, stay calm and slowly back away while avoiding direct eye contact. Do not run, as this can trigger a chase response. • Make noise while hiking, especially in areas with poor visibility, to alert bears to your presence and avoid surprising them. • Carry bear spray and know how to use it in case of an attack.
By taking these precautions, we can help prevent dangerous encounters between humans and bears and preserve these magnificent animals for future generations.
Rainbow Falls Trail is a popular hiking trail located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. The track is approximately 5.4 miles roundtrip and leads to Rainbow Falls, a beautiful 80-foot waterfall.
The Old Sugarlands Trail is a historic trail located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA.
The trail was initially used by early settlers in the area to travel through the mountains and was later used by loggers to transport timber out of the forest. Today, the trail is a popular hiking destination that offers visitors the opportunity to experience the natural beauty and history of the area.
Trillium Gap Trail is a popular hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. The path is approximately 6.6 miles roundtrip and leads to the summit of Mount LeConte, one of the tallest peaks in the park.
The trailhead for Trillium Gap Trail is located at the Rainbow Falls Parking Area, accessed via Cherokee Orchard Road. The trail is rated moderate to strenuous, with a total elevation gain of approximately 3,200 feet.
The Roaring Fork Overlook is a scenic overlook located on Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. The lookout provides stunning views of Roaring Fork Creek and the surrounding forested mountains.
In addition to the beautiful scenery, the overlook is also home to an interpretive marker that provides information about the history and ecology of the area. Visitors can learn about the logging and farming history of the Roaring Fork area and the unique plant and animal life found in the park.
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a narrow, one-way road that winds through the forested mountains and provides access to several other scenic overlooks and hiking trails. The road is closed during the winter months due to snow and ice.
Overall, the Roaring Fork Interpretive Marker 1 Overlook is a great place to stop and take in the beauty and history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
"Roaring Fork" refers to a creek that runs through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. The creek gets its name from the sound of the rushing water as it flows over the rocks and boulders in the stream.
The Roaring Fork creek is a popular destination for fishing, hiking, and scenic drives, and it is known for its clear water and beautiful surroundings. The stream is also home to various fish, including rainbow and brown trout, which attract anglers from around the region.
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, which winds through the park and provides access to several scenic overlooks and hiking trails, follows the course of the Roaring Fork creek for much of its length. The area is rich in history and was once home to many logging and farming communities, now preserved as historic sites and museums in the park.
One of the highlights of the Grapeyard Ridge Trail is its connection to the Roaring Fork stream. Hikers can access the Roaring Fork stream by taking a short detour from the main trail. The stream is a popular destination for fishing, hiking, and scenic views.
The Roaring Fork stream is known for its clear water and beautiful surroundings, and it is home to a variety of fish, including rainbow and brown trout. The stream also provides access to several other hiking trails in the park, including the Trillium Gap Trail, which leads to the summit of Mount LeConte.
Ephraim Bales and his family were early settlers in the Great Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee, USA. They lived in a small cabin along the Roaring Fork, where they worked hard to make a living from the land.
Ephraim and his wife, Minerva, had nine children, all of whom grew up in the cabin. The family-owned 72 acres of land, with 30 acres devoted to farming and the rest left wooded.
Life in the cabin was challenging, with the family facing difficult living conditions and working long hours to make ends meet. However, they could provide for themselves by growing their food, raising livestock, and selling excess crops and animals.
Despite the challenges, the Bales family remained in the cabin for approximately 40 years, from 1890 to 1930. The family was known for their hard work and resourcefulness, and they became an integral part of the community in the Roaring Fork area.
Today, the Ephraim Bales cabin is preserved as a historic site in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can learn about the family's history and the challenges faced by early settlers in the region. The cabin is one of more than 80 historic buildings in the park, each providing a window into the region's rich history and cultural heritage.
The relationship between the town of Gatlinburg and the settlers in the Roaring Fork area was one of mutual reliance and support. In the town's early days, many of the settlers in the Roaring Fork area relied on Gatlinburg for supplies, medical care, and other goods and services.
As Gatlinburg grew into a tourist destination, many of the settlers in the Roaring Fork area found employment in the town's hotels, restaurants, and other businesses. The city also provided a market for the agricultural and other products produced by the settlers, which helped to support their livelihoods.
Despite the differences between the town and the Roaring Fork area settlers, there was a strong sense of community and shared history between the two groups. Many families in the Roaring Fork area had lived in the region for generations and had deep ties to the land and the people there.
Today, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the town of Gatlinburg continue to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of the early settlers in the region, including those who lived in the Roaring Fork area. Visitors to the park can learn about the lives and struggles of these early settlers through the many historic buildings, exhibits, and artefacts preserved in the garden and the town of Gatlinburg.
The Alfred Reagan Tub Mill is a historic site located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. The mill was built in the early 20th century and is named after Alfred Reagan, who operated the mill until the 1930s.
The mill is a great example of the type of mills that were once common in the region, and it is now preserved as a historic site for visitors to see. The mill was used to process lumber and cornmeal, and it features a large waterwheel that was powered by the nearby stream.
Visitors to the Alfred Reagan Tub Mill can see the original equipment used in the milling process, including the saw blades and grinding stones. The site also features a nearby picnic area and access to several hiking trails in the park.
Overall, the Alfred Reagan Tub Mill is a great place to learn about the history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the people who once lived and worked in the region.
The Alfred Reagan House is a historic building located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. The house was built in the late 1800s and was home to Alfred Reagan and his family for many years.
The house is an excellent example of the type of homes typical in the region during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It features a traditional log cabin construction with a chimney made of hand-hewn stones.
Alfred Reagan was a prominent figure in the Roaring Fork community and was known for his skill as a blacksmith. He operated a blacksmith shop near his home and provided services to the local farmers and loggers.
Today, the Alfred Reagan House is preserved as a historic site in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors to the site can see the original furnishings and artefacts from the period and learn about the history and culture of the early settlers in the region.
The house is one of more than 80 historic buildings in the park, each providing a window into the region's rich history and cultural heritage.
Ely's Mill is a family-owned and operated historic site located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. The mill was established in 1925 by Andrew Jefferson Ely, a Yale law school graduate, practising lawyer, and printer. Ely purchased a 30-acre tract of land to live a healthy life and preached against smoking, strong drinks, and various foods, advocating instead for fresh vegetables, honey, buttermilk, and lots of spring water.
Ely hired local artisans to build the mill and showroom to display their wares, initially called The Water Wheel Craft Shop. The mill featured weaving and local crafts and also made solid wood furniture, and sold antiques. The water wheel, which is almost 30 feet in diameter and 8 feet wide, powered the machinery in the Furniture Shop, including belt sanders, lathes, and planers, by a system of pulleys and belts.
As the mill grew, more buildings were added, including barns for livestock, sheds, chicken houses, a caretaker's home, a hammer mill to crush and mix feeds, and a blacksmith shop to repair tools and make parts. By the 1940s, Ely's Mill had grown to almost 20 buildings.
Today, Ely's Mill is a unique craft and antique shop that offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the early settlers in the region. Visitors can see the original mill equipment, furniture, and antiques, as well as learn about the life and beliefs of Andrew Jefferson Ely and his impact on the community.
Ely's Mill is a historic site located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, USA. The site is named after the Ely family, who operated a mill in the area for many years.
The mill was established in the early 1900s and was used to grind cornmeal, flour, and other grains. The mill was powered by a large waterwheel turned by the nearby stream. The Ely family also operated a general store on the site, which provided goods and supplies to the local community.
The mill and store were an essential part of the local economy and provided a gathering place for the community. People often stopped by the mill to buy supplies or have their grains ground, and the site was a hub of activity and social interaction.
Today, the Ely's Mill site is preserved as a historic site in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can see the original mill equipment and learn about the history and culture of the early settlers in the region. The site is also a popular destination for hiking and exploring the park's natural beauty, with several nearby trails and scenic overlooks.
Ely's Mill is a historical attraction alongside the picturesque Roaring Fork Creek. It was built as a tourist attraction in the late 1920s and featured local crafts, antiques, and honey (seasonally), as well as two overnight rental cabins. The mill is still privately owned and run by the original family who lives on-site. It was named after its founder, "Old Man Ely," a Yale law school graduate and a practising Tennessee lawyer. He preached against smoking, strong drink, and various foods and advocated for fresh vegetables, bananas, buttermilk, and spring water. The mill was powered by a 30-foot diameter water wheel and supplied with water from a race which began 800 feet upstream. As the place grew, more buildings were added, including barns, sheds, chicken houses, a hammer mill, and a blacksmith shop. Today, the mill stands as a vibrant reminder of days gone by and is being restored on an easy "pay as you go" plan with hopes of one day having the water wheel work again.
Anakeesta is an outdoor entertainment complex located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, near the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The complex features a chairlift ride to the top of Anakeesta Mountain, where visitors can enjoy scenic views of the surrounding mountains, as well as various attractions and activities, including ziplining, a treetop canopy walk, a mountain coaster, and a playground for children. Anakeesta also offers shopping and dining options, with several restaurants serving Southern cuisine and local craft beers. The complex is a popular tourist destination, especially during the peak summer and fall seasons.
Anakeesta is a Cherokee word that roughly translates to "place of the balsams" or "place of the high ground." The Cherokee people considered the Great Smoky Mountains to be sacred and had their own names for many of the peaks and landmarks in the area. Anakeesta Mountain was one such place that was held in high esteem by the Cherokee people for its beauty and natural resources.