Monday, September 29, 2014

The Best Fall Hikes in the Smoky Mountains

October is one of the most scenic times of year to hike in the Smokies.  The bright colors of fall are painted across mountains and valleys, creating a setting that beckons one to explore.  With over 500,000 acres comprising the Great Smoky Mountains National Park choosing where to hike and sightsee can be a bit overwhelming.  Use our helpful list of the best fall hikes in the Smoky Mountains to get a head start on your journey. 

We recommend these hikes to see fall foliage:
Albright Grove Loop Trail: Trail Location – Cosby; Distance – 7 miles roundtrip; Difficulty – Strenuous
An excellent example of a hardwood forest, Albright Grove is one of the most diverse forests in America. Hiking here during the fall offers a rich blend of different colors and foliage. Plus, come of the oldest and tallest trees in the Smokies are found along the way.

Alum Cave Trail: Trail Location – Gatlinburg; Distance – 5 miles roundtrip; Difficulty – Moderately Strenuous
With an elevation of almost 5,000 feet, Alum Cave Trail offers outstanding views of the Smoky Mountains. Sweeping views of Little Duck Hawk Ridge to the west and Myrtle Point to the Northeast give hikers quite the reward.

Appalachian Trail:  Trail Location – Clingmans Dome or Newfound Gap Road; Distance – Varies; Difficulty – Moderate
I recommend hiking the 7.5 mile section of the Appalachian Trail located from Clingman's Dome to Newfound Gap.  Canvassed with color, the peaks and valleys you pass through are a true highlight this time of year.

Baskins Creek Falls: Trail Location – Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail; Distance – 3 miles roundtrip; Difficulty – Easy
Hike to Baskins Creek Falls to enjoy a canopy of fall foliage complemented by a two-tiered, 40 foot waterfall.

Little River Trail: Trail location – Elkmont; Distance – 4.9 miles roundtrip; Difficulty – Moderate
History and outdoor beauty combine at the Little River Trail. The entire length of the trail hugs a river of the same name, with a slow elevation gain making it an easy climb.

Mt. Cammerer: Trail Location – Cosby; Distance – 12 miles roundtrip; Difficulty – Strenuous
If you’re up for a challenge the 12 mile roundtrip hike to the summit of Mt. Cammerer is a fantastic fall hike. The summit offers exceptional views of peaks and valleys; Some say they’re the best in the National Park.

Old Settlers Trail: Trail Location – Greenbrier; Distance – 17 miles one way; Difficulty – Moderate
Old homesteads and a diverse collection of flora and fauna make the Old Settlers Trail a unique fall hike.

Porters Creek Trail: Trail Location – Greenbrier; Distance – 4 miles roundtrip; Difficulty – Moderate
A variety of scenery, including historic sites, waterfalls and a meandering stream, create an easy yet rewarding Smoky Mountain hike.

Sugarland Mountain Trail:  Trail Location – Clingmans Dome Road; Distance – 7 miles roundtrip; Difficulty – Moderate
The Sugarland Mountain Trail follows the ridge between Clingmans Dome and Little River Road. Peaceful and pristine, the forest here features a wonderful walk through the bright leaves of fall.

Get outside this autumn and see the splendor of Mother Nature.  The entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just minutes away from Pigeon Forge, so you can easily access all of the hikes listed above. 

Find out more about viewing fall colors in the Smokies »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Things To Do at Biltmore Estate this Fall

Visiting Biltmore Estate is a grand adventure any time of year but is especially beautiful during fall.  The Blue Ridge Mountains are awash in autumnal color creating the perfect backdrop for this historical attraction.  Even better, there are fun events to take part in as well as outdoor activities placing you in the midst of fall in Asheville, North Carolina.  Explore these things to do at Biltmore Estate this Fall. 

Photo Credit: Biltmore Estate
 
There are plenty of things to do at Biltmore Estate any time of year.  Outdoor offering include:
  • Float Trips
  • Fly-Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Segway Tours

At Biltmore, it’s not only the foliage that gets the fall color treatment.  Biltmore’s Fall Gardens are some of the most extensive displays in the Southeast. The landscaping teams nurture thousands of mums, which bloom in shades of purple and gold and line the estate’s Walled Gardens.  At the Shrub Garden guests will find leaves colored with vibrant yellows and reds, while dogwoods and redwoods located throughout the estate are canvassed in shades of orange.  Brilliant fall color can be seen September through November, although October seems to be prime time for best viewing.

Be sure to bring your camera to capture the color of Biltmore Estate during fall.  Some of the best fall photo spots include:
  • The Rooftop of Biltmore House
  • Statue of Diana
  • The Loggia
  • Top of the Rampe Douce
  • South Terrace Tea House
Reserve any on these activities to make the most of your time at Biltmore during autumn.  The Estate has more to explore, though.  In addition to the elegant and architectural features of the home itself, guests will find gardens in bloom, gorgeous vistas and fine grounds awaiting their discovery.  Make time for Antler Hill Village, too.  Several savory restaurants, a winery and craft demonstrations. 

When you’re in Pigeon Forge you can easily access Biltmore Estate as it’s only about 100 miles away.  Make the trip and you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking attraction and a scenic mountain drive along the way.    

Find out more about visiting Biltmore Estate »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Six Money Saving Pigeon Forge Tips

Are you trying to plan a Pigeon Forge vacation, but don’t want to break the bank doing so?  In the Smoky Mountains you can have a budget-friendly getaway where you won’t have to worry about spending big bucks in order to have a grand time.  Not only is the area affordable, it also boasts several ways to save while you play. 

Follow our money saving Pigeon Forge tips to enjoy the best of the Smokies while keeping your budget in check.
Sign up for Getaways Emails:  Reserve Pigeon Forge sends a monthly email featuring ways to save in the Smokies.  You’ll see the latest deals on shows, attractions and hotels.  Plus, you’ll be the first to know when special discounts and promotional codes are available.  Sign up for Getaways Emails here.

Take Advantage of Direct Deals:  Did you know there is almost $1,000 worth of savings on Reserve Pigeon Forge?  Use our Direct Deals page to keep track of the best prices for everything from zipline attractions to entertaining shows and hotels deals.
Visit Dollywood Twice for the Same Price:  If you arrive at Dollywood after 3pm (after 6pm during Smoky Mountain Christmas), you can enter the park the next day free of charge.  Make the most of your time at the Pigeon Forge theme park with this excellent offer!

Ride the Trolley:  Save your gas, park the car and ride the Pigeon Forge Trolley.  The trolleys are an easy and affordable way to get around the city.  Plus, you can connect to Sevierville and Gatlinburg so you can explore all the Smoky Mountains have to offer.  All day ride passes are only $2.50, while one-way fares range from 50-75 cents.
Book a Vacation Package:  Bundle you hotel stay with your attraction passes and Pigeon Forge show tickets and you’re sure to save. Take a look at the Pigeon Forge vacation packages, choose one that fits your vacation needs and start your savings!

Follow Reserve Pigeon Forge:  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest savings, customer contests and special social media discounts.  You never know when a flash savings special might happen!

Take advantage of these free things to do in Pigeon Forge »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Titanic Museum Kicks-Off the Holiday Season with Fireworks & Snow

Get ready for a spectacular kick-off of the holiday season in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!  The Titanic Museum Attraction is hosting their third annual fireworks extravaganza on Thanksgiving evening, November 27, 2014, at 7:00pm.  The sky will burst with color as the lives and legacies of the ships passengers, crew and rescuers are honored.

As this is the largest fireworks event of the year, the Titanic Pigeon Forge is expecting quite a turnout.  The event not only kicks-off the holiday season in the Smokies but also ushers in the museums’ annual tradition of snow falling from the ship’s bow.  Snow will start to fall Thanksgiving weekend and will continue to fall every Saturday through December.  On these special Titanic snow days Father Christmas will make a special appearance.  Dressed in a style children aboard the Titanic in 1912 would expect, Father Christmas makes holidays at the Titanic Museum even brighter.  The Titanic Fantasy Princess will also be on hand. 
With Titanic Museum tickets you can also go inside the ship and see the full spirit of Christmas on displays.  Thousands of holiday lights, Edwardian-period decorations, and costumed merry-makers make visitors feel like their aboard a Christmas voyage.  It inspire thoughts of what it was like on board the ship in 1912 and what Christmas was like drying that time period.

Find out more about visiting the Titanic Museum »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Five Free Things to Do with Kids in Pigeon Forge

If you're a parent of a little one, then you know traveling with kids can be expensive – even in budget-friendly destinations like Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Luckily, there are free things to do with kids in Pigeon Forge that make a vacation here even more affordable.  There are a variety of family activities available in the Smokies, but these five free things to do are an added bonus!


Tour the Old Mill:  The kids can see the historic Old Mill in action, sample free fudge at the Old Mill Candy Kitchen and feed the ducks along the Little Pigeon River.
Go for a Scenic Drive:  Auto-Touring in the Smokies is a favorite activity of many visitors.  There are hundreds of miles of gorgeous roads in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Kids get a great view from the back seat!

Watch a Free Show:  The Island in Pigeon Forge presents a light show choreographed to music.  Featuring geysers spouting nearly 60 feet in the air kids are really dazzled by this spectacle.  Plus, at Country Tonite kids 12 and under get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Attend a Smoky Mountain Festival:  There’s always a special event or festival being held in Pigeon Forge.  Many offer free admission, too!  Attend Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, Grand Rod Run and Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage to experience some of the best Smoky Mountain events.

Visit Cades Cove:  Take the kids to this historic loop for some fresh air and sunshine in the Smokies.  Along the 11-mile route, you can spot historic churches and building, as well as wildlife.  Stop and explore, and let your kids run through the scenic valleys.

Find out more about free things to do in Pigeon Forge »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pigeon Forge Car Shows Featured this Fall

Cars shows are a signature of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Visitors roll into town to showcase their unique automobiles and hot rods, creating quite the spectacular for car enthusiasts.  During the fall season, several rod runs rev their engines in the Smoky Mountains. 

These five fall Pigeon Forge car shows are featured September and October 2014:

Pigeon Forge Fall Grand Rod Run: This year’s event is located at the all-new LeConte Center September 12-14.  The Fall Rod Run is one of the most popular due to the cooler weather and autumn avitivities available.  Plus, it features thousands of hot rods and muscle cars of all makes, models, years, and colors.  This year's event features Courtney Hansen, host of PowerNation, who has personally invited 12 featured cares to be displayed during the Rod Run.
True Blue Fall Ford Truck Festival: The Ford Truck Festival is a must if you love classic American trucks.  Held September 18-20, attendees can enjoy family-friendly events and check out some of the country’s best Ford trucks.  Sponsored by True Blue Truck Magazine. 

Fast Cars ‘n Mason Jars:  Back in the day, the faster the car the speedier the moonshine delivery.  This festival celebrates that link and features music, muscle cars and moonshine.  Held at Ole Smoky Moonshine distillery September 26-27 in Downtown Gatlinburg, this event has quickly became a fan favorite.
Circle Yer Wagons: Unique German imports are spotlighted during Circle Yer Wagons. That’s because the wagons I speak of are Volkswagens!  Classic bugs and VW vans take over the Sevier County Fair Grounds October 4-5.
Fall Corvette Expo:  Almost 4,000 ‘vette lovers flock to the Sevierville Convention Center and Wilderness at the Smokies Waterpark Resort for the Fall Corvette Expo.  Scheduled for October 17-18, everything from classic Stingrays to Z06’s will be on display.

Reserve your Pigeon Forge hotel room to stay and play during these unique car shows.  

Find out more about October events in Pigeon Forge »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pigeon Forge Fall Foliage: Peak Color Guide

Autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains is a beautiful time of year.  The mountains and valleys are painted with stunning colors that light up the Smokies.  Curious about when you should visit Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to see the magnificent Fall colors?  Use our Pigeon Forge Fall Foliage peak color guide for helpful tips and insights. 

September
Fall in the Smokies begins in September, with the emerging changes occurring above 4,000 feet. Red, orange and yellow colors can be seen on sourwood, dogwood, maple, sassafras and birch trees.  Drives recommended for September viewing are Parsons Branch Road, Newfound Gap Road and Clingmans Dome Road.
Early October
Be the beginning of October the mountains of the Smokies are awash in brilliant color.  To see the bold yellows of the American beech and yellow birch to the rich reds on mountain ash, pin cherry and mountain maple trees, the viewing is best on roads including Newfound Gap Road, Heintooga Ridge Road, Foothills Parkway and Rich Mountain Road in Cades Cove. 
Mid-October
In mid-October, the Great Smoky Mountains are about a week away from peak color of the lower elevations.  However, the valleys and higher elevations are at a peak.  They are painted with bold reds from black gum, dogwoods, sumac and sourwood trees and golds from the tulip tree, black walnut, birch, beech and hickories.   Recommended scenic drives include Cove Creek Road, Balsam Mountain Road, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Foothills Parkway and Newfound Gap Road.
Late October
The peak colors are very impressive in late October.   From low to high elevations, the marvelous colors of fall can be seen through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It is not unusual to see autumn color last through the mid-November.  Suggested drives are Blue Ridge Parkway, Foothills Parkway and Heintooga Ridge Road to Balsam Mountain. 
Reserve a Smoky Mountain vacation today to experience autumn in the Smokies. There are a wide range of Pigeon Forge vacation packages available or you can create your own package.  Either option allows you to see the splendor of the Smokies in all their beauty. 

Learn about the top five must-see Great Smoky Mountain sights »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pigeon Forge Events: October 2014

Plan on attending these October Pigeon Forge events:

October 1-31:  Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival
Enjoy fall in the Smokies with autumn displays around the county and special events all month long in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Townsend.


October 1-November 4:  Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg
Hear the Bavarian Fun Makers Band and get a taste of Bavarian-style food and drink during Oktoberfest at Ober Gatlinburg. Enjoy special beers along with German wurst, schnitzel, strudel, and more.
October 2-November 1:  Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration
Dollywood will features southern gospel music along with handmade displays from craftsmen. All concerts are included with regular park admission and take place throughout the park.


October 3-5: 10th Annual Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival
Located in Downtown Gatlinburg at Arrowmont School of Arts& Crafts Campus, adjacent to Arrowcraft Shop at Light #5. Hours are 10am-5pm Friday and Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm.
October 3-31: Ripley’s Fright Nights
Visit Ripley’s Haunted Adventure every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night in October for a scary good time.

October 9-26: Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair
Art, crafts and music lovers can find almost 200 booths featuring some of the nation's finest work. Artisans and craftspeople are on hand to demonstrate their skills, answer questions and offer their unique art for sale. Live Country & Bluegrass entertainment.  Admission is free.


October 17: Don Williams
Don Williams will perform at Country Tonite Theatre at 8pm.  Williams is known for hits such as "Good Ole Boys Like Me", "Amanda", "Tulsa Time", "You're My Best Friend" and "I Believe In You.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival Highlights Beauty of Autumn

The Smoky Mountains are beautiful any time of year but there’s something special about visiting during Autumn.  Fall in the Smokies brings brilliant colors to the mountains and valleys of the National Park.  Plus plenty of activities and events are planned during the season, including the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival.  Residents and locals alike can take part in festivities planned throughout Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Townsend. Plan your visit to see the splendor of the Smokies this fall.

A variety of harvest-themed displays, decoration and crafts will be on display throughout each community.  The spirit of the harvest season is celebrated in its own unique way in each town, making September and October and lively time in eastern Tennessee.  The backdrop of mountains vibrantly painted in reds, orange and yellow create a magnificent vacation setting. 
Some of the events planned for the 19th Annual Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival include:
Pigeon Forge
September 5-6: Shades of the Past Rod Run
September 12-14: Fall Rod Run
September 19: The Three Generations Acoustic Tour: Bobby Bare, John Anderson, and Darryl Worley at Country Tonite Theatre
September 22-November 1: Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration
October 17-18: Don Williams at Country Tonite Theatre
Gatlinburg
September 26-27: Fast Cars N Mason Jars Moonshine Festival
September 27-28: Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament
October 3-5: Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival
October 9-26: Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair:
October 28: Taste of Autumn

Townsend
September 26-27: Fall Heritage Festival & Old Timers Day
September 27: Blue Ribbon Country Fair
October 1-31: Saturday Nights Pickin' on the Porch
Maryville
October 17-19: Foothills Fall Festival

Sevierville
September 1-6: Sevier County Fair
September 18-20: Dumplin' Valley Bluegrass Festival
October 17-18: Fall Corvette Expo
Several other events are planned during  Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival.  It’s a popular time to visit, especially October when fall foliage colors are at their peak.  Many find it enjoyable to stay in a Smoky Mountain cabin on their vacation.  The mountain setting puts you right in the middle of the natural, scenic beauty of Autumn. 

Find out more about Dollywood's National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spend the Evening at Pigeon Forge Music Shows

Smoky Mountain Opry
Are you ready for a night of fantastic entertainment in Pigeon Forge?  If so, get tickets to Pigeon Forge music shows for a fun-filled night on the town.  From country to pop and everything in between, music shows in Pigeon Forge perform a variety of musical styles. Special discounts are available on Pigeon Forge show tickets, too, making a night at a show even more affordable.

Some of the most popular music shows in Pigeon Forge include:
  • County Tonite
  • Smoky Mountain Opry
Country Tonite has been performing in the Smoky Mountains for 17 seasons.  Each season has brought new talent and fresh shows to the Country Tonite Theater.  Appealing to a wide variety of ages and musical tastes, song selections include old country, new country, today’s top hits and even a few gospel and patriotic numbers.  Plus, the show is a great bargain as kids 12 and under get in free!

The Smoky Mountain Opry opened just a few years ago but the show has already landed among the best in the Pigeon Forge.  Audiences have raved about the fast-paced, energetic performances showcasing everything from country hits both old and new, to big band, today’s pop hits and yesterday’s disco.  Throw in some hilarious comedy and excellent choreography and you’ve got one of the most popular music shows in Pigeon Forge! 

The Soul of Motown is a supreme tribute to some of the greatest vocal groups ever to hit the charts, with live harmony, grooving dance moves and inspiring talent.  Featuring songs from The Drifters, The Platters, Sam Cooke, Smoky Robinson, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & the Pips plus many more.

Cyrus Family Theater is a production themed on family, music and traditional values.   The music leans towards being more classic country but there is a nice blend of standard songs, current country songs and some heartwarming original tunes.  Plenty of comedy by Billy Goldsmith keeps the laughs coming too!

America's Hit Parade is a singing and dancing sensation taking you through many of the greatest hits of the decades. Celebrate this musical evolution with music from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and beyond, featuring Classic Rock, Rock-n-Roll, Disco, American Pop and a "One-of-a-Kind Military Tribute" to the men and women of the Armed Forces.

Find out more about the Country Tonite experience »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.