Bald Eagle Released in Smoky Mountains to Honor Fallen U.S. Marine

A juvenile bald eagle in flight.

As summer draws to a close, we wanted to revisit one of the most moving events that took place in the Smoky Mountains this season. On July 26, 2018, the American Eagle Foundation released a juvenile bald eagle on Douglas Lake to honor Lance Corporal Jason Redifer, who was killed in action while serving in Iraq in 2005. Jason’s parents named the eagle “My Brother’s Keeper” and attended the release ceremony with a group of local veterans. Read on to learn how this fitting tribute to a fallen hero came to be. Continue reading

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John P. Cable Mill in Cades Cove Gets New Water Wheel

John P. Cable Mill in Cades Cove

The time has come for the John P. Cable Mill to get a new water wheel! This historic grist mill is a centerpiece for visitors to Cades Cove, and it is now getting a brand new water wheel built for it. Visit My Smokies has all the details about the construction of the new water wheel for the Cable Mill in Cades Cove. Continue reading

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Rhonda Vincent to Headline Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival in Smoky Mountains

A bluegrass band posing with their instruments.

Some of the very best bluegrass performers in the world are coming to Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains! This September, the Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival will return to Kodak, TN for another year of amazing music, food, and fun. The Grammy Award-winning band Rhonda Vincent & The Rage will headline the three-day festival, which will include performances from 15 different bluegrass acts. To help you make the most of your next vacation in Sevier County, Visit My Smokies has put together a guide to everything you need to know about the Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival. Continue reading

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Why You Should Plan Your Next Family Vacation to the Smoky Mountains

Sunset in the Great Smoky Mountains.

It’s no surprise that the Smoky Mountains has been rated one of the best places for families. With all the amazing things to do, you are guaranteed to make special memories with one another that last forever. There is something for everyone — from kids to grandparents. If you are searching for the perfect place to visit with your family, your search is over. Here is why you should plan your next family vacation to the Smoky Mountains: Continue reading

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Armadillos Are Spreading in the Smoky Mountains

Close-up of an armadillo.

When you think about Smoky Mountain wildlife, armadillos are probably the furthest thing from your mind! Nevertheless, these armored critters are steadily increasing their presence around Pigeon Forge, TN and the surrounding area. Scientists first spotted armadillos in East Tennessee around five years ago, and they have been closing in on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ever since. Local reporter Jim Matheny recently covered this unusual phenomenon in a piece for WBIR News: Continue reading

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12 Can’t-Miss Smoky Mountain Hiking Trails in the National Park

Scenic photo of the Alum Cave Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Great Smoky Mountains has more than 850 miles of trails for visitors to explore! Depending on which trail you choose, you can see breathtaking views of mountains, waterfalls, wildlife and more! To help you decide where you should hike during your vacation, we’ve put together a list of 12 of the can’t-miss Smoky Mountain hiking trails in the national park: Continue reading

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4 Reasons You’ll Love Going Camping in the Great Smoky Mountains

Singing songs around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, stargazing — you can do all this and more when you go camping in the Great Smoky Mountains. Camping is one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the mountains and all they have to offer. Next time you’re planning a trip to the area, consider spending a night or two at one of the amazing campgrounds or RV parks! Here are 4 reasons you’ll love going camping: Continue reading

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6 Exciting Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains in September You Don’t Want to Miss

Beautiful photo of the Great Smoky Mountains.

September is a great time to visit the Smoky Mountains! Not only is this when the weather starts to cool off and fade into fall, there are also a variety of fun and exciting things to do in the Smoky Mountains in September that you and your family are sure to love. Continue reading

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The Ultimate Guide to Cades Cove Throughout the Seasons

Scenic road in Cades Cove that visitors can enjoy on a Smoky Mountain vacation.

Cades Cove is picture-perfect all year long. No matter what time you visit, you are guaranteed to see breathtaking scenery. Each season brings its own beauty to the area, from snow-covered trees in the winter to wildflowers in the spring. To help you decide what time to plan your visit to Cades Cove, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to Cades Cove throughout the seasons. Continue reading

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The National Park Service Almost Turned Cades Cove into a Lake

A group of horses grazing in Cades Cove.

Frequented by over 2 million people each year, Cades Cove is the most visited section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With its picturesque fields, well-preserved historic buildings, and abundant wildlife, this breathtaking valley is a truly magical place. Back in the 1930s, however, Cades Cove’s potential as a major tourist destination went largely unrecognized. Believe it or not, there were serious plans to convert the cove into a lake! Continue reading

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