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In the latest installment of our Insiders View video series, travel interviewer Meredith Lofton takes a special tour of Wears Valley. A hidden gem in the Great Smoky Mountains, this incredible area is one of the most scenic spots in all of East Tennessee. Ted Jordan, a local businessman and longtime resident of Wears Valley, shows Meredith some of the best things to see and do in the valley. Watch the video below to get an insider’s look at this amazing vacation destination:
Fast Facts About Wears Valley
Having lived in Wears Valley for over twenty years, Ted Jordan knows a thing or two about the area! Here are a few of the interesting facts he shares with Meredith in the video:
- Wears Valley is about 500 feet higher in elevation than the surrounding cities of Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. This gives residents and visitors unparalleled views of the Smokies and Sevier County.
- Having a higher elevation also means that Wears Valley has cooler temperatures. This is especially welcome in the summer months, when the area is three or four degrees colder than its neighbors.
- The valley is three miles wide by five miles long.
- Wears Valley is home to one of only three major entrances on the north side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Follow the link to learn more about this secret entrance to the National Park.
- Vacationers in Wears Valley will enjoy excellent views of Cove Mountain. At 4,400 feet in elevation, Cove Mountain is the highest privately owned mountain east of the Mississippi River. The north face of the mountain is privately owned, while the southern side of the mountain is part of the National Park.
Outdoor Fun at Metcalf Bottoms
Located just inside Wears Valley’s entrance into the National Park, Metcalf Bottoms is a popular spot for enjoying the great outdoors. The Little River runs right through Metcalf Bottoms, making the area ideal for tubers, fishing, and picnicking.
Families love to go tubing on the Little River because the water isn’t too fast. Kids will enjoy a fun and safe ride without the risk of falling off their tube. Additionally, the Little River is deep enough for tubers to avoid bumping their bottoms on the rocks below!
The Little River is also a fantastic place to go fly fishing. Anglers can wade right into the water and cast their line as they try to reel in some brook trout.
Metcalf Bottoms features a superb picnic area right along the river, complete with tables, charcoal grills, bathrooms, and convenient parking. Click the link for our advice on planning the ultimate scenic picnic at Metcalf Bottoms.
Owned by Heather and Michael Shepperd, GSM Outfitters has everything you need to explore Wears Valley. Specializing in outdoor clothing and gear, this great shop has hiking shoes, hiking equipment, camping supplies, hammocks, fishing poles, tubes, water shoes, and so much more.
GSM Outfitters is located at 3275 Wears Valley Road. You can learn about their selection on their official website: www.gsmoutfitters.com
Superb Lunch at Elvira’s Cafe
When you work up an appetite during your tour of Wears Valley, Elvira’s Cafe is the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat. Elvira, the restaurant’s owner and namesake, has created a menu that uses the very best local ingredients. From delicious crepes to mouthwatering sandwiches, everything at the cafe is farm fresh and served with a smile. As Elvira says in the video, “it’s homemade cooking without you washing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen!”
Elvira’s Cafe is located at 4143 Wears Valley Road. You can check out the full menu on the restaurant’s official website: www.elvirascafe.net. For other great dining options in the area, read our blog 5 Wears Valley Restaurants You Didn’t Know About – But Should!