Download Visitors Guide

Five Fave Hikes for Fall Colors in the NC Smokies

Fall Color in Clay County North Carolina

The brilliant fall foliage of the NC Smoky Mountains rivals the changing leaf colors anywhere in the country. But, because of our steep elevations and lower rolling foothills, the leaf-looking season here lasts longer than most. Beginning in mid-September and continuing through early November, the NC Smokies offer you plenty of weeks to plan your […]

Visitors Guide to Gorges State Park in Sapphire, NC

Gorges State Park NC

Explore 7,500-acres of natural beauty at the Gorges State Park in Sapphire, NC. Here you’ll find rushing rivers, sheer rock faces, plummeting waterfalls, deep gorges, and rare species of flora and fauna. Trails & Waterfalls Gorges is known for the multitude of beautiful waterfalls located throughout the park. Turtleback Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Bearwallow Falls […]

Explore the Jackrabbit Mountain Trails

Lake Chatuge

Your Trail Quest in the NC Great Smoky Mountains begins with the Jackrabbit Mountain Trail System near Hayesville, NC. Opened in 2011, this system incorporates 14 miles of scenic trails through the southern portion of the lush and tranquil Nantahala National Forest. Although originally created with mountain-biking in mind, the trails are also open to […]

Shadow of the Bear in the Great Smoky Mountains

Shadow of the Bear

From February through March, and then again in November, a natural, can’t-be-missed phenomenon happens in the Great Smoky Mountains of Jackson County, NC. The Shadow of the Bear occurs when the sun hits a certain point in the sky and a distinct, bear-shaped shadow appears across the mountains. When, Where, and How To Experience The […]

Exploring the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Large poplar tree at Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in Graham County, N.C.,  inspires the kind of hushed awe that can only be found in rare old-growth forests. Widely undiscovered by most, this forest, part of the Nantahala National Forest, lives under the protective watch of the US Forest Service and has remained untouched by logging and development since […]

Family Fun for the End of Summer

family hiking in the smoky mountains

Make the most of the last days of summer! From hiking and biking to ziplining and rafting, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the beautiful mountain weather during the final weeks of the warmest season. Below you’ll find some of the top ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Looking for more travel […]

Can’t Miss Adventures in the Smokies

Cherohala Skyway

The Smoky Mountains of North Carolina are a dream destination for lovers of the great outdoors. With stunning year-round views that stretch for miles, thrilling whitewater adventure, Southern Appalachian culture and live entertainment, it can difficult to squeeze everything in to only one weekend. Here are some ideas to help you maximize your time while […]

Our Five Favorite Spring Hikes in the NC Smokies

Mountain ridges of the Smokies

Spring is the perfect season to get out on the trails and immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of the Smoky Mountains. Wildflowers are in bloom, wildlife is emerging from winter dens, birds are singing from the tree branches, and waterfalls are gushing with the spring rains. Here are five of our favorite hiking trails […]

Top 8 Spring Adventures in the Smoky Mountains

elk in the great smoky mountain national park

You’ve waited patiently and now, with Spring just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start planning your trip to the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. The blooms are emerging, the area wildlife is young and rife, and witnessing the Appalachian Mountains turn all shades of green is a sight you will remember […]

Whiteside Mountain among ’25 Best Fall Hiking Trails’

Whiteside Mountain in the nc smoky mountains

Wow, one of my favorite hikes was just named one of the “25 Best Fall Hiking Trails: Our Favorite Fall Hikes in the U.S.” by Conde Nast Traveler.  Whiteside Mountain, in Cashiers! The online article noted, “For a small $2 parking fee, hikers on this two-mile-plus loop are rewarded with majestic views of the Blue […]