The first day of summer is right around the corner, so we thought we’d highlight some of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains this summer.
1. BIKE CADES COVE
Experience Cades Cove by bike! The 11-mile loop road is closed to motor vehicles until 10:00 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday morning through September to allow bicyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the cove. Bring your own bike, or you can rent a bike at the Cades Cove Campground Store. Visit the campground store’s website at http://cadescovetrading.com/bikes/ for additional information. Biking is an awesome way to experience Cades Cove, especially at the height of summer in the morning, when many animals will be out.
2. HIKE TO A WATERFALL
Cades Cove has 3 stellar waterfalls that everyone should see if they have time during their visit. The most popular waterfall is Laural Falls, an 80 ft waterfall with an upper and lower section and the hike is 2.6 miles round trip. Abrams Falls Trail is a 5-mile round trip hike to a 20 ft beauty of a waterfall, where the water gushes over the edge and a beautiful pool of water creates gorgeous scenery. Lynn Prong Camp Cascades is 1.6 miles round trip and is considered easy.
3. TUBING THE LITTLE RIVER
You can be as lazy as you want floating down Little River in a rented inner tube. Let Mother Nature guide you down the meandering waterway past the rocks and trees or stand on the Swinging Bridge and people-watch as others gently sail under you.
4. TUCKALEECHEE CAVERNS
Known as the “Greatest Site Under the Smokies”, the caverns are the highest rated in the Eastern United States. They are estimated to be between twenty to thirty million years old and are rich in history and lore in recent years as well. The “BigRoom” is on one end of the tour and a football stadium could almost fit inside it. “SilverFalls” is on the other half of the tour and it falls 210 feet from top to bottom and is the tallest subterranean waterfall in the Eastern US. Millions of formations are viewed along the 1.25-mile round trip adventure.
5. FLY FISHING
Did you know there are over 800 miles of wild trout streams in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park? And little wonder; East Tennessee provides some of the most diverse fly fishing opportunities in the United States. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a fly fisher’s wonderland, and it’s literally minutes from our door in Townsend, Tennessee. Local knowledge goes a long way in truly experiencing the beauty and relaxation that can be found in these mountains. Ian and Charity Rutter, owners and guides at local R&R Fly Fishing, use their wealth of experience to teach people how to become a better fly fisher. To schedule instruction with them, call 865-448-0467 or email [email protected]. For all of your fly fishing gear needs, be sure to contact Little River Outfitters.