Blog

Gatlinburg, Great Smoky Mountains, Hiking, Staying Active

Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower

If you’ve never been to the Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower, you have to find it on your vacation! This hidden place in the Smoky Mountains is located in Cosby, TN. The tower is an old lookout building that offers gorgeous 360-degree views of the mountains. It was built by local laborers and the Civilian Conservation Corp in the late 1930s.

The hike to the tower and back is a total of 11.9 miles, but the views you’ll have will make every step worth it! Your hike will begin at the Low Gap Trailhead. The first 3 miles on Low Gap trail are tough, but doable for mid forties in good shape.

We parked in the marked biker parking just before the gatehouse at the Cosby campground. Bathrooms nearby in the picnic area just before this parking lot (can easily walk from hiker parking lot). We took the Low Gap Trail up to the Appalachian Trail, then followed signs to Mount Cammerer. The 2.9 miles of the Low Gap Trail are strenuous, all ascent and steep at times.

It’s uphill about 6 miles straight up but zig zagged. It’s hard to breathe. Total 5-6 hours, 35k steps, and 11.7 miles. 3.5 hours up, 2 hours down. Trail was wide and well marked, though lots of rocks and tree roots (spent as much time watching foot placement as looking around). Do not listen to reviews that it flattens out after 3. It is uphill all the way.

AT portion was easier as we walked Ridgeline. Rivals Mt le Conte. AMAZING views from around the restored tower. The Lower Mount Cammer Trail Added more than 5 miles to the return trip. Much narrower and less traveled trail through forest. Surprised to have ascent and descent on this trail. Watch the weather, cloudy mornings sometimes obstruct the view if you arrive too early. Clouds broke just as we reached the ridge around 11:45a. Put this hike on your must do list! The breathtaking view is insane and worth every single step.

Attractions, Gatlinburg, Shopping

Fallen Desires Tattoo Shop & Oddities

The handmade items inside the store will give you some different options or what the shops owner calls, oddities. Fallen Desires Tattoo Shop & Oddities is full of unique items you won’t find at any ordinary store. From skulls, taxidermy, to candle caskets and even witch’s ornaments for good luck it’s all inside. The owner said the goal of the store is to provide a place where artists can show off their work and express themselves through their art. 

“We’re giving artists just a space to showcase their work and catch that alternative lifestyle kind of customer and just having that space for them,” said Marsena Martinez, Fallen Desires Tattoo Shop & Oddities Owner. “It’s important to me because growing up as an artist and just wanting to express myself as who I am and what I love. For me, art is my everyday life.”

You’ll find this store in The Glades Center in the heart of the arts and crafts area.

600 Glades Rd #9 in Gatlinburg

Cars, Gatlinburg, Great Smoky Mountains, Hiking, History, Parks, Staying Active

Rusted Cadillac off of Middle Prong Trail

One more hidden gem you’ll see as you’re hiking in the Smoky Mountains is a rusted Cadillac. This sight is off of Middle Prong Trail, a difficult trail that is about 11 miles roundtrip. To get to the trailhead from the Townsend “Y” intersection, drive west on Laurel Creek Road towards Cades Cove. About two-tenths of a mile from the intersection, turn left and drive 2 miles to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. From the Institute, you’ll drive another 3.1 miles until you reach the far end of the road.

At the beginning of the trail, you’ll see beautiful rapids and small waterfalls along the hike. The Cadillac is about 1.9 miles from the trailhead. In the middle of the path, there is a small pile of rocks. Hikers have used these to mark where the Cadillac is off the trail. Look to the right and you’ll see a small footpath. You’ll follow this path for about 50 feet, and look behind fallen trees for a small clearing. The Cadillac is sitting right there! You won’t be able to see it from the trail, but you will know you’re in the right spot when you see rocks in the middle of the trail. The exact location is 35.61286, -83.64413.

This is an old car, probably from the 1920s or 1930s. The car isn’t fully intact, but all of the pieces sit together so you can easily tell it’s an old car. There aren’t any wheels left, but it’s cool to see a piece of history preserved in the middle of the woods.

Middle Prong Trail is located in Tremont, which used to be where logging took place. Little River Railroad and Lumber Company was located in Townsend in the 1900s, and they harvested most of the trees in the area, leaving it pretty bare for about 38 years. The trail actually follows along an old railroad path. There were several log camps in the area, so workers and families lived nearby. No one knows the history of this particular vehicle, but people assume it was from the Little River Railroad days.

Many people say this trail is ideal if you want to see waterfalls because it’s not heavily traveled and they are beautiful. You’ll pass beside 3 waterfalls along the trail, plus several cascades and cataracts. You’ll pass over a footbridge at the beginning of the trail. If you’re in the area during the spring and summer, you might see wildflowers along this portion of the trail. You’ll then come up on Lower Lynn Camp Falls, and a little farther down is Lynn Camp Falls. Then, you’ll be in the area where the secret Cadillac is!

middle prong trail

If you hike past this point, you will see other history markers. Continuing on Middle Prong Trail, there are old home remains. There is an old chimney from a home and remnants of the railroad. Around 4 miles from the trailhead, there is a small footpath that leads you to Indian Flats Falls.

You don’t want to miss out on finding the secret Cadillac along Middle Prong Trail.

At the end of the trail, you’ll see Indian Flats Falls, which is incredible to see in the winter.

Uncategorized

The Redneck Comedy Bus Tour

The Redneck Comedy Bus Tour: Click to visit website.

The Redneck Comedy Bus Tour lets you laugh your way through the Smoky Mountains. You’ll embark on a 2-hour, fun-filled ride through the Smoky Mountain area. The comedy is clean and very funny! The tour is also very informative. 

Guests will also enjoy a 15-minute rest stop at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler, so everyone gets a chance to stretch their legs, fill up what’s empty and empty what’s full. An optional complimentary VIP moonshine tasting to whet your whistle is also offered inside the distillery.

According to the company, the buses are BYOB, redneck attire is encouraged and snacks are never a bad idea! The tours depart from Cooter’s Place in Pigeon Forge and are open for all ages.

Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Tour | The Redneck Comedy Bus (theredneckbus.com)

Great Smoky Mountains, Hiking, Parks, Staying Active

Gourley’s Pond in Cades Cove:

This pond is often overlooked by visitors who come to Cades Cove.

Many have been to Gourley’s Pond in the Cove and wondered about those who lived near by. I’ve asked many a ranger and none have known about it’s history. The only name I’ve come up with is James Gourley and  that the “pond” is really a sinkhole as is the smaller “pond” just above and to the south of the larger  sinkhole.

There are some stone remains slightly to the southeast of the pond that may have been from a Tipton.

Gourley’s Pond is not visible from the Cades Cove Loop Road. You can leave your car at the LeQuite Cemetery after you pass the south end of Sparks Lane. From there, you’ll walk down the loop road for about 200 feet until you see the path on your right. Then, you’ll follow that path for about 100 feet until you see the pond.

A Pond in Cades Cove – GoSmokies (knoxnews.com)