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 (

Attractions, Food, Shopping

Dillsboro Chocolate Factory

chocolatesVisitors can enjoy the complete line of Dillsboro Chocolate Factory’s award winning chocolates and smooth creamy fudge.  The Chocolate Factory makes some of the finest chocolate treats around using only gourmet single bean Venezuelan cocoa for all of its tasty treats. Specialties include Smoky Mountain Truffles and Shooters, along with a wide assortment of dipped and molded chocolates available in milk, dark and white chocolate.

The Smoky Mountain Truffles are all named for iconic places in the Smokies like Chimney Tops, Cades Cove, Cold Mountain and Black Rock. Each flavor of truffle has a unique recipe. Chimney Tops is a chai tea truffle flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, black tea and cloves. This truffle earned first place in the 2009 Taste of Chocolate show in Waynesville, NC. There are over a dozen original Smoky Mountain Truffle flavors available.

DarkTurtleShooters are the newest line of fine chocolates created by the Dillsboro Chocolate Factory. Shooters take the award winning Ganache  (chocolate cream filling) recipe used in making the truffles and adds a touch of spirits to create interesting new flavors.  Fire Jack shooters are made with milk chocolate Ganache infused with cinnamon and Jack Daniels.  Apple Martini shooters are made with white chocolate Ganache infused with Apple Pucker and apple cider.

The Chocolate Factory’s Wild Turkey shooter earned first place honors in the Professional Division at the 2012 Taste of Chocolate held in Maggie Valley, NC. Wild Turkey shooters start with creamy milk chocolate Ganache infused with caramel, fine crushed pecans and of course real Wild Turkey 101. As a final touch, the Wild Turkey shooter is topped with the Dillsboro Chocolate Factory’s own butter toffee.

While the truffles and shooters are delicious, the heart of the Dillsboro Chocolate Factory is the handmade chocolates and fudge. There are dozens of flavors of handmade chocolate and fudge treats.

For more adventurous chocolate lovers there is a specialty line of savory chocolates each made with spices. These include hot spicy Aztec bars, Cajun chocolate and a unique ginger chocolate. Every now and then the Chocolate Factory offers Caribbean Jerk chocolate as well as whole peppercorn chocolate bars.

For fudge lovers there are more than a dozen flavors made each week in Dillsboro and brought over to Pigeon Forge as well as the Beef Jerky Outlet stores in the area. Summer fun flavors include watermelon and key lime pie which is made with real Key Lime juice from Key Largo, Florida with an original recipe graham cracker crust . Of course there is always good old plain chocolate fudge as well.

Courtesy of PR Web

The Pigeon Forge location will be closing at the beginning of August 2014.

Address – 2726 Parkway Unit 4A , Pigeon Forge TN  37863

Website –


“Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge.”


We visited Cades Cove in late August 2013.  We turned off the main road onto a side road.  There was a mother deer and her baby frolicking in a field.  It was really cute to see them play together like that.

We headed back onto the loop to go to the area where they have a homestead set up.  We hit a bear jam (This is basically a whole bunch of cars parked along the road and holding up traffic).  There was a little baby cub in a field running toward the front of our car.  We were so close to that baby.  I was wondering where the mother was.  We did not get out.  We drove a little further and saw a big bear up in a tree.  It was just lounging around like it didn’t have a care in the world.  We drove down the road and saw an adolescent bear eating berries.  Evidently, the nuts they usually eat are not ready at that time of year yet.  So, they are all coming out to eat the berries off of the trees.  We went to the area with all the homesteads and the mill and we saw another bear up a tree.  That is the most bears I have ever seen in the Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Cades Cove is a must when visiting the area.petchallenge

Attractions, Parks

Cades Cove in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Cades CoveThe Cades Cove Loop is located a few miles beyond the Townsend Park entrance.  Cades Cove is 6,800-acres nestled in a beautiful isolated valley in the East Tennessee section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is a representative sample of this Park’s natural and cultural history as well as its recreational opportunities. Open fields lap against 5,500-foot mountain peaks. With more than 2.5 million visitors annually, it is the Park’s most popular destination. Most people come to Cades Cove to observe the wildlife such as white-tailed deer, black bear, raccoon, turkeys, woodchucks, and other animals. Cades Cove offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park.

I have been to Cades Cove and only seen one Elk the entire time I was there. But, There are ranger talks, homesteads, cemeteries, etc.  There are actually 14 cemetaries in Cade’s Cove.  However, only 11 have been found.  

Bear, deer and elk inhabit the mountains surrounding the valley and often traverse the wide fields in an effort to get from one side to the other, to graze or just enjoy the sun on their fur.  I have been to Cades Cove and only seen one Elk the entire time I was there. I have also been to Cades Cove and seen 4 different bear sightings. Also see my blog post on Odis Abbott. This place is a definite for me every time I visit the area.

Web address –
Location – about 23 miles of twisting roads from Sugarlands Visitor Center

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Odis Clinton Abbott

He was kind enough to get a picture with us at the Primitive Baptist Church in Cades Cove
He was kind enough to get a picture with us at the Primitive Baptist Church in Cades Cove

We had one of the best trips to Cades Cove we have ever had.  We stopped at the Primitive Baptist Chursh on our loop tour.  We met a man that was born in Cades Cove and lived there until he was 13 years old.  He was born in 1919.  The mans name was Odis Clinton Abbott.  Everyone called him Clinton until he went away to WWII and they asked for his first name and middle initial.  Then, he started using Odis.  His family owned 69 acres.  they received $5,200.00 for their land.  He told us the best book to read about their displacement was a book by Durwood Dunn “The Life and Death of a Southern Appalachian Community”.  His family moved just outside the cove not far away when they were displaced by the government.  He said he felt that the government was not fair in their dealings with the Cade’s Cove residents.  But, he thought the government thought they were being fair.  He now has 3 kids and 6 grandchildren.

When we returned to our cabin, my sister started reading a book called “Mounain Home”.  There he was as a child on page 48.  He was pulling his little sister in a wagon.  We found a you tube video about a tour in Cades Cove and there he was talking about the Cove.  We all thought that it was really neat.  How awesome would it be if you could get a tour of Cades Cove from someone who actually lived there.  He said the valley had a lot less trees when he lived there.  There were small trees on the outskirts of the valley, but nothing like you see today.

We also found information on the descendants of Elmer and Ella Tipton Abbott in various books and on the internet.  We were very thankful to this gentleman for speaking to us.  His tales and mannerisms were fascinating.