Smoky Mountain Outdoors Whitewater Rafting

smoky-mountain-outdoors-whitewater-raftingThe Pigeon River, located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, offers breathtaking scenery and exciting whitewater rafting thrills! This magnificent river begins in North Carolina and continues through Tennessee. Experience white water rafting in Tennessee and raft through class 3 to 4 rapids.

I have heard good reviews about white water rafting in the Smokies form our guest book and from TripAdvisor.  I also have received an e mail from a past guest who said white water rafting was their favorite thing to do.  They said they would definitely recommend Smoky Mountain Outdoors.  I have not done white water rafting in the Smokies but I have in other areas.  Maybe I will take my kids next time.  I have heard that the views and the guides in this outfit are great.  This is about an hour from our cabin.

Reservations – 3435 Teaster Lane Pigeon Forge, TN 37863  1-800-771-7238

Website –

Address – 3299 Hartford Road, Hartford, TN 37753


Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Bryson Train ride

The train ride is along side the Nantahala gorge and Fontana Lake.   The ride is great weather you are a “TRAIN” lover or just a lover of Nature.  Scenery is beautiful.  Great trip during October when leaves are changing.  Meals in first class are very good according to the reviews.

By the time you get tickets and take the trip, plan on a six hour day.   There is a stop over where you can stretch your legs.  The train goes from Bryson City to Nantahala Outdoor Center and back.  They offer free admission to the train museum afterwards which is cool. Car parking is $5.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railway has launched its steam engine powered train. It is really cool. Departs Bryson for either Nantahala Gorge or Dillsboro.

This is a  couple of hours from the cabin.   But, could be a nice scenic day trip.

Address –  226 Everett Street, Bryson City, NC 28713

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Cherokee Indian Reservation

We went to the Chrokee Indian Village early in the morning. The “indian reservation” is basically an outdoor museum, at each booth people explain what they are doing. There is a village set up with a guide at each stop. You will be given a walking tour with a personal guide as well. Then, you can sit and enjoy all the demonstrations. They do get the audience involved. On site you will find the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Oconaluftee Indian Village, “Unto These Hills” Outdoor Drama (scene reenactments, indian dances, etc…), Qualla Co-op Arts (blow dart demonstrations, pottery making, etc…) and Crafts (weaving-spinning-grinding techniques), souvenir shops, and other family attractions. I enjoyed the dancing and the song they sing to the dancing most of all. The reservation is located adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. It is home to more than 12,500 members of the Cherokee Indian nation. The village is small and does not take long to go through.

There is a River park nearby that is free and got good reviews.

This is not something that I would take a trip to do again. If you are on the NC side, you may want to stop in. We know someone who is Cherokee, so it was neat for us to see some of her history.

We went early in the morning, went through some shops on the NC side, hit Clingman’s Dome on the way back. I wish we had also stopped at Mingus Mill on the way back.

Address – 398 US Highway 441, Cherokee, NC 28719
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Attractions, Hiking, History, Parks

Mingus Mill

Just a few hundred feet off of US441, and just a 1/2 mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitor’s Center you’ll find the Mingus Mill. The mill still works and is water powered (it is not a water wheel). The Park Service Volunteers grind both wheat and corn and sell the fruit of their labor. Youngsters will have a great time heading upstream from the mill to play in the water.

The mill itself, and nearby creek are both highly photogenic. There are usually lots of butterflies and dragonflies in the area as well, allowing for many nature shots as well. Hawks and other birds can also be found in the mill area.

I would suggest going to Clingman’s Dome and this mill all in one day. It’s not the kind of thing you make the whole trip to go to, but if you’re there, it’s worth stopping. Lots of wildflowers, wildlife and historic buildings along the way. It is a short easy walk. It is also educational.

Address – 1/2 Mile North of Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC
Website –