Smoky Mountains, TN

7 Hidden Gems in the Smoky Mountains

If you’re planning a trip to the Smokies, you already know exceptional attractions and outdoor adventures abound.  If you dig a little deeper, though, you’ll uncover some unexpected hidden gems in the Smoky Mountains!

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg

Mark the changing years with a stop at the world’s only Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum.  This hidden gem houses more than 20,000 pairs of shakers spanning five centuries!

Friendly Falls

Friendly Falls is a stunning little spot in the Smokies.  Located in Wears Valley, this roadside attraction features a gorgeous waterfall as a perfect backdrop for group events or family reunions.  It boasts a “rockin” shop filled with local artisan wares, goodies, unique rocks and more.   It also has a creek side mining flume for those searching for authentic hidden gems!

Elkmont Ghost Town

Everyone loves a good ghost town and Elkmont in Sevier County delivers.  Settled as “Little River” in the 1840s, Elkmont became a logging camp at the turn of the century and then an exclusive vacation community known as the Appalachian Club.  In 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established. The residents of Elkmont became displaced or took lifetime leases on their properties.  By 1992, most leases had expired, leaving roughly 70 abandoned buildings.  Many of these have been razed or restored for exploration.  Wandering through the deserted area is really cool (and a little bit eerie)!

America’s Longest Swinging Bridge at Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park

Imagine meandering across more than 70 feet of swinging bridge high above the Little Pigeon River… that’s more than a football field! You’ll find this hidden gem and a multitude of other log, covered and cable bridges at beautiful Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park.

Walker Sisters Place

Tucked into the pristine wilderness of the Smokies is the homestead of the Walker Sisters.  It’s a snapshot of rural 19th and 20th century mountain life and one family’s unique story.  In 1946, the Walker Sisters and their rustic lifestyle were featured in the Saturday Evening Post, prompting years of visitors to the homestead.  The Walker Sisters legacy lives on at this charming but now vacant hidden gem in the woods.

Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens

In the middle of Gatlinburg is a hidden gem you may not have considered (thus the title of hidden gem!).  Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens is an impressive must-do.  Guests can walk through life-sized representations of the Biblical world of 2000 years ago.  It’s both beautiful and inspirational!

Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower

If outdoor adventure is your thing, you’ll love the hike to Mt. Cammerer.  The stone fire lookout tower is perched at a rough elevation of 4900 feet and offers 360-degree views of the breathtaking Smokies.  Grab your boots and make your way to Mt. Cammerer!

 

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