I'm trying to throw together a somewhat last minute trip to the Smoky Mountains for spring break - last week of March. We are a family of 4 - Mom, Dad, and 2 boys ages 12 and 15. Both boys are scouts and enjoy hiking, though Mom and Dad prefer to keep to easy to moderate trails. We are looking to relax, hike, and maybe visit Dollywood and Gatlinburg but not stay in the middle of the touristy parts of town. I'm looking at renting a cabin in Wears Valley.
A couple of questions -
1) Looking at a map, it seems we'd be okay with exploring the park on the TN side even with the 441 road closure. We're coming from Chicago so I wasn't really planning on driving to the NC side for this trip. Does that seem accurate?
2) On the NPS site for the Smoky Mountains, I see a lot of references to other seasonal road closures and the possibility of trails being washed out. For light to moderate hiking trails in the
vicinity of Townsend/Wears Valley, will this be a concern?
3) Wears Valley seems to be a good location for a quieter experience but still with easy access to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg for attractions should we want to go there. Agreed?
Thanks for any feedback... I'm usually an obsessive planner and work on trips for months, but we're winging this one a bit.