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Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

Norwood, OH
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Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

We'll be down that way this Wednesday through Saturday and have been to Cades Cove, Roaring Fork Motor Trail and Clingman's Dome many times. We want to explore some place we've never been. I've heard some good things about Mingo Falls. Is this in the same area as Mingus Mill? We've never been to either. What about stopping at Cherokee? Would that take all day and how is the drive from Gatlinburg. I'm kinda wimpy when it comes to driving in the mountains, but hate to pass up on something worth seeing. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!

kentucky
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1. Re: Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

Go to the Elkmont community and explore the restored cabins. It's a few miles past the Sugarlands Visitor Center. In the same area as the Elkmont Campgrounds.

kentucky
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2. Re: Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

I forgot to mention that you can google Elkmont and read about the history of the community. Also the Greenbriar area in the Metcalf Bottoms area. The Walker sisters cabin and the Greenbriar Schoolhouse and cemetery are located there. The road into the schoolhouse is narrow and the cabin is about a 1/2 - mile trail from the school and cemetery. Once again you can google or ask about the places at the visitors center.

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3. Re: Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

Visit the Greenbriar area, just east of Gatlinburg, or Cosby further to the east. There are plenty of trails and creeks to explore. Maybe drive out to the Foothills Parkway toward I-40. There are some spectacular views of the eastern peaks of the Smokies like Mt. Cammerer.

Dayton, Ohio
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4. Re: Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

A great place to explore is the Mingus Mill area & the early farm at the visitor center just before you arrive in Cherokee. The museum at the farmstead is very interesting & informs the public about the early settlers in the area.

Cherokee itself is pretty tacky, but that can be fun. There are several interesting places to learn about the Cherokee heritage & history.

If you are so inclined there is also a Native American casino.

Savannah, Georgia
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for Gatlinburg, Maggie Valley, Pigeon Forge
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5. Re: Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

If you're going to Cherokee, be sure to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway. You could ride it to Maggie Valley or Waynesville, then take 19 back to Cherokee, or I-40 back to TN.

TN
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6. Re: Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

Ever been to Cataloochee? Narrow unpacked road for a ways, but neat opportunity to see the elk if you time it correctly,

We liked going to Mingus Mill and the falls. There is also a visitor center near there that is worth the trip as well. I'm not a fan of Cherokee, but if you do the above you are practically there so might as well go to say you've been :)

Paris, Tn
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for Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge
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7. Re: Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

Who ever said Cherokee was tacky? Cherokee has some great little shops to browse through for a wide selection of gifts....(many of native American culture & theme) There's a nice river there to either fish from or picnic next to the river. Also nice to feed the many ducks. There IS the HARRAH'S casino....a very informative museum of the CHEROKEE Indians. Personally, a trip to the smokie mountains would not be complete without at least one stop in CHEROKEE.

Rockford, Illinois
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8. Re: Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

Mingo Falls is off of Big Cove Rd near Cherokee. This link gives directions:

nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/mingo-falls.htm

North Carolina
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9. Re: Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

Cataloochee is one of the loveiest parts of the Smokies, but the road out there is not for those who describe themselves as 'wimpy when it comes to driving in the mountains'. I agree that Cherokee overall is NOT tacky. The museum of the Cherokee Indians and the arts & crafts shop adjacent to it are filled with fascinating history and beautifu hand made local crafts. Nothing tacky about that! Also, plenty of people enjoy tubing on the creek there.

Melbourne, Florida
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for Melbourne, Florida
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10. Re: Looking for a new part of The Smokies to explore.

If you have never driven all the way thru the park to Cherokee, that in itself is worth doing. Pick up the brochure for the drive (it tells you what the mile markers mean, what is coming up). There are quiet walkways, picnic areas, great pulls offs for viewing and photos. Make a day of it, spend some time in Cherokee, Mingo Falls are in Cherokee and well worth seeing. On the way back look for Elk and other wildlife at the Oconaluftee visitors center. Or as suggested take a tour on the BRP. Stop at Graveyard Fields, another great waterfall. You can get your feet wet at this one. Then cut up thru Waynesville and take I-40 back. Its a nice day trip.

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