A Hike To Spruce Flats Falls

Looking for a fun hike to a cool waterfall destination this winter? Consider one of the better-kept secrets in the Smokies—Spruce Flats Falls. One of the best things about this hike is that you don’t have to venture terribly far into the national park to find it, which makes it convenient to most of our cabins in Wears Valley.

You can go through either the Wears Valley or Townsend entrances to the national park. Once you’re in the park, head west toward the Great Smokies Institute at Tremont. Park in the lot and start up the gravel road, following the signs toward the falls. You’ll make a couple of turns along the way at various signposts, but as long as you follow the arrows toward the falls, you’ll be OK.

This trail, which is about a mile from start to finish, isn’t marked on most maps, but the path is unmistakable. The first two-thirds is moderately uphill, and once you crest the ridge, you’ll have a slightly steeper downhill trek as you near the falls. The falls themselves are 40 to 50 feet in height and cascade down multiple tiers of hillside before collecting in a pool at the bottom. You can approach as far as the pool itself at the bottom of the falls.

This is a moderately strenuous hike with some fairly steep uphill and downhill sections and sharp trail drop-offs. But most folks shouldn’t have trouble with it, and if you bring a camera, you’ll get some great pictures in the process. There are even some decent mountain views along the way. Happy hiking!

Cabin Of The Week – Close To Heaven

With dozens of Wears Valley cabin rentals to choose from, we offer plenty of choices for anyone looking for overnight accommodations in the Great Smoky Mountains. But we think that this two-bedroom chalet with incredible mountain views might help make your selection process a little easier.

Close To Heaven is located in the Hickory Hollow section of the valley and offers nice tree-framed views of the surrounding mountains, which you can view from the comfort of the cabin’s spacious deck. With two bedrooms (one king, one queen), the cabin can sleep as many as four adults, which makes it ideal for a small family getaway or perhaps a couple’s weekend outing.

Amenities include several features that were made just for the cool nights that have settled into the Smokies. Take a hot soak in the outdoor hot tub day or night, or add another log to the fire in the wood burning fireplace to keep the cabin’s interior cozy warm. Other features include a charcoal grill, washer/dryer, full kitchen, and a satellite TV with DVD player.

Located in scenic Wears Valley, less than 10 miles from Pigeon Forge, Close to Heaven makes it easy for you to get to all the things you’ll want to do in the Smokies during the holidays, from hiking in the national park to outlet mall shopping to checking out the Christmas shows at the music theaters. The cabin even has access to a catch-and-release fishing pond if you’re interested in a little outdoor recreation time.

The Best Of All Worlds

No matter what type of experience you may be seeking during a vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains, Volunteer Cabin Rentals is well positioned to help make your plans become a reality. Our location in scenic Wears Valley, TN, makes it convenient for you to access virtually any other destination in the region and without having to get involved in the heaviest arteries of traffic.

From Wears Valley, it’s only about a 10-minute drive to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood, and from there, it’s only another 10- or 15-minute drive to Sevierville or Gatlinburg, depending on which direction you take. If you want to get to the national park, you don’t even have to go through Gatlinburg. There’s an often-overlooked entrance to the park, smack in the middle of Wears Valley, which takes you directly to the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area in no time at all. From there, it’s a direct drive to Cades Cove and other park destinations.

From Wears Valley, you can also quickly get to historic and beautiful Blount County sites like Townsend, Tennessee, and if you continue further into Maryville, you can then easily access either Interstate 40 through Lenoir City or take a curvy ride on the famed Tail of the Dragon section of U.S. Highway 129.

Winterfest in Gatlinburg

If you’re staying in one of our Gatlinburg rental cabins this week, your timing is great. This week is the kickoff of Winterfest in Gatlinburg. It all gets started tomorrow night (11/7) with the city’s 23rd annual Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff from 5 to 8 p.m. on the downtown Parkway. In addition to lighting the city’s millions of Winterfest lights, area restaurants and other businesses will be competing for best-chili awards, while a Beatles tribute band provides entertainment.

Of course, Winterfest isn’t just this week. It continues with nearly four full months of special events and activities, all topped off with the dozens of Winterfest light displays. One of the most convenient and relaxing ways to see those lights is on the city’s Trolley Ride of Lights. These special trolleys take guests in heated comfort on a tour throughout the town. That means you don’t have to get out in traffic and burn gas money. The tours run through January 26, 2013.

Other Winterfest events in Gatlinburg include the Festival of Trees (11/20 – 11/24), the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Shows (11/21 – 11/25 and 11/26 – 12/2), Winter Magic tunes & Tales (11/23 – 12/22), Christmas On Ice (12/1 – 12/2) and the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade (12/7).

Volunteer Cabin Rentals