Around and Around We Go
Trip Start Jun 07, 2013
6Trip End Jun 16, 2013
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We started out at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, where we stocked the kids up with their National Parks Passport book (there’s a sticker to collect at each National Park you visit and then a date/place stamp at each visitor center you visit within a Park) and a Jr
We stopped off at the Cades Cove Visitor Center for a picnic lunch and to take the Mill Area walking tour. There was a working water wheel, blacksmith shop, barn, and a multitude of other historic buildings. The water wheel was actually being used to grind corn into corn meal. The kids were mesmerized watching it. We then decided to cut over and look at Fontana Dam, but after traversing 10 miles down a gravel road we found out it was a dead end and the road we needed to take was closed. So we turned back around and made the long trek back out the way we came
Making our way to the Foothills Parkway, we decided to take the less traveled, long way around to the Dam. This is a great road for getting up high and getting panoramic views of the mountains. However, about a quarter of the way into the journey we realized we were still quite a ways out from the dam. It was about 4pm, had started to rain and the kids were getting restless from sitting in the car practically all day, so we decided to turn around and hit the Dixie Stampede dinner show. Of course, when I called for tickets it was sold out already. Instead we went to Calhoun’s for a barbeque dinner. Eh, it was so-so. By the time we were done it was pouring out, so we headed back to the cabin and called it a night.
We spent about 7 hours in the park, only saw a small portion of it, and didn’t get out much to do any actual hiking. So now we have to better plan how to see the most of the park, while still getting out more and doing some hiking. There are several waterfalls in the park, and the hikes to get to them can range anywhere from 2 to 8 miles roundtrip. The many hiking trails are any mileage you could want, but since we have the kids with us, we probably won’t hit any that are longer than 3 miles roundtrip.