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2 day itinerary

Marlborough...
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2 day itinerary

thank you to everyone who has answered my questions. i think i have come up with an itinerary for our very brief trip into GSMNP.

it will be my husband and i (mid 30s, experienced but not expert hikers) and our 16 month old daughter. we're not bringing a stroller because we almost never use one anyways so she will be in a carrier one of our backs. she is also just learning to walk. normally she is a very good travel baby (i guess she's a travel toddler now) and will just go wherever we go and check things out. but with our short stay and having a toddler with us any hikes we do would be probably 2 miles or less round trip mainly because of time restraints.

please let me know if ive missed anything or any way to make this better!

also if anyone wants to tell the DO NOT MISSes on my list in case we run out of time.

thanks!

DAY 1:

-drive from Asheville, NC (Weaverville technically) on BRP towards Cherokee area.

-stop at Oconaluftee Visitor Center

-Mountain Farm Museum

-Mingus Mill

-Mingo Falls

-drive west to Clingman's Dove and up to the tower for a panaroma

-maybe hike to Andrew's Bald

-drive north to Roaring Fork Motor Trail and check that out

-overnight at Edgewater Hotel in Gatlinburg

DAY 2:

-Sugarlands visit center

-maybe stop at Chimney Tops area??? (is this a good place for a view? we cant actually do the CHimney Tops trail it looks too hard with a toddler)

-stop at Newfound Gap

-hike a bit on the Appalachian Trail to say we did

-Soco Falls

-be in Cataloochee for late afternoon/early evening to see elk rut and also check out the buildings there.

-drive BRP back to Asheville.

is there any "must do's" in Gatlinburg??

looking briefly online it looks very touristy. doesnt really look like anything of interest to us since we are mainly heading that way for the park.

im assuming there is a "downtown" area so maybe we will just walk around to get the flavor of the area.

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Asheville
Asheville
North Carolina Mountains, NC
Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg
Sevier County, TN
Chimney Tops
Chimney Tops
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: 2 day itinerary

That looks very good to me. After visiting Cataloochee I would take I-40 back to Asheville. It will be near dark and the Blue Ridge Parkway isn't real fun at night.

Edited: 12 August 2014, 01:31
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Asheville
Asheville
North Carolina Mountains, NC
Marlborough...
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2. Re: 2 day itinerary

ok thanks for the tip!

Natchitoches...
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3. Re: 2 day itinerary

I know others may have a different opinion, but if you're interested primarily in the park and scenery, then don't bother with Gatlinburg. The "flavor" will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Spending the night in town will be more than sufficient.

I agree with taking I-40 back to Asheville. When you exit Cataloochee and make your way back to the main road, you'll be right at the Maggie Valley exit, so it's easy to hop on right there. About an hour to get back if you go that way.

Not sure if your stops are listed in your intended order or not, but I would do Mingo Falls before stopping at Oconoluftee and Mingus Mill. That will prevent you from having to back-track too much. When you get off the BRP, head on into Cherokee, get a bite to eat (unless you're packing a lunch) and make sure your gas tank is full after the BRP. Visit Mingo, then head back into the park for the trek across Newfound Gap Road. Anything that you miss on Day 1 you can pick up on Day 2 when you come back that same route.

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Gatlinburg
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Asheville
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North Carolina Mountains, NC
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Newfound Gap Road
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
Melbourne, Florida
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4. Re: 2 day itinerary

Gatlinburg is very very touristy. However we usually spend our days in the park and evenings wandering around Gatlinburg. We usually people watch, have a nice dinner, maybe a couple drinks and off to bed. By the time we have driven around, hiked, walked, etc all day we are pretty tired. I do like Gatlinburg but its not for everyone. Living in Florida we have a lot of touristy stuff so I guess I am used to it. I have been there enough times to know to avoid the T-shirt shops and really junky stores. Days we don't visit the park we look for antique shops or out of the way places to check out. This year will probably be the Bush Bean Factory tour and maybe one of the Caverns.

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5. Re: 2 day itinerary

There are many good pull-offs for viewing the Chimney Tops. You will get several looks at them as you drive up from the Gatlinburg side. You can't see them from the Chimneys Picnic Area though.

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Chimney Tops
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
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Sevier County, TN
Chimneys Picnic Area
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN
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6. Re: 2 day itinerary

the AT heading out of Newfound Gap isn't all that interesting. it's the start of a sometimes steep climb up to Mt Kephart, too.... it's a lot of work for not much reward. it also get's pretty muddy at it's start --lots of folks have your same idea.

instead, go back to Clingman's Dome on your way out and head West (south) on the AT from the tower. there's more to see from there and you can make a short loop with the Bypass trail which heads back to the parking lot. you'll see the Bypass Trail when you doing your hike to Andrews Bald.

...just an idea.

Marlborough...
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7. Re: 2 day itinerary

thanks for all the tips. i reorganized my itinerary a bit. i think i will cross off hiking the AT from Newfound Gap and do it from Clingman's Dome instead. thank you for that tip.

as far as gas goes would the Cherokee area be the last stop for filling up the car before we get to Gatlinburg? there are no gas stations in the park correct?

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Gatlinburg
Sevier County, TN
Natchitoches...
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8. Re: 2 day itinerary

That's correct. No services within the national park. It's only about 35 miles or so from Cherokee to Gatlinburg, but the curvy mountain road will eat your gas mileage more than 35 miles on the interstate. Better to be sure you've got enough to get you across the mountain before you leave Cherokee, especially if you've been on the Blue Ridge Parkway, since it is another one of those curvy mountain roads with a low speed limit.

Edited: 13 August 2014, 02:10
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9. Re: 2 day itinerary

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