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Need Advice

Ontario, Canada
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Need Advice

I have to choose my vacation time for the first half of 2010 (yes 2010!!) We have never been to the Smokies, but are considering spring of 2010.

We want to avoid the Spring Rod run. I know the date for 2009, but can't find the 2010 date. Can anyone help? We'd prefer to avoid crowded dates ( Easter is April 4 2010)

Anyone know the date of the wildflower pilgrimage in 2010?? Does this attract really large crowds?

We love moderate hiking and waterfalls. When is it warm enough for nice hiking?

We are considering mid to late April 2010 or early May. Any input you can give us would be immensely helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Grove City, Ohio
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1. Re: Need Advice

I am pretty sure that the Rod Runs are about the same weekends every year. Maybe if you call the hotels that are hosting this year's shows, they can tell you when the ones for next year will be.

The same goes for the Wildflower events and most other yearly events. They are usually at the same time year after year.

If you come at the time that you are considering, the weather should be nice enough for hiking. As far as avoiding crowds, it is best if you can come during the week.

I hope this helps you choice. You will love the Smokies.

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2. Re: Need Advice

The pilgrimage does not attract large crowds; the only nature-related increase in crowds that I know of is the autumn foliage.

April and May will be fine for hiking. There are plenty of moderate trails all areas of the park, many to waterfalls; spring is a good time for water flow. Here's an incomplete list of some waterfall trails you could consider: Porter's Creek (Fern Branch Falls), Baskins Creek Trail, Abrams (A.M. hike), Laurel (A.M. hike), Sprue Flatts, Hen Wallow...

If you're figuring out where to stay: If the main focus of your visit is the national park and you don't want to deal with traffic or stay in a more commercialized gateway town, you could stay in one of the smaller outlying towns like Townsend, Wear Valley, Cosby, Maggie Valley, or Bryson City. If you'd like to be able to spend time in Gatlinburg but don't want to stay there, Wear Valley is one convenient option, and Cosby and Townsend would be doable as well. And, of course, you could stay right in Gatlinburg (or Pigeon Forge, I suppose).


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3. Re: Need Advice

The rod run dates are about the same each year. Going in the middle of the week will be less crowded. I would not go at the end of May cause thats when school will be letting out and a lot of vacations will be starting. I wouldn't go the beginning of April either cause the past few years thats the time we would go up there and all it done (every year) is rain, rain, rain! Last year we pretty much spent the whole 4 days inside the cabin we rented. Because it was cold, raining and foggy. But I can say one thing not many people were up there at the begining of April last year. (maybe all that rain kept them home)

Knoxville, Tennessee
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for Pigeon Forge
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4. Re: Need Advice


Glad you coming to the hills for your vacation. Crowds can be a problem here especially on weekends, most of October and much of the summer. Holidays of course are very busy also.

I would lean towards early May vs April just to have better odds of good weather but would not push far into the month as school lets out early in some areas and the traffic will be heavier then.

Pick up a local map and study the back roads that will allow you to bypass much of the traffic. Also I would avoid staying to far outside of the P-forge/Gatlinburg area to avoid having to drive into/out of town in the traffic each time you come in.

As for hiking the falls mentioned abov are good trails. Take your swim trunks to Abramss falls if you want to take a chilly swim in the large pool there. Rainbow and Grotto falls are also pretty nice. My favorite hike and the one offering the best views anywhere in the park (when clouds are not low) is Charlie's Bunion. For it park at Newfound Gap and take the App Trail north. Take something for a picnic and a great view on the rock ourcropping if you can get there without anyone else there.

Have a great trip,


5. Re: Need Advice

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