The Tremont Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

… feeling great in TREMONT!

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The Tremont ranger district is found in the northwest section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This former logging community is now home to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont which has a small visitor center and bookstore.

A self-guided Auto Tour, describing the amazing logging history of Tremont, is available. The tour is on a gravel road (closed in winter) for three miles beyond the Institute. A tour booklet is available from a box on the roadside.

Getting There

From Townsend – 2 miles via Laurel Creek Road.
From Cades Cove – 7 miles via Laurel Creek Road.
From Sugarlands Visitor Center – 17.5 miles via  Little River Road to Laurel Creek Road at the Townsend “Y”.

Fishing in Tremont

Middle Prong Creek and all its tributaries feature an abundant wild trout population. A Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license is required within park boundaries and may be acquired at nearby communities or online from North Carolina at ncwildlife.org or in Tennessee at tn.wildlifelicense.com.

Hiking in Tremont

Lumber Ridge Trail – Climbs out of the drainage at Tremont Institute heading east 4 miles to its junction with Meigs Creek trail.
Lynn Camp Prong Trail – Begins where Tremont road dead ends three miles south of Tremont Institute. Lynn Camp Prong is a lovely walk any time of year with many fine views of waterfalls and cascades. From the trailhead walk south 1.3 miles to Middle Prong Trail or continue on to Lynn Camps terminus at Miry Ridge 3.7 miles from the parking area.
West Prong Trail – Beginning on the west side of the Middle Prong from Tremont Institute, West Prong strikes a path west 2.7 miles to its junction with Bote Mountain Trail.

Horses in Tremont

Lynn Camp Prong trail has ample parking for horse trailers three miles upstream from Tremont Institute. This trail is a former logging railroad bed wide enough for two horses to walk abreast. Lynn Camp Prong is a lovely ride any time of year with many fine views of waterfalls and cascades. From the trailhead ride south 1.3 miles to Middle Prong trail or continue on to Lynn Camp Prongs terminus at Miry Ridge 3.7 miles from the parking area.

Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremontgreat-smoky-mountains-institute-tremont-heysmokies

This non-profit organization is the only residential education center in the National Park. Their partnership with the park allows them to work with park rangers and scientists to develop and deliver educational experiences like no other. The Smokies provide an awe-inspiring classroom through all four seasons for everyone ages 5 to 95. With a variety of excellent programs for schools, colleges and universities, the Institute also hosts  adult and family workshops, teacher workshops, summer youth camps, and citizen science programs. The Institute at Tremont programs  are a life changing experience for anyone, most especially a young person. For more information on programs and to register,  visit gsmit.org. Financial aid is available.

Tremont History

tremont-logging-heysmokiesThe Tremont area was once a thriving community for generations of mountain pioneers. In 1901 the Little River Logging Company began buying land and a clear cutting frenzy began. For the next three decades they sawed, skidded, and hauled away one of the greatest old-growth, deciduous forests on Earth. Tremont was the last area of the National Park to be logged and almost two thirds of the trees were removed before the advent of the Park.

 

 

 

Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville

ijams-nature-center-heysmokiesVisit Ijams Nature Center and find out why people love it so much! Ijams is a wild place filled with rocks, rivers, trees, trails, owls and salamanders. Visitors of all ages and ability can hike, bike, paddle, stroll, learn or simply enjoy the day. Ijams is a sanctuary for all visitors to learn and connect with the natural world and be made better by that connection – a place where living with the earth and caring for the earth become one and the same.

Ijams Nature Center is a member and visitor-supported nonprofit organization. Your generous support is needed to continue the ongoing legacy for generations to come.

Where to find Ijams Nature Centerironweed-butterfly-urban -wilderness-knoxville-heysmokies

2915 Island Home Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37920

Approximately three miles from downtown Knoxville. Please call 865-577-4717 if you need special assistance with directions.

  • From Downtown Knoxville via Gay Street – Take the Gay Street bridge south and turn left onto Sevier Avenue. Follow Sevier Avenue; after passing through two traffic lights turn left onto Island Home Avenue. Follow Island Home Avenue, which turns right by the entrance to Island Home Park. Follow green directional signs to Ijams, approximately 1.5 miles on your left.
  • From I-40 West –  
 Take James White Parkway Exit 388A. 
Continue on in two left lanes down James White Parkway
, cross over the Tennessee River and take the Sevier Ave/Hillwood Dr. exit. 
 Turn left onto Sevier Ave. (turns into Hillwood Drive)
. Turn right onto Island Home Ave. at bottom of hill. 
Ijams is approximately 1 mile on the left.
  • From I-40 East –  Take James White Parkway Exit 388A
. Merge onto James White Parkway, cross over the Tennessee River and take the Sevier Ave/Hillwood Dr. exit. 
Turn left onto Sevier Ave. (turns into Hillwood Drive). Turn right onto Island Home Ave. at bottom of hill.
  Ijams is approximately 1 mile on the left.

Hours

THE GROUNDS AND TRAILS ARE OPEN EVERY DAY FROM 8:00 AM UNTIL DUSK.
The Visitor Center, including exhibits, gift shop, offices and restrooms is open during the following times:
Monday – Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 11 am to 5 pm
Admission: Free. However, they gladly accept and are grateful for cash donations, especially in U.S. currency. Seriously though, Ijams is a nonprofit organization, supported in part by the City of Knoxville, grants, program fees and the generosity of its members and visitors. If you enjoy your visit please support them.

Ijams is Dog Friendly!

You’ll find a Pet Welcome Station near the Visitor Center with leash holders and a doggy water fountain. For everyone’s enjoyment they ask that pets keep their owners leashed at all times.dog-playing-heysmokies

Please Pick Up After Your Pooch! Poop bag stations can be found near the Visitor Center and pet waste bags are for sale in the gift shop.

Hiking

Ijams is a 300-acre urban greenspace featuring over 12 miles of natural surface trails plus a stretch of the Will Skelton Greenway. All of the trails are hiker friendly, although 9+ miles incorporating Mead’s Quarry and the Ross Marble Natural Area serve both hikers and mountain bikers.

When you visit, pick up a trail map at the Visitor Center (only $1) and experience Ijams’ beautiful landscape featuring trails, woodlands, meadows, ponds, and an extensive boardwalk along the Tennessee River bank.

Ijams is also part of South Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. This urban greenspace incorporates 1,000-forested acres along downtown’s south waterfront. It creates an exceptional recreation and historic corridor inviting residents and visitors to experience the special character-defining assets of our city. With over 40 miles of multi-use trails, 10 parks, four civil war sites, incredible views, and unparalleled natural features, this unique area provides a premiere outdoor experience. Check out the links below for detailed maps of sections of the Urban Wilderness.

Biking

Explore the expansive multi-use trails at the Ross Marble Natural Area, Mead’s Quarry and Will Skelton Greenway. Ijams has teamed up with the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club to create 9 miles of beginner-intermediate bike trails weaving through rugged terrain, undisturbed woodlands, and along the former quarry gorge. Explore the Ross Marble Quarry loop with unforgettable views from the rock bridge and below through the “keyhole”.

Urban Wilderness

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Experience Mead’s Quarry Lake by canoe or paddle board!

Close to downtown, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness presents a unique urban experience for hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners! Designed and championed by Legacy Parks Foundation, phase 1 of the Urban Wilderness project is the South Loop, 35 miles of natural surface trails connecting five parks and natural areas along with public and private lands creating an unparalleled outdoor venue! The South Loop connects Ijams, Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, William Hastie Natural Area and Marie Myers Park with trailheads and parking along the route. The main trail along the 11.5 mile loop features easy to moderate trails for all users. An additional 24 miles of secondary trails accommodates users from beginner to advanced on dozens of trails of varying terrain. Whether on foot or on a bike, plan on experiencing the splendors of the trail today!

For more information visit Ijams Nature Center.

Smoky Mountain resident announce’s launch of new website to promote the best of the Great Smoky Mountains

 

Sevierville, Tennessee – Sevierville resident announces the launch of HeySmokies.com, a new website for visitors and locals that showcases area special events, businesses, and highlights the very best activities and places to visit in the Smoky Mountains region.