Smoky Mountain Outdoors Announces the Launch of Extreme Rafting Adventures

smoky-mountain-outdoors-heysmokiesPerfect for daring adventurers, Smoky Mountain Outdoors now offers an Upper Pigeon Extreme Rafting Adventure! This trip is for maximum of 3 people + your experienced raft guide.  You will take on the intense rapids of the Upper Section in a 10 foot raft instead of the standard 14 foot rafts!  You’ll be running go-for-it lines and surfing all the big waves and hydraulics so be prepared to GET WET!

Guests must be 12 years or older and able to swim! Previous experience recommended but not required.

Be one of the first to experience the new Upper Pigeon Extreme trip AND save $25!

Simply book any Upper Pigeon Extreme trip at and use the coupon code EXTREME25 to save $25 per person!  Offer expires May 15th, so RESERVE TODAY!

Newfound Gap Road Travel Advisory in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced a Newfound Gap Road resurfacing project that is expected to create delays from now until June 15, 2015. The 4.3-mile section to be resurfaced extends from Sugarlands Visitor Center south to Chimney’s Picnic Area.


Be alert for workers and expect a road shift on Newfound Gap Road near Carlos Campbell Overlook.

In addition to the repaving, several drainage culverts will be replaced and two retaining walls will be constructed near the Carlos Campbell Overlook. The contractor will temporarily shift the road to the west by 2 to 3 feet to accommodate a drill rig used for setting the structural parts of the retaining wall near the pullout just north of the main Carlos Campbell Overlook. This lower pullout will be closed for approximately two months while the retaining wall is being constructed, but the main, upper overlook will remain open.

Motorists should expect delays due to lane closures through June 15. There will not be any daytime lane closures from June 15 through August 15, but nighttime lane closures may occur throughout the project. After August 15, daytime lane closures will again be allowed through September 30. No work of any kind will be permitted on federal holidays or during the month of October. Daytime lane closures will resume from November 1 through December 17.

For the most current road closure information, please follow SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter or call 865-436-1200 x 631.


Welcome to the new Park Superintendent Cassius Cash!

The scenic drive along Newfound Gap Road is enjoyed by millions of people each year and we are pleased to have this opportunity to improve road conditions,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We have made every effort to minimize the inconvenience to park visitors traveling along the road to reach both park destinations and our gateway communities. The contract includes a variety of work restrictions selected to minimize lane closures during the busiest periods.”

In related news, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail will reopen for visitors to explore on May 1, 2015. This popular one-lane, one-way road passes several historic homes and inspiring waterfalls.

Gatlinburg’s Youth Trout Rodeo kicks off FREE Fishing Week in Tennessee for Kids on June 6


A young angler enjoys her first catch during FREE Fishing Day in Tennessee on June 6.

Gatlinburg’s Youth Trout Rodeo kicks off FREE Fishing Week in Tennessee for Kids on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at Herbert Holt Park. Registration for the free tournament begins at 7:30 a.m. at the park’s picnic pavilion. Weigh-in will be at 10:30 a.m.

For the tournament, kids can fish anywhere within the Gatlinburg city limits. Only children 12 and under will be allowed to fish in Herbert Holt Park’s specially dedicated stream for kids. Lots of terrific prizes will be awarded for four different age categories by generous sponsors of the event. Every participant  will receive a special bag of goodies!

For more information and rules on the 23rd Annual Youth Trout Rodeo, contact Ryan Hintz at the Gatlinburg Trout Rearing Facility at 865-436-4558.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA)  allows anyone of any age, resident or non-resident, to fish in Tennessee’s public waters for free without a license on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Youngsters ages 15 and under can continue to fish for free for the entire week until Friday, June 12, 2015. This is a great opportunity to unplug and introduce a young person to the enjoyment of our natural environment. The TWRA even offers a free First Fish Certificate to commemorate the special occasion at

For an awesome, professionally guided fishing experience in the Great Smoky Mountains, contact our friends at

Rafting & Rhythm Festival on June 6 at USA Raft Smoky Mountains on the Pigeon River

rafting-rhythm-festival-heysmokiesIt’s the 2nd Annual Rafting & Rhythm Festival on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at USA Raft Smoky Mountains in Hartford on the beautiful Pigeon River!

Enjoy a fun-filled day on the water listening to great music and all for a worthy cause! All proceeds from the day will benefit Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic in Sevierville.

Festival activities include white water rafting for ages 3 and up, an inflatable water slide and children’s challenge course, archery, vendors with children’s arts and craft activities, storytelling, contests and competitions, great food vendors and live music!

For those interested in a white water rafting trip on the Pigeon River, book your trip for Saturday, June 6 and receive a free wristband for all festival activities and a free festival t-shirt! To reserve your trip, call USA Raft Smoky Mountains at 423-487-4303.

If you don’t want to raft that’s okay too; just come on down to the river, soak up the sun and enjoy the fun! A $5 donation gets you a wristband for all festival activities and a $10 donation gets you the festival t-shirt (while supplies last). All-day music is free to the public!


Steve Brown and Hurricane Ridge to perform at Rafting & Rhythm Festival.

So put on your fun pants, grab your lawn chairs, blankets, a dry change of clothes if you plan to get wet, and plan for a great day in the beautiful outdoors at the Pigeon River!

Join Steve Brown and Hurricane Ridge, Kirk Fleta, and other music friends at the Rafting & Rhythm Festival for some of the best Americana, Bluegrass and Country music on the river!

Here’s the lineup of great entertainment:
11:00 am Northern Lights
12:00 noon Colby Greene and Fourth Generation
1:00 pm Wires and Wood
2:00 pm Kirk Fleta
3:00 pm Steve Brown and Hurricane Ridge
4:00 pm Robinella
6:00 pm Josh Dillon

For more info, check out their event page on Rafting & Rhythm Festival on Facebook!

About Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic has been providing medical and dental care to the uninsured residents and workers of Sevier County for 16 years. Mountain Hope currently has 20,000 patients of record. The Clinic is contacted by hundreds more patients each month in search of care they can afford.  Because patients are only asked to pay what they can afford based on income, the Clinic operates at a deficit for each patient seen. Your support helps keep Mountain Hope open to the children and adults who desperately need their services.

4 Fun Ways to Fight Cancer in the Smokies! The Countdown is on to Relay for Life on May 30

The countdown is on for Sevier County’s 16th Annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life event at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge on Saturday, May 30, 2015. And as we count down the days to the big event to celebrate, remember and fight back, we want you to know about four fun ways that you can help fight cancer in the Smokies


1. Attend Wine on the Lawn from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22 at Hillside Winery in Sevierville. Bring your blanket, listen to some great live music, play some lawn games and enjoy a delicious pig roast with all the fixings for $15 per plate that includes a wine glass so you can sip on some great wines. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Relay for Life of Sevier County. For more info, contact Hillside Winery at 865-389-9490.

2. Have dinner at Texas Roadhouse in Sevierville on Sunday, May 26 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. and they’ll donate 10% to Relay for Life. Visit the Relay for Life Facebook for more info.

3. Sign up for the Running Cancer Out of Town 5K Glow Run/Walk on Friday, May 29 at 9:00 p.m. at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge. Register online at or sign up on race day starting at 6:30 p.m.

4. Come out and enjoy all the fun Relay for Life events on Saturday, May 30 at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge. Here is a schedule of  events for the day:

7:30 – 9:30 a.m.   $5 Pancake Breakfast at Old Mill Pottery House Cafe & Grill
10:00 a.m.  Opening Ceremony
11:00 a.m.   Survivor and Caregiver Celebration Ceremony
11:30 a.m.   Live Entertainment, Great Food Concessions, Kids Fun Zone with Games & Inflatables and More
8:45 p.m.    Luminaria Ceremony
9:00 p.m.    Live Auction
9:15 p.m.     Womanless Beauty Pageant

Many individuals and businesses in our community join together to make Relay for Life Sevier County one of the top Relay events in the country! For more information visit

How did the worldwide Relay for Life movement get started?relay-for-life-why-not-heysmokies
Back in May 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt of Tacoma, Washington ran and walked a local track for 24 hours straight helping to raise $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. The next year over 340 supporters joined Dr. Klatt for another overnight event. Since that time Relay for Life has grown into worldwide movement raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.