North America’s Longest Footbridge

Gatlinburg sky bridge is America's longest footbridge.

Gatlinburg sky bridge is America’s longest footbridge. Photo credit: wideopencountry.

North America’s Longest Footbridge. Gatlinburg Sky Bridge Opens May 17, 2019. When you travel to Gatlinburg you will have no trouble finding the sky bridge towering above the city. The bridge is over 1,800 feet above sea level on the crest of Crockett Mountain and can be accessed by the iconic and historic Gatlinburgskylift downtown.

The five foot wide bridge is not for the faint of heart. Those that dare to take this challenge will be rewarded with amazing views of beautiful Mount LeConte and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The bridge is 700 feet long and showcases a glass bottom section at the highest point. Hold on tight!

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Fourth Annual Appalachian Bear Fest

Appalachian Bear Fest 2019 will be fun for the entire family!

Appalachian Bear Fest 2019 will be fun for the entire family!

Fourth Annual Appalachian Bear Fest is scheduled for Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 11 a.m. til 3 p.m. at the ABR Visitor and Education Center, 121 Painted Trillium Way in Townsend, TN. This family friendly event benefits the Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) in Townsend.

Come join the fun at the fourth annual Appalachian Bear Fest. This year will be celebrating International Black Bear Day with live music, Fisher Farm Petting Zoo, Lynne McCoy’s Live Critters, delicious food, plenty of kid’s games and a whole lot of Black Bear Education. Black Bear experts will be on hand to share their knowledge on  Black Bears and the National Park.

The Zoo Knoxville will bring some of their Reptiles to teach a Happening Herpetology Class as part of the event (pre-registration required). Who does not love the chance to handle some “creepy-crawly critters?” This is a chance for you and your kids to be hands on while learning all about what makes these creature so interesting and invaluable to the natural world.

For more information and to pre-register for the class, please visit www.appalachianbearrescue.org

Line Up:

11:00am – 11:30am: Mike Clemmer on the Dulcimer
11:35am – 12:25pm: Jared Hard & Chris Long in the Round
12:30pm –  1:30pm: The Good Thymes Ceilidh Band
1:45pm – 3:00pm: Pistol Creek Catch of the Day

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Smoky Mountain Trillium Gap Rehabilitation Closes Trail

Trillium Gap trail closure in Great Smoky Mountains.

Trillium Gap trail closure for renovations in Great Smoky Mountains.

Smoky Mountain Trillium Gap Rehabilitation Closes Trail. Beginning May 13, 2019 work begins on improving the much loved Trillium Gap trail. This trail is one of our favorite routes to the summit of Mount LeConte.  Park officials announced the 2-year  project will begin next week. Due to the construction process on the narrow trail, a full closure is necessary for the safety of both the crew and visitors. The trail and associated parking lot along Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail near Gatlinburg will be closed May 13 through November 15, Monday mornings at 7:00 a.m. through Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. weekly. The trail will be fully open each week on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and on federal holidays.

Trillium Gap Trail is one of the busiest trails in the park as it provides access to the popular Grotto Falls and the summit of Mt. Le Conte. There will not be any access to Grotto Falls during the weekday closures. Hikers can still reach Mt. Le Conte, LeConte Lodge, and the Le Conte Shelter by using one of the other four trails to the summit including the recently restored Rainbow Falls and Alum Cave Trails.

We recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Trails Forever partnership with the Friends of the Smokies and I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing work accomplished by our crews, youth interns, and volunteers in transforming trails across the park,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “While we hate to disappoint hikers with weekday closures, the results are well worth the inconvenience and allow us the opportunity to continue to protect these special places for generations to come.

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HighlandersUnite Highland Games Gatlinburg

HighlandersUnite highland games return to Gatlinburg!

HighlandersUnite highland games return to Gatlinburg!

HighlandersUnite Highland Games Gatlinburg. The Highlander Games of Gatlinburg (HUGG) are always a Smoky Mountain special event! The games return Saturday, June 15, 2019 and Sunday, June 16, 2019 to Mills park in Gatlinburg. The games are hosted by HighlandersUnite.

The event kicks off at 12:00 p.m. Saturday with the Alhambra Shrine Highlander Pipes and Drums performing as the athletes march in. The games consist of five events; male and female athletes Master masters, Master, Class A and Class B. This promises to be fun through the entire day! The musical stylings of BAMM will warm up the crowd in the evening at 6:00 p.m. thru 7:45 p.m.. The headliner, Tuatha Dea, will take the stage at 8:00 p.m. so be ready to rock!

Delicious Celtic food will be on hand to keep you palate happy and your stomach full. Those that are in the mood for a libation will not be disappointed. The spirits will be flowing so come thirsty! If you are worried about the weather stay dry with all the food and drink you desire in the VIP tent. Servers will be on hand no matter what kind of day Mother Nature serves up. Get your tickets today at HighlandersUnite.org or on Eventbrite! Tickets range from $10 to $150.

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Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe

Smoky Mountain Tamale's are yummy in my tummy!

Smoky Mountain Tamales are yummy in my tummy!

Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the edge of the historic tamale trail? That is right.  Delicious Latin food and culture migrated through this area as it progressed to the North Eastern United States from the Mississippi Delta. The city of Knoxville is still heavily influenced by this cuisine today. Tamales are highly portable and easy to make so it is no wonder they were just as popular then as now.

The Smoky Mountain Cherokee are no strangers to the delights of tamale consumption either! Their version was called bean bread or broadswords and were made with hominy. They boiled corn with wood ashes to make the masa. They stuffed the masa with beans, wrapped them with green corn leaves, cooked and chowed down. Could you imagine creating this simple dish in the vast wilderness of the Smoky Mountains by an open fire? We hope you enjoy this Tamale recipe and feel free to send us some pics especially if you make them on your next Smoky Mountain trip!

Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe.

Marco’s Coca Cola Pineapple Pork Recipe Ingredients:

Twenty ounces of Coca Cola

Three pound pork roast

Salt and Pepper

Fresh Pineapple slices

Chili flakes

Four tablespoons Worcestershire (Wooster) sauce

Masa Ingredients:

Two cups masa harina

Ten ounces of beef broth

One half teaspoon salt

One teaspoon of baking powder

Two-thirds cup of lard (Yes lard, because it makes them so delicious!)

Eight ounces of corn husks

One cup of sour cream (optional)

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