Ornaments of Joy Event

These adorable ornaments by Deede Edele will be available at the event.

These adorable ornaments by Deede Edele will be available at the event.

Ornaments of Joy event set to benefit Appalachian Bear Rescue. The event will be held Saturday, November 17, 2018. Ornaments of Joy is sponsored by Vienna Coffee House and Maryville artist, Deede Edele. Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) Curators, and community leaders have hand painted a wide variety of tree ornaments for this event and 100% of all proceeds will help ABR bears! There will also be a silent auction at Vienna from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and an online sale of Curator and special artist ornaments beginning Wednesday November 14, 2018 and ends the 17th at 2 p.m. Event attendees will enjoy live music all day and plenty of delicious Vienna Coffee.

The idea for ABR began to percolate after a severe black bear food shortage in 1989 forced bears to forage in highly populated areas. Leaving the shelter of the mountains the bears had many unfortunate conflicts with humans which resulted in a large number of orphaned cubs. A concerned group of volunteers banded together with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agencyand Great Smoky Mountains National Park obtaining a corporate charter in early 1991 to make a difference in the lives of orphaned bears.

Since it’s founding ABR has received bears from numerous

Appalachian Bear Rescue's Clementine Bear

Clementine Bear gains confidence at ABR.

national parks, states and the wild lands surrounding the Smokies. Orphaned bears lucky enough to make it to ABR receive a second chance at life in the wild. To date ABR has taken in 269 cubs and yearlings. Current residents include Clementine Bear and Viola Bear. Volunteers work diligently improving the facility to provide the best possible care for each bear needing a new lease on life.

Recent improvements include constructing two new Wild Enclosures and a Cub house for transitioning cubs from the nursery to the outdoor areas. Each Wild Enclosure can support up to ten cubs or yearlings. The oldest building on the property is known as the Red Roof Recovery Center and has recently been upgraded from storage space to a recovery center for injured cubs that are unable to climb.

ABR’s mission is to educate the public on living safely with bears and how to keep them wild. School programs and the Townsend Education Center are vital tools used in accomplishing this mission. ABR offers regular classes and a detailed schedule is available at ABR.org.

ABR is grateful to all of it’s generous supporters without whom this important work would not be possible. Be sure and join us November 17, 2018 for this fun event!

A holiday hound dog is a must for a Volunteer holiday.

A holiday hound dog is a must for a Volunteer holiday.

Four Great Smoky Mountain Real Estate Tips


Jackson Mountain Homes Dreamscapes cabin.

Four Great Smoky Mountain Real Estate Tips

What You Need to Know Before Buying a House in the Smoky Mountains Area

With more than 11 million people visiting the Smoky Mountains area, it’s no wonder that it’s a popular destination for people to move to. After all, what’s not to like about having a log cabin close to the number one most visited park in the US? There are plenty of options for the potential homeowner: several cities and towns with the main areas being Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville. Whether you’re looking for a second home, wanting to move with a family or retire there, Smoky Mountain real estate offers the buyer a vast range of options to suit everyone’s tastes. If you’re thinking of buying a property in this area, then read on to find out more about moving to Smoky Mountains.

Kicking off your search

It’s no longer simply about searching through property listings for the perfect new home online; nowadays you can make the process easier with technology by doing a great deal wherever you are from your mobile device. From using 3D virtual reality for viewing a property to using a digital mortgage broker and downloading apps which track the progress of a house sale, the different stages of looking and buying a property are rapidly growing more convenient and straightforward.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Foothills Parkway Hiking Event

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Foothills Parkway Hiking Event. Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites the public to walk approximately two miles along the new section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley Thursday, November 8, 2018. Park officials expect this to be a great community day celebration. This special opportunity for pedestrians to experience the series of bridges that connect the 1.65-mile section known as the ‘Missing Link’ will be a treat. The road will open to motorists and cyclists on Saturday, November 10, 2018.

Participants will be shuttled to the site from Townsend, TN between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon weather permitting. Construction activities may be ongoing along sections of the roadway requiring coordinated transportation to the event space. Participants should be prepared to walk at least two miles along a 10% grade. At the event space, the GSMNP will host a variety of interactive educational and artistic activities for the public to enjoy.

While the parkway is designed as a scenic driving experience, we wanted to provide one special opportunity for people to experience it by foot before it opens to motorists,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We hope the public will join us for this Community Day celebration as we enjoy the beauty of the parkway and the new recreational opportunities it provides for our local residents and visitors.

Participants will be shuttled from the River Rat parking lot in Townsend, TN (8435 State Highway 73, Townsend, TN 37882) at approximately 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., or 12:00 noon. The shuttle ride will take approximately one hour to reach the event space. Participants will have the opportunity to spend one to three hours on site depending on which departure time they choose. The Friends of the Smokies are sponsoring the free shuttle service to the public utilizing charter buses. Participation is available on a first come, first serve basis with anticipated service for approximately 1,000 people.

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29th Annual Gatlinburg Chili Cook Off

Gatlinburg Chili Cook Off is a must for Smoky Mountain foodies! Phot credit

Gatlinburg Chili Cook Off is a must for Smoky Mountain foodies! Phot credit – Garden of Eatin’.

29th Annual Gatlinburg Chili Cook Off Wednesday, November 7, 2018. Grab yourself a bowl off red at 715 Parkway in Gatlinburg from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This delicious event is presented by Bush’s Chili Beans. If you like it mild, medium or blowtorch hot these mouth-watering recipes will twang your buds!

Great entertainment is planned for the event with Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier performing at 5:15 on the Bush’s Best Stage. For the adventurous eaters who like fire in their belly the Hot Chili eating contest will be held at the All Sauced-Up stage from 5:30 p.m. till 6:30 p.m. The Petty Hearts will take the stage following Jimbo at 6:16 p.m. and if you are a Tom Petty fan you will not want to miss this special performance! Considered the National Tom Petty Tribute Show the Petty Hearts are a nationally touring band that celebrates the life and legacy of Tom Petty’s forty year run as an American Rock-n-Roll icon. Attendees will enjoy faithful covers from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers extensive musical play list with plenty of deep cuts to round out the performance. The Petty Hearts have thrilled audiences in major venues like the House of Blues and Hard Rock Cafe. They were honored to be the only Tom Petty Tribute band invited to play the prestigious national Beatles fan convention, Abbey Road.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Reopens Popular Trails

Chimney Tops in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When you hike Sugarland Mountain you will be looking down on the iconic Chimneys of the Smokies!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Reopens Popular Trails! Bullhead Trail and Sugarland Mountain Trail are set to reopen after extensive fire damage in 2016. The trails will reopen Friday October 26, 2018. These are two of our favorite trails at HeySmokies.com. They offer amazing high altitude vistas with the Smokies hallmark forest diversity. Both trails are fantastic walks for viewing fall color.

These trails have been closed since November 2016 due to damage resulting from the wind event and fire damage associated with the Chimney Tops 2 Fire. Park trail crews spent several weeks this year repairing over 500 feet of trail tread, cutting 758 downed trees, removing over 20 large rootballs and boulders, and repairing and replacing 53 trail drainage structures.

The trail crews accomplished an amazing amount of work to safely repair and reopen these trails under very challenging conditions,” said
Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We are excited to offer this opportunity to hikers, but also want to remind them to stay alert for trail hazards as they pass through the burned areas.”
Great Smoky Mountain Superintendent, Cassius Cash, is always happy to meet park visitors.

Great Smoky Mountain Superintendent, Cassius Cash, is always happy to meet park visitors.

Bullhead Trail begins on the Cherokee Motor Nature Trail near Gatlinburg at the intersection with Rainbow Falls Trail. The trail climbs 3,500′ steadily for 5.9 miles towards the historic LeConte Lodge on the summit of Mt. LeConte. Spring wildflowers are prolific on this hike as well as fantastic winter views. If you have never visited Mount LeConte we urge you to add it to your bucket list.

Sugarland Mountain Trail begins on the Appalachian Trail near the road to the Clingmans Dome  and ends in the Laurel Falls parking lot on Little River road west of Sugarlands Visitor Center. This 11.9 mile hike has many ups and downs and generally drops close to 4,000′ so plan on doing some climbing even if you hike high to low. The fall color and winter views are two great reasons to put this hike on your list but remember it is a great walk any time of year!

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