If you’re planning a trip to the Smokies, you already know there are exceptional attractions and outdoor adventures. If you dig a little deeper, though, you’ll uncover some unexpected secret spots in the Smoky Mountains!
Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg
Mark the changing years with a stop at the world’s only Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. This hidden gem houses more than 20,000 pairs of shakers spanning five centuries!
Friendly Falls is a stunning little secret spot in the Smoky Mountains. Located in Wears Valley, this roadside attraction features a gorgeous waterfall as a perfect backdrop for group events or family reunions. It boasts a “rockin” shop filled with local artisan wares, goodies, unique rocks and more. It also has a creekside mining flume for those searching for authentic hidden gems!
Elkmont Ghost Town
Everyone loves a good ghost town and Elkmont in Sevier County delivers. Settled as “Little River” in the 1840s, Elkmont became a logging camp at the turn of the century and then an exclusive vacation community known as the Appalachian Club.
In 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established. The residents of Elkmont became displaced or took lifetime leases on their properties. By 1992, most leases had expired, leaving roughly 70 abandoned buildings. Many of these have been razed or restored for exploration. Wandering through the deserted area is really cool (and a little bit eerie)!
America’s Longest Swinging Bridge at Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park
Imagine meandering across more than 70 feet of swinging bridge high above the Little Pigeon River… that’s more than a football field! You’ll find this secret spot and a multitude of other log covered and cable bridges at beautiful Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park.
Walker Sisters Place
Tucked into the pristine wilderness of the Smokies is the homestead of the Walker Sisters. It’s a snapshot of rural 19th and 20th-century mountain life and one family’s unique story. In 1946, the Walker Sisters and their rustic lifestyle were featured in the Saturday Evening Post, prompting years of visitors to the homestead. The Walker Sisters legacy lives on at this charming but now vacant secret spot in the woods.
Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens
In the middle of Gatlinburg is a secret spot you may not have considered (thus the title of “secret spot”!). Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens is an impressive must-do. Guests can walk through life-sized representations of the Biblical world of 2000 years ago. It’s both beautiful and inspirational!
Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower
If outdoor adventure is your thing, you’ll love the hike to Mt. Cammerer. The stone fire lookout tower is perched at a rough elevation of 4900 feet and offers 360-degree views of the breathtaking Smokies. Grab your boots and make your way to Mt. Cammerer!
As you plan your travel to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, be sure you search for these 7 secret spots in the Smoky Mountains. While you’re searching, tune into the Destinations Beyond Expectations podcast. Stevie G. shares the compelling sounds and stories of amazing destinations with his listeners!
By: Michelle Geissler