Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > South
Reload this Page >

Smokey Mountains with Kids. advice?

Smokey Mountains with Kids. advice?

Old Aug 19, 19, 2:43 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
Smokey Mountains with Kids. advice?

HI all,
First time posting here though I have stalked here many times Correct if I am posting in the wrong place or if the info can be found somewhere, i did search and havent found anything. Spending 3 days next week in the smokey mountains. We have 8 & 6 year old boys and 4 year old girl. I put together a basic itinerary. curious if anyone has any thoughts if i missing something i shouldnt or if I am doing too much/ little for kids theses ages.
So here goes.
Sunday
Landing in TYS at 1pm. Thinking to go straight to clingsman dome (google says about 1:45 drive is that accurate). Do clingsman dome and then head to our place and unpack, settle in, etc...(rented thru homeaway about 20 mins outside of Gatlinburg)
Monday
Roaring fork motor trail with stopping and getting out at multiple spots along the trail with the main stop the hike to Grotto falls.
Haven't gotten a sense form the various trip reports I have read how much time it will take up so not sure if that's enough for one day or i should be planning something else as well.
Tuesday
Doing rafting on the lower pigeon river in the afternoon. Haven't decided yet what to do that morning.
Get up earlier Wednesday morning for flight out.

Any thoughts, comments tips would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
elit1 is offline  
Old Aug 19, 19, 3:08 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Tampa Bay
Programs: AA ConciergeKey, Hertz PC , Marriott Platinum + Ambassador
Posts: 67
A drive through Cadeís Cove loop just before sundown will almost always guarantee youíll see something cool!! Iíve seen a black bear mama & cub, deer, coyote, and even a fox. Itís an easy drive and you can stop at several places during the loop. If you plan on doing that, plan on getting there a few hours before sunset. You canít go wrong with the Smoky Mountains and Cadeís Cove is my personal favorite. Great for kids and parents a like!
BamaVol and strickerj like this.
tampatravel is offline  
Old Aug 19, 19, 8:33 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by tampatravel View Post
A drive through Cadeís Cove loop just before sundown will almost always guarantee youíll see something cool!! Iíve seen a black bear mama & cub, deer, coyote, and even a fox. Itís an easy drive and you can stop at several places during the loop. If you plan on doing that, plan on getting there a few hours before sunset. You canít go wrong with the Smoky Mountains and Cadeís Cove is my personal favorite. Great for kids and parents a like!
thanks! I wad nervous when I read that it can take up to 24hrs of driving that it would be too long stuck in the car for my kids
elit1 is offline  
Old Aug 19, 19, 10:08 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Tampa Bay
Programs: AA ConciergeKey, Hertz PC , Marriott Platinum + Ambassador
Posts: 67
Pack a lunch and take your time - heck being a ball glove to have a catch - just enjoy the place! Incredible at sunrise or sunset for sure.
tampatravel is offline  
Old Aug 20, 19, 8:59 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by tampatravel View Post
Pack a lunch and take your time - heck being a ball glove to have a catch - just enjoy the place! Incredible at sunrise or sunset for sure.
Ok great thanks! have you done roaring fork?
elit1 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 1:09 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Navajo Nation, Northern Arizona
Programs: ex-Con *Gold (earned)
Posts: 8,993
Make sure to tell your kids not to get between a mama bear and her cub. Seriously.
kale73 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 8:33 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: mountains of western NC
Programs: Life, Love and Laughter
Posts: 6,985
My two favorite places in the Smokies are on the east side. Big Creek is a wonderful place to go swimming. And Cataloochee is where the elk hang out. There is a gravel road that connects the day (slow drive, but beautiful) So, you could spend an entire day between those two places. Or you could one of those combined with rafting on the Pigeon. Big Creek is very close to the Pigeon River. And be sure to leave time for your kids to enjoy being outdoors without a planned activity. My experience with kids that age is that the just like to play, especially if there is water. My experience with Cade's Cove is being stuck in heavy traffic for hours. I think it would be torture for young children. Also, I'm not sure that Clingman's Dome is all that special for kids. It's a beautiful view if the weather is good, but not much more in my memory. Do you really want a long drive after so soon after your flight?
onthego15 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 9:48 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by kale73 View Post
Make sure to tell your kids not to get between a mama bear and her cub. Seriously.
thanks! but my kids arent the type when it comes to animals they probably will run in the other direction
elit1 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 9:51 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by onthego15 View Post
My two favorite places in the Smokies are on the east side. Big Creek is a wonderful place to go swimming. And Cataloochee is where the elk hang out. There is a gravel road that connects the day (slow drive, but beautiful) So, you could spend an entire day between those two places. Or you could one of those combined with rafting on the Pigeon. Big Creek is very close to the Pigeon River. And be sure to leave time for your kids to enjoy being outdoors without a planned activity. My experience with kids that age is that the just like to play, especially if there is water. My experience with Cade's Cove is being stuck in heavy traffic for hours. I think it would be torture for young children. Also, I'm not sure that Clingman's Dome is all that special for kids. It's a beautiful view if the weather is good, but not much more in my memory. Do you really want a long drive after so soon after your flight?
Thanks! this is real helpful... So i was a little concerned about that long drive after the flight but i thought clingsman dome was a cant miss and it seemed like the only time that made sense but you dont seem to think its worth it at all. I will certainly look into big creek and Cataloochee for the same day as pigeon forge. Thanks!
elit1 is offline  
Old Aug 22, 19, 7:31 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
The National park service has this alert on their website: Trillium Gap Trail Closed/ No access to Grotto Falls through July 18, afterward closed Monday -Thursday (excluding federal holidays) July 19 - November 15, 2019
Am I correct in understanding that we cant go to grotto falls this week during the week?
elit1 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 7:52 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: mountains of western NC
Programs: Life, Love and Laughter
Posts: 6,985

1. Cataract Falls

Of all the Smoky Mountain waterfalls with a trail, this one is the easiest, most kid-friendly hike. Simply drive to the Sugarlands Visitors Center, a short 2 miles from Gatlinburg, and outside the building you will see signs pointing you the way to Cataract Falls. Most of the trail is paved and well-maintained, and the waterfall drops 25 feet into a small pool below. It’s a great waterfall for those who aren’t ready for more ambitious hikes.
onthego15 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 2:36 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Airport
Programs: Delta PM
Posts: 66
And plan breaks. Some of the roads can be a bit winding. My kids had a bit of a challenge with car sickness after a while.
realworld is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 7:51 pm
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by onthego15 View Post

1. Cataract Falls

Of all the Smoky Mountain waterfalls with a trail, this one is the easiest, most kid-friendly hike. Simply drive to the Sugarlands Visitors Center, a short 2 miles from Gatlinburg, and outside the building you will see signs pointing you the way to Cataract Falls. Most of the trail is paved and well-maintained, and the waterfall drops 25 feet into a small pool below. Itís a great waterfall for those who arenít ready for more ambitious hikes.
thanks!
elit1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread