One of the many blessings our guests enjoy at Enchanted Villa is our proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (specifically, we are close to the Townsend side of the park) for which we get to enjoy the ambience, colors, breathtaking views of distant peaks, occasionally some wildlife and proximity to some National Park landmarks. Wears Valley is a beautiful area that accesses the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at Metcalf Bottoms and connects Pigeon Forge and Townsend. The Enchanted Villa of the Smokies is located in beautiful Wears Valley near so many wonderful areas of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Here are some of the very special locations very near the Enchanted Villa of the Smokies.
Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Pavilion
Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area Road North, Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area Rd N, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
“Metcalf Bottoms has two picnic areas, one on each side of Wear Cove Gap Road. Both picnic areas sit next to the Little River and offer a perfect environment for a picnic. One hundred twenty-two picnic sites with tables and charcoal grills are available on a first come first served basis. There is no fee for using the sites. Accessible restrooms with flush toilets are conveniently located at the picnic area. The park also provides drinking water via water fountains.” – smokymountainguide.com
See more information at https://mysmokymountainguide.com/gsmnp/metcalf-bottoms-picnic-area/.
Curry Mountain Trailhead
Little River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
“Solitude – in the heart of the Smokies – is probably the best way to describe this relatively unknown, overlooked, or little used trail, located near the middle of some of the most popular destinations in Great Smoky Mountains National park.
Almost immediately the Curry Mountain Trail begins as a relatively steep climb, ascending more than 500 feet during the first eight-tenths of a mile. The trail runs above and parallel to Little River Road for the first half-mile or so. Fortunately the river drowns out most of the noise from traffic. Without summer foliage blocking the views, hikers will have sporadic glimpses into Wears Valley, as well as some of the surrounding mountains as you ascend this first section of trail.
At roughly eight-tenths of a mile the trail begins to level out for awhile. Further up the trail, at roughly 2.5 miles, the footpath makes a sharp turn to the right. Begin looking towards the east (your left) for a couple of openings through the trees that offer views of the surrounding mountains, including Sugarland Mountain and Mt. LeConte in the far off distance.
At 3.2 miles hikers will arrive at the Meigs Mountain Trail junction. A short distance from this intersection, after turning right onto the Meigs Mountain Trail, is the Meigs Mountain Cemetery. Further to the west, roughly one-half mile from the junction, is Backcountry Campsite 19.” – hikinginthesmokys.com
See more information at http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/curry_mountain.htm.
Cades Cove Loop Rd. Townsend, TN 37882
“Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible.
An 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sightsee at a leisurely pace. Allow at least two to four hours to tour Cades Cove, longer if you walk some of the area’s trails. Traffic is heavy during the tourist season in summer and fall and on weekends year-round. While driving the loop road, please be courteous to other visitors and use pullouts when stopping to enjoy the scenery or view wildlife.
An inexpensive self-guiding tour booklet available at the entrance to the road provides a map and information about the cove.
Only bicycle and foot traffic are allowed on the loop road until 10:00 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday morning from early May until late September. Otherwise the road is open to motor vehicles from sunrise until sunset daily, weather permitting.” – nps.gov
See more information at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm.
Little River Road
Tennessee Highway 73
Townsend, TN 37882
“The Little River Road gently winds between Gatlinburg and Townsend. Begin the relaxing drive at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, near Gatlinburg and enjoy the roadway’s easy curves as it snakes along the Little River. Eventually, the Little River Road dead-ends into Cades Cove. Along Little River Road, be on the lookout for seven signposts—each numbered to designate a point of interest.
Spanning 18 miles, the Little River Road drive includes overlooks, trailheads, picnic areas, campground access points and even a waterfall that can be seen from the road. Enter the Laurel Falls trailhead from the parking area at stop 2. The 2.5-mile paved trail takes hikers of all abilities to a beautiful waterfall; the ideal spot for pictures and a picnic. Stop 4, Metcalf Bottoms also offers a picturesque picnic site alongside the Little River. This site has picnic tables, grills and restrooms. After a bite to eat, enjoy a short walk along the trail to visit two of the park’s historic buildings.
Waterfalls are abundant along Little River Road. Park at stop 5 to take the short hike to the Sinks waterfall or stop 6 to view Meigs Falls. Meigs Falls is one of two park waterfalls visible from a roadway. The best time to see Meigs Falls from the road is during late fall and winter because during the warmer seasons foliage can obscure the view.” – smokymountains.com
See more information at https://smokymountains.com/park/things-to-do/little-river-road/.
Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont
9275 Tremont Rd, Townsend, TN 37882
“Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont delivers experiential learning for youth, educators, and adults through programs that promote self-discovery, critical thinking, and effective teaching and leadership. We believe that education creates lasting positive change for people and our planet.
From our home in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, our research and residential programs investigate the diversity that sustains all life, develop a sense of place, and cultivate a stewardship ethic that will influence lifelong decision-making.” – gsmit.org
See more information at http://gsmit.org/.
825 Cavern Rd, Townsend, TN 37882
“Tuckaleechee Caverns of Townsend, TN. Known as the “Greatest Site Under the Smokies” are the highest rating Cave or Cavern of the Eastern United States. Carved inside the earth’s oldest mountain chain and estimated to be between twenty to thirty million years old, the Caverns are rich in history and lore in recent years as well. You will find the “BigRoom” on one end of the tour that could almost fit a football stadium inside it. On the other half of the tour you get to view “SilverFalls”. It falls 210 feet from top to bottom and the tallest subterranean waterfall in the Eastern US . Millions of formations are viewed along the 1.25 mile round trip adventure.”
See more information at https://tuckaleecheecaverns.com/