Rich Mountain Road

Have you ever wondered what you would find on Rich Mountain Road?

For those of you who have traveled through Cades Cove, you have likely seen the Rich Mountain Road sign, across from the Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church. This is not a paved road like Cades Cove. Rich Mountain Road is a one-way, 7 mile dirt and gravel road. It is rustic, prone to being washed out, and closed during winter. However, it also provides some of the most spectacular views you will see in the Smoky Mountains.

One of the most photographed scenes from Rich Mountain Road is a small Baptist Church that you can see in the valley from the top of the mountain. During the fall it is gorgeous.  

Rich Mountain Road will provide a welcome respite from the traffic jams of Cades Cove. The one thing you will notice is the silence. All you will hear is the sound of nature all around you.

You may encounter wildlife along the way – bear, deer, or chipmunks are all likely to be seen. You will cross mountain streams and catch glimpses of waterfalls.

So the next time you want to break free of a traffic jam in Cades Cove, or you just want a little peace and solitude, give Rich Mountain Road a try.

Summertime in Paradise

As the song goes, the closest place to Heaven that I know of is Smoky Mountain, Tennessee (as well as North Carolina). Oh, how true!

No other place offers more activities for the entire family than the Smoky Mountains. More than 850 miles of hiking trails span The Great Smoky Mountains. The trails range from easy to difficult and provide short walks to week-long backpacking treks.

Additionally, the National Park Service reports that there are over 2,000 miles of streams in the Smokies, dotted with beautiful waterfalls and cascades. The following link will guide you to many of the most popular.

Summertime is perfect for bringing the family to camp in the Smokies! The National Park Service maintains developed campgrounds in 10 locations. Reservations are accepted online.

Beginning May 30th through June 6th, visitors chosen through a special lottery system will be able to view the Elkmont Fireflies. Why are they so special? Because they light up at one time – they are synchronous!

In the National Park alone, there are over 19 species of fireflies. If you have missed the lottery drawing for this year’s Synchronous Fireflies, don’t fret! There are plenty of glowing lightening bugs in the Smoky Mountains and, of course, plenty of synchronous fireflies lighting up Elkmont!


Shaconage (Sha-kon-o-hey). It is a word from the Cherokee that means “land of the blue smoke”. This place, The Great Smoky Mountains, calls people from around the world. Many say that it heals them – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Shaconage. This place. The land of the blue smoke. Once you have been there, you know you are forever and truly home. It will beckon you back. You will long for your mountain home.

Shaconage. Together we will explore the spirit of these mountains. The land of the blue smoke.