Category Archives: Smokies Construction

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail remains closed due to problems with paving contractor

This is one of our favorite roads in the Smokies.  We found it on our honeymoon, when one of the worst rainstorms/floods to hit the are hit the area.  I saw the road on a map, and thought it would be a nice “bypass” around the strip in Gatlinburg back to our condo.  It was raining hard, and lightning every few seconds.  Oh, and it was already dark out.  Needless to say, Roaring Fork is difficult in those conditions.  I forgot to add that the water in the rivers throughout wasextremely high.  It was so high under one bridge that it was splashing up onto the road slightly as the river flowed under the bridge.  Anyhow, after driving about a 3-5 miles per hour for an hour or so, we made it out.  While we were scared of THAT drive, we could see via lightning flashes that this was definately a place we wanted to come back to visit.  It has become one of the “to do” things every trip we take to the Smokies (when the road is open). Normally it is open all spring/summer/fall.  However, it has been closed since early this year, and it looks like it will not be open again anytime soon.  The park is having problems with the Florida-based contractor repaving the road.  I’ll let you know here on the blog when I hear about when it will reopen.  Check out the link below for more…


***Post brought to you by THE place to stay when you stay in the Smokies***

GREAT NEWS – Cades Cove expected to reopen about a month earlier than expected

Here’s some great news, especially if you’re planning on being in the Smokies after late April.  The AP is reporting that Cades Cove will be open on April 24th.  They plan to have a run the next day.  The road has been closed for repaving.  It was originally supposed to reopen near the end of May.  The full AP story is below…

(AP) One of the most popular tourist spots in the Smokies will be accessible again earlier than expected. The National Park Service announced Wednesday that Cades Cove Loop Road is now expected to reopen April 24 – about a month earlier than had been planned. The 11-mile, one-way road was closed and rebuilt over the winter. When it opens, only bicycles and pedestrians will be allowed on it until noon the first day and a “Cades Cove Loop Lope” run has been scheduled for the second day.


***This post brought to you by  You want to spend your days and evenings in the Smokies, and your nights in the Smoky Mountain Tower.***

Newfound Gap Road to get more extensive renovation at the end of 2010

Here’s another good story.  It might cause some traffic delays at the end of the year, and into upcoming years, but it sounds like it will be well worth it.  The Newfound Gap road will be renovated (it sounds like many of the areas beside/near/under the road mainly) beginning at the end of 2010.  They will wait until the end of the fall tourist season.  They plan to repair some of the barriers and other aspects of the road from Gatlinburg to Newfound Gap. 

While traffic isn’t a good thing, I’m glad to be able to report to you so many improvements in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently.  You can find a little more info at the story below.–smokies-gaproad,0,2652615.story\


***This post brought to you by  When you are in the area, this is where you want to stay.  I was just talking to my next door neighbor last night.  He told me he and his wife have only stayed in hotels/motels in Gatlinburg.  I told him that’s a shame.  If he spent a weekend in the Smoky Mountain Tower, he might decide to never go back to the hotel/motel routine.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had fun there too, but we feel like we have a home in the Smokies now that we’ve stayed at the Tower. Check it out***

Tremont renovations planned… officials want your input about future plans.

Officials want your input on what to do with the facilities at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.  The park needs your comments by April 15th.  It looks like they want to renovate/rebuild the dorm building at Tremont.  We visited Tremont for the first time during our trip last week.  It looks like a great place to go for education.  I’d love to have spent time there at camp as a kid.  Hopefully my girls can go to camp there in the future.  You can learn more about the plans at the link below…


**This blog post brought to you by  Our favorite place to stay in the Smokies is the Smoky Mountain Tower.  Check out the views! On our most recent trip (this month,) we decided to buy a cabin in the Smokies in the next few years. We can only hope we can buy a place as nice as**

Smokies get $64 million in stimulus, work to include Cades Cove Campground improvements

It looks like $64 million bucks out of stimulus money is headed to the Smokies.  Plans include a number of projects, including new restrooms at the Cades Cove Campground.  Other campgrounds will also get improvements.  Some of the work is expected to get underway after the summer tourist season.  Officials are hoping to keep road closings to a minimum during construction. There is much more info at the link from the examiner below…


******************Check out to see the place we stay in the Smokies.  Between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  If you know where the welcome center is on the spur, it’s located on the road next to the welcome center.  Best views from any place we’ve stayed in the Smokies… by far.  Check it out!********************************

Old Christus Gardens location to open as “Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens”


It looks like the old “Christus Gardens” location will soon be opening as another Christian-themed attraction.  It will be called “Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens.” It looks like the old manager of “Christus Gardens” is involved in helping to run this new project.  The property was planned to be torn down and developed into condos, but due to the economy, that never happened.  Now this new Christian project is able to open up at the site.  I guess the bad economy doesn’t always mean bad news for everything.  Quite frankly, I don’t see where Gatlinburg needs more condos, but that’s me.  Perhaps I will have the manager of this new project on “The Radio Show” in the future to learn more about what they have planned.  They hope to open the “Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens” in the fall.  You can read more at the link below.  Take a look at the comments posted there.  Clearly people who have been hurt by “religion” in one way or another are not happy about this new project.  Then again, Jesus had a few enemies even when he was walking the earth in physical form, so that’s nothing new.

Fire in Cades Cove… for good reason


Cades Cove

In order to keep the Cades Cove fields the way we love them, the park service occasionally mows and burns different parts of the fields.  About 950 acres are mowed 2 times per year and another 1,000 acres or so are burned.  If you are in the mountains soon, you could see the fires in Cades Cove.  Beginning Tuesday, some fields will be burned to prevent the woods from taking the fields back.  Click below for more…

Here’s a bonus photo for this story:) As soon as I have the cash, I’m investing in a better camera:)

Deer in Cades Cove