Thursday, May 28, 2015

Our Gatlinburg Trip: Part 1 - Our Favorite Trails

Make sure to check out Part 2: Indoor Activities and our Road Trip Favorites!


Back in April, we headed down to Tennessee to visit John's parents. His dad is currently working right outside Nashville, so we spent Easter weekend there before going to Gatlinburg. I really loved Nashville...and basically all of Tennessee. Such a lovely state! :) We are hoping to head back that way again once the kids are older and can do more of the trails themselves. ;)

I thought I would share the five trails we hiked in Gatlinburg. We loved some, and others just about killed us. Mainly because I'm not in shape. ;) haha  So, here we go...brace yourself for a picture overload ;)


We stayed in 2 different hotels in Gatlinburg, and our favorite was the Bearskin Lodge. We found a deal on Pigeon Forge's website for a percentage off and free adult ticket to the Ripley's Aquarium (which is an incredible deal!) for booking there. The hotel is off the main road thru the city, and close to hiking trails. We loved it, and would definitely go back there. :)


Gatlinburg Trail was one of the trails within walking distance from our hotel. We walked it early in the morning, and it was so peaceful and beautiful. 


John and Abby using their 'binoculars' to explore Gatlinburg Trail. :)



Our favorite trail was the Greenbriar Trail. It was easy and perfect for kids. And, if you go, stop at Shakes and Dawgs along the way - the best hot dogs of your life!! It was also by a fun little Christmas shop where Santa gave each kid a new ornament :) Abby loved it!


One of the days that we were there, it was rainy off and on...so we loaded up the car and did one of the driving loops (Cade's Cove). It had so many lovely areas to stop (like above) to see some waterfalls. The kids loved it!


After driving for almost two hours, we finally made it! I love seeing mountains...they never cease to amaze me. :)


Ah, our least favorite trail. Whoever said the Laurel Falls trail was 'easy' must sit back and laugh at people attempting to hike it. It was several miles uphill, and we went on a really hot day (our mistake). Abby was not amused ;) Not pictured: me crying and asking every passerby if we're almost there...it was killer!


The end was beautiful, but wow. You had to work for it!



On our last morning, we went up to Clingman's Dome at the very top of a mountain. It was so windy and we couldn't see a thing. But on the way down, we got to stop in both Tennessee and NC! ;)



Overall, hiking with kids went a lot better than I thought. Tim enjoyed staying the carrier (which we borrowed from Jess and it was a life saver!), and Abby was a trooper. The trees were just starting to come to life, so I can only imagine how much more beautiful it is now!

We did so much more in Gatlinburg, so I'll post our non-nature activities soon! :) If you would like to see how we kept sane in the car along the way, check out our road trip favorites!

Happy Friday!


I'm linking up with these awesome parties today!




28 comments:

  1. I've never been to Gatlinburg but it looks beautiful! I will have to add it to our must see list because it looks like there's so much to do. Thanks for the warning about the hikes. I've been there before... crying on a trail, asking strangers how much farther and praying we could find our way back to the car in the Tetons.

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  2. Great Pictures! We love Tennessee too! I have a sister that lives about an hour from Gatlinburg. It is so beautiful there :-)

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  3. It was a blast! Highly recommend :)

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  4. Yes, you have to go! It's fairly close to Indiana, so I think we'll go often :) I'd love to see the Tetons...I hear they are awesome!

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  5. Awesome! My daughter still asks if we can go back to TN...apparently Indiana is really boring ;)

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  6. We just returned from Pigeon Forge for our family vacation! (That was my post this week - the value in a family vacation - and some of your pics are familiar! I grew up traveling that way with my parents each year. The top of the mountain/divide between TN and NC view is incredible! Good for you - getting the little ones out, taking them along. I know it is hard and lots of work to take them on "vacation" (as it is harder on the parents), but you'll be glad you started the tradition someday! Visiting from Shine blog hop!

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  7. I just love that area!! That's where we went on our honeymoon too and we are going back in Oct. your post made me oh so excited for that trip! I'm not brave enough to want to hike with my little ones yet but maybe next time!

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  8. Love your pics! Makes me ant to viisit Tennessee!

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  9. So many people recommended we go there just in the past week! I'm thinking we may need to plan a trip!

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  10. Glad you liked your trip! My sister lives in Knoxville and we travel to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg quite often!

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  11. Gatlinburg is one of our FAVORITE vacation spots! Thanks for posting this. Now we have some new trails to check out. :)

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  12. Gatlinburg looks beautiful!

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  13. What a beautiful trip! I love hiking trips. And the smokies are just gorgeous! So glad you had such a fun trip! Hope you all had a great weekend!!

    Katie @ Cup of Tea

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  14. Family vacations are important to us too :) I love that area - we definitely want to spend more time in Pigeon Forge next time!

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  15. I'm sure it will be beautiful in October!! I'm sharing our non-nature (aka rainy day activities) tomorrow morning :)

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  16. Thanks Katie! It was such a fun family trip :)

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  17. It is gorgeous - worth the 8 hour drive :)

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  18. Even though it wasn't the 'right' time to be there, it was still lovely :)

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  19. I think it is now on our list of must visit often :) Hope you enjoy the trails as much as us!

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  20. Oh, I'm jealous! I wish we lived closer because it was a great vacation spot!

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  21. Definitely! I'm posting some more of our indoor activities tomorrow!! :)

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  22. Thanks! It is a beautiful state!! :)

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  23. I have always wanted to visit there! Fabulous photos. As a side note, I have one of those rocking chairs!

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  24. What a great trip. The scenery is beautiful!

    Hiking with one kid in a back pack and another in stroller that is hard core and seriously impressive. So glad the view at the top was worth it!

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  25. We loved the rocking chairs! The hotel had free cookies every day and we enjoyed our snacks out there :)

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  26. Yes, my husband is super man! It was impressive!

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