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Smoky Mountains > Map & Explore > Explorations

Explorations of the Smokies

Take a look and discover some of the Smoky Mountains most treasured locations.  Here, in Explorations, we will feature our own personal experiences on locations and places throughout the Smoky Mountains and surrounding areas. 

Our Explorations are unique, off the beaten path, and just downright interesting.  So for those who want something a little extra when they visit the Great Smoky Mountains, check out our list of Smoky Mountain Explorations!

Alum Cave Bluff

Explored: June 17, 2014

On one of the most beautiful trails in the Smokies, you'll find Arch Rock and Alum Cave Bluff.

Cataract Falls

Explored: July 31, 2013

A small waterfall that's a quick, easy hike located behind Sugarlands Visitor Center

Cataloochee

Explored: July 30, 2013

Cataloochee is a valley that was once home to a community of 1200 people. We experience some of the preserved buildings at Cataloochee.

Old Cataloochee Turnpike

Explored: July 30, 2013

A relatively unknown mountain road proves mostly mundane but there are a few surprises.

Oconaluftee Visitor Center

Explored: July 30, 2013

A quick look at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center on the south side of the park.

Mingus Mill

Explored: July 30, 2013

Mingus Mill near Oconaluftee offers a glimpse into life over 130 years ago.

Chimneys Picnic Area

Explored: July 29, 2013

This is an excellent place to have a picnic or to just set back and relax.

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Explored: September 16, 2012

We set off early one morning to check out the Laurel Falls trail and waterfall.

Sugarlands Visitor Center

Explored: September 16, 2012

Here we learned about Smoky Mountain bats, beetles, and buys!

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Explored: October 9, 2011

Take a look at our firsthand experience at Clingmans Dome during sunset.

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Explored: October 11, 2011

We leave Cades Cove via Rich Mountain Road on a rainy afternoon.

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Explored: October 11, 2011

Our experience of Parsons Branch Road was exciting and, at time, a little scary.

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Explored: October 9, 2011

A great historical site featuring many old abandoned structures in the Smoky Mountains.

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Explored: October 11, 2011

Read about one of our favorite attractions in the Smoky Mountains, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Explored: October 9, 2011

We experience the infamous "Road to Nowhere," just north of Bryson City, North Carolina.

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Explored: October 9, 2011

Having seen Fontana Lake several years from Clingmans Dome, we finally drove down and checked it out.

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Explored: October 9, 2011

We stumbled upon the Tail of the Dragon, an 11-mile stretch of US 129 that has 318 curves.

Laurel Falls in the Smokies

Explored: May 17-19, 2010

We started at the crosswalk of the parking lot and headed south on the Appalachian Trail. Through- hikers call this southbound, heading toward the southern terminus - Springer Mountain, Georgia.

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Be sure to visit our sister site, Explore Kentucky Lake, for awesome fishing and water recreation in western Kentucky and northwest Tennessee.