5 Must-See Hot Spots in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There is something fascinating about the heritage of the Great Smoky Mountains. The area was once roamed freely by the Cherokee and wild game. In the early 1800s, European settlers came to make this their forever home in the “new world” that most know as Appalachia. If you are planning a trip to the Smokies, be sure to dive in a little deeper to have a hands-on experience and learn about the story of the mountains we locals call home.

Noah “Bud” Ogle Cabin

The Noah “Bud” Ogle Cabin is one of the town’s favorite landmarks. Nestled at the beginning of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, the Noah Bud Ogle Cabin is tucked lightly on a 400 acre farm the Ogles thrived on. Unlike most cabins in the area, the Noah “Bud” Ogle cabin was gifted with running water via a plume from a nearby spring.

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

In the heart of Gatlinburg, you will find the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. The school sits on a wooded hillside where creativity began bustling about in early 1912. Arrowmont was originally a settlement school for the Pi Beta Phi organization, providing education to the remote residents of the area. As children learned, their families began expressing gratitude by gifting handmade treasures like baskets and wood carvings which soon led to the expansion of the school that we now know as Arrowmont.

The Rockefeller Memorial

In the year of 1940, our past President, Theodore Roosevelt, made a dedication to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in this very spot. The memorial is a thank you to the Rockefeller family for all of their hard work in establishing the National Park.

John P. Cable Grist Mill in Cades Cove

You honestly can’t get more in tune with the Smokies’ past than by visiting the John P. Cable Grist Mill in Cades Cove Valley. The mill was structured in the early 1870s and is situated near the west end of the valley. In the pioneer days, you worked by the sun or by candlelight. Given that there was no electricity in the cove, the grist mills were powered by water. There is one exception, however, for the Ledbetter Mill which was powered by steam thanks to modern day advancement. The Cable Mill came to life by the hand of Mill Creek. Mr. Cable hand dug a connective channel from the Forge Creek to Mill Creek to ensure he could always fill the water gates to grind meal if the Mill Creek lowered, dried or frozen. Corn meal was a staple in the diets of these settlers, making grist mills like Mr. Cable’s a deep-rooted need for the people of that era.

Smoky Mountain Waterfalls

When you think of the Smoky Mountains, you may envision the rolling fog over the peaks. When we think of the Smoky Mountains, we see waterfalls. Most people don’t realize that the Smoky Mountains is actually a rainforest. One of the most diverse rainforests in the world, to be exact. And with rainforests, you get rain. And with the rain, you get waterfalls – and some waterfalls even come with rainbows (yes rainbows!). A visit to a waterfall home to Appalachia is something to check off on your Smoky Mountain bucket list.