The Smoky Mountains are a favorite destination in Tennessee. A subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, they are commonly referred to as the Smokies by locals. During the warm months this beautiful nature park is a little crowded, so the winter season can give a new charm to the place with fewer people and more silence. There is snowfall in the higher elevations of the mountain, so visitors can experience the contrast of the snowy mountain to the warmer town below. Winter in the Smoky Mountains offers a quiet getaway, crisp air, and beautiful scenery.
Hiking during winter in the Smoky Mountains has its own magic to it. The mountain trails are almost empty, so you can enjoy all the benefits of going deep into nature. For a winter hike, it is a good idea to start out early in the morning as the days are short. Checking out weather conditions and snowfall in the mountains beforehand will help you decide on how far you are willing to go and what kind of equipment to take with you. If you are starting the trip from the bottom of the mountain, dress up in layers so that your dressing can be accommodated along the way to the fast-changing weather conditions along the way. Don’t forget your thermos filled with a hot beverage to enjoy while resting on the trail!
For those that are not up to planning everything for the trip, there are guided tours through the park. The guides know where to park your car, how to see all the interesting places and pick out a great route for you.
There are more than 100 stunning waterfalls in the Smoky Mountain territory. During the winter, most of these waterfalls, especially the ones in higher elevations, freeze to become crystal formations that are incredible to look at. Some waterfalls can be reached by automobile if your time and motivation are not sufficient for hiking.
Ober Gatlinburg is one of the places to visit during the winter in the Smoky Mountains. It is an amusement park that in the winter provides ski areas in the mountains over the town of Gatlinburg. There is a large mall with indoor amusements. Outside there are skiing trails, a terrain park, snow tubing slopes, and chairlifts. It is very popular as it is one of the few ski parks in the southeastern part of the United States. The chairlifts offer a scenic view that lasts for 30 minutes. During the wintertime, special events take place which are organized by the Gatlinburg hosts who welcome visitors with an open heart.
Cades Cove is a big valley surrounded by the Smoky Mountains. It is a favorite destination in the region. The valley is one of the places where wildlife observing is very common. For those that love wild animals, there are coyotes, raccoons, skunks, deer and other animals frequently seen here.
The valley is also a living museum of the 19th-century settlements that were found in the valley. There are historic buildings, three churches, a working mill, log houses, and many other historical structures. History comes alive at this place. The Visitor’s center is open all year round, except on Christmas, and can guide you through the landmarks of this amazing place.
Great Smokey Arts & Crafts Community
Art exhibitions do not stop in the winter time. The historic 8-mile loop of Gatlinburg offers artisan products such as paint, sewing, weaved products, statues, brooms, pottery, jewelry, dolls, silversmithing, leather products, glass products, fashion accessories, photography, and ceramics. To warm up during the exhibition, there are local restaurants, cafes, a tea room, and candy shops.
Winter Magic Lights
Winter in the Smoky Mountains is magical enough by itself, but the millions of lights in the town of Gatlinburg during Winter Magic add a greater glow to the holiday season. All the lights are environmentally friendly. The lights shine from the beginning of November until the end of February. All the streets, the buildings, and the Christmas trees are covered in lights that can be seen during the night from afar.
Winter in the Smoky Mountains is something that many families, couples, and happy tourists repeat after coming the first time. The cozy atmosphere of the town near the mountain greets visitors in a way that is magical and unforgettable. The frosty winter experience at the mountain is enough to refresh your mind, and the cozy acceptance at Old Creek Lodge in downtown will warm up your heart.