If you’re heading to the Smokies this summer, stay up-to-date with what’s going on in Gatlinburg. From road closures and bear safety to new events, read about the latest news for the area. You can also follow our blog where we keep you informed of upcoming events and give you tips for travel, booking cabins, exploring the area, and more. Here’s what’s happening in Gatlinburg right now!
Black Bear Warning
Problems with black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are few and far between, but it’s important to know black bear safety. On occasion, the park issues warnings for visitors to the area. Remember that black bears are wild animals, and you are in their home when you’re in and around the park. Do not approach them, and keep a safe distance – at least 150 feet – from bears. There are many great places to view the wildlife, and you can always enjoy at a distance with binoculars or cameras.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park brings in big benefits
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park brings in millions of visitors each year, and tourism has been especially beneficial this past year. In a report from the National Park Service, it was announced that tourism to the park brought in more than $800 million to communities around the park in 2014. This supported tens of thousands of jobs, and helped boost the local economy – meaning visitors to the area will continue to benefit from the park!
All Smoky Mountain streams now open to fishing
Great news for fishermen in the Great Smoky Mountains, all streams in the park are now open to fishing! This is the first time since the park’s start in 1934 that all streams are available for fishing. Now that Lynn Camp Prong has been reopened, there are even more miles of streams to cast a line in!
Dierks Bentley surprises visitors at the Ole Smoky Distillery
You never know what you’ll see or experience in the Great Smoky Mountains, and Ole Smoky Distillery visitors found that out firsthand this past week! While Firewater Junction performed at the Gatlinburg distillery, popular country music star Dierks Bentley hopped on the stage to join in!
Thrilling new entertainment along the Parkway
Outbreak: Dread the Undead will join the likes of the Hollywood Wax Museum, Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors, and the Castle of Chaos along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. This haunted experience will take visitors through the ChemaCorp lab where terrifying zombies await. The mix of state-of-the-art animatronics and live actors will make for a truly scary experience! The attraction will hop on the All Access Pass, so guests can buy a ticket for all four attractions together.
2015 marks 40th anniversary of First Independence Day Parade in the Nation
This 4th of July, Gatlinburg will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its midnight Independence Day parade. Kicking off at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 4, the parade is expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators. Celebrate our nation’s independence and honor our military heroes and veterans at this exciting parade complete with patriotic music and a fireworks display. The parade route is more than a mile long, so get there early to secure a good viewing spot.
Don’t forget to check our blog regularly for updates on what’s going on in the Smokies. As you plan your Gatlinburg vacation, see what events will be happening during your stay or see which attractions you might want to check out. If you’ll be hiking, be sure to check online for any possible trail closures or read our hiking tips. Also, browse our cabins to find the right fit for you. We offer luxury, budget-friendly, and pet-friendly cabins, along with cabins ranging from one bedroom to large group lodges. We have something for everyone!