Whimsical Fairy House in the Smokies + Enchanting Extras


Magical creatures have always sparked imagination, inspired creativity, and even shaped the captivating stories we tell our children. If you’ve been craving a fairytale adventure since childhood, a getaway to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, may be just what you need. Offering a world of enchantment, the Great Smoky Mountains features an estate that is rumored to house fairies! And we have the scoop on where the Fairy House is located in the Smokies, how to get to Voorheis Estate, and what you’ll find when you get there.

Plus, there are other mystical attractions and events in the area worth checking out — including a moss-covered troll bridge, a fantastical performance with a unicorn, wild synchronous fireflies, and seasonal fairy cottages. Between weaving your own fairytale in the mystical Smokies, unwind, recharge, and reconnect with nature at your cozy cabin with mountain, wooded, or river views.

History of the Voorheis Estate — Home to the Fairy House

Seeking a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of town, Louis E. Voorheis created a 38-acre escape in Twin Creeks Orchard between 1928 and 1944. He was enthralled with the idea of hydroelectric power, so he built a waterwheel-powered mill, gardens with water features, a pool, and a springhouse — aka House of the Fairies — on the property. There were also orchards, 2 guest cabins, a horse barn, an apple barn, and the main house, of course.

Notably, Voorheis Estate is the only donation of privately owned land to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While the park has worked to preserve some of the main buildings, many others have been reclaimed by the earth. Featuring stone walls covered in moss and rustic-style landscape architecture that blends into the forest, no matter where you look, there seem to be hidden gems and woodland fairies just beyond reach.

How to Get to House of the Fairies 

Getting to the House of the Fairies on the Voorheis Estate — roughly 1 mile from downtown Gatlinburg — is a fun outdoor excursion along a Smoky Mountain trail. You’ll find the Fairy House along an offshoot of the Twin Creeks Trail, a roundtrip 4.5-mile hike. Start at the trailhead at Mynatt Park (just before the entrance to Cherokee Orchard Road) or the opposite trailhead at the Ogle Place parking area. 

Along the way, you can explore a few structures, the main house, and the quaint watermill and will likely spot wandering animals. Once you reach the Twin Creeks Science Center, go past this building and continue on the Twin Creek Research Lab Access until you’re nearing the office for Discover Life in America. Here, you’ll spot a brick landmark within the trees, and there is a small path that will take you straight to the Fairy House in the Smoky Mountains National Park!

Pro tip: the Smoky Mountain House of the Fairies is behind the natural resource center’s garden — the path passes a large barn and follows a wire fence for a stretch of the journey.

Shortcut to the Smoky Mountain Fairy House
Instead of walking from the trailheads to the Twin Creek Research Lab Access, drive onto this one-horse road from Cherokee Orchard Road. Follow the road all the way to the right, where you’ll find the Twin Creeks public parking area. Now, you can walk up the short road to the small path to reach the captivating fairy springhouse in much less time. You can even rent the picnic pavilion near the parking area (only $60) and make a day of it with family and friends.


What You’ll Find at the Magical Fairy House 

Follow the mystical mountain trail through the towering trees, along rushing twin creeks, across a log bridge, and past mossy boulders. You may even spot wildlife or forest pixies along the way so definitely bring your binoculars! Adding to your magical journey is the seasonal beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains: swaying wildflowers, lush greenery, colorful leaves, or drifting snowflakes. Or…take the shortcut (see above).

Keep your eyes peeled as you near the end of the path to find the Fairy House in the Great Smoky Mountains. Moss stretches across the stone features and an arched structure with a simple wooded door that leads inside the whimsical fairy springhouse. An old wooden ladder rests beside the entrance, fairy-made in appearance, and fallen trees make this place even more enchanting. Step back in time for a little while and remember to whip out your camera at the first sign of water sprites!

Inside, the House of Fairies features running spring water, where you can make a wish without tossing pennies — the hidden water nymphs don’t appreciate a bonk on the head! The longer you explore, the more it feels as if fairies could have built this mossy springhouse or even live here today. If writing is your passion, this place certainly springs forth (pun intended) stories filled with magic and wonder.

MORE Fairy Fun in the Smokies

The Elkmont Troll Bridge
Can’t get enough of fairytales in the Smokies? Visit Elkmont and follow the Little River Trail to the first offshoot on the right to discover the alluring troll bridge! Covered in moss, this stone bridge crosses a sparkling creek with river stones and features heaven-reaching trees all around. Make sure to take a closer look at this mysterious structure from the early 1900s…because no one actually knows who built it or why. Trolls, perhaps? Definitely.

Freckled Zelda’s Mythical Magical World
Take a break from Mother Nature and check out another fairy-tastic place called Freckled Zelda’s Mythical Magical World — a magic show with a beautiful unicorn! Starring TikTok’s Freckled Zelda, who plays the ocarina (a magical instrument from the Zelda videogame series), illusions by Blake Walter, and audience participation, this live performance at Parkway Playhouse in Pigeon Forge is remarkable.

Synchronous Fireflies Phenomenon 
If you want to actually see a fairy, we recommend visiting in early June for the annual synchronous firefly phenomenon when fireflies court with synchronized flashes in the night, a highly unusual occurrence. So…what if they’re actually fairies dancing and glowing for all to see in the national park? This dazzling display will have you spellbound from start to finish!

Irish Fairy Cottages at the Titanic Museum Attraction
Did you know the Titanic was built in the heart of Ireland? In honor of the 187 Irish passengers who were on board the ship, the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge hosts Irish Month every year in March. Beautifully crafted Irish fairy cottages — no two are alike — pop up across the museum, plus there’s Gaelic folklore, music, and dance. Experience Irish mythology and peek inside more fairy houses in the Smokies!

Irish fairy cottages magically appear in March!

Magical Moments at YOUR Mountain Lodge

Make the most of your fairytale retreat at a Smoky Mountain lodge — surrounded by trees, wildflowers, water features, or mountain peaks. At Cabins for YOU, we offer secluded cabins in the trees, sprawling cabins with mountain views, and cottages along a river or creek to keep all fairies of woodland, water, or sky comfortable. We even have a property called Enchantment!

Soak in a steamy hot tub under the stars or sip wine fireside after exploring the House of the Fairies. Keep the magic going for the kids with storytelling at the firepit or in bed after playtime in the game room. Play fairytale films in the home theater, relax like a water nymph in the indoor pool, and curl up for sweet dreams in your king suite.

Can’t wait? Check out our weekend availability for a charming place to stay so you can pay a visit to the Smoky Mountain fairies soon!

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