Planning Your Smoky Mountains Getaway
By Jon Hoffman © 2018, All Rights Reserved

Now's the perfect time to make your vacation plans for winter / spring 2018 – especially if you're thinking of visiting the Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge area. Here are a few things to consider as you firm up your getaway plans.

How Many in Your Party?

Are you arranging a romantic escape for two? A family trip – just mom, dad, and the kids? A major family reunion? Or anything in between? Plan and book accordingly. You'll want to make sure you have enough rooms, beds, and baths for everyone. (But not too many, of course!)

Grandma and young child

Who's Coming Along?

Will Grandma and Grandpa be in the party? How about babies, toddlers, and preschoolers?

Both tots and seniors tend to tire easily, and older folks may also have physical disabilities. So, if you're planning any Smoky Mountain hikes, you may want to consider easier trails... such as the 1.9-mile one-way Gatlinburg Trail, a scenic stroll through the woods. (It's even pet-friendly, one of only two such trails in the Smokies.) Or, try the kid-pleasing Kephart Prong Trail, a four-mile round-trip with glimpses of old logging equipment... or the self-guided Elkmont Nature Trail, slightly less than a mile long.

If you're traveling with someone who's wheelchair-bound, consider the half-mile Sugarlands Nature Trail, the only wheelchair-accessible trail in the East Tennessee Smokies. And, if you're looking for a family-friendly paved trail, don't miss the popular Laurel Falls Trail, just 2.6 miles to the falls and back.

What about shopping trips and visits to area attractions? The same considerations apply. Don't plan on doing more than your small children and seniors can handle.

What Do You Want to Do?

Do you love attractions like Dollywood, The Island, and the Ripley's Believe It or Not! entertainment complex? Check to see when they're open, what shows will be playing when, and what special events are coming up.

Keen on dinner shows, stand-up comedy, and variety extravaganzas? Find out when your favorite performers will be headlining. Same goes for special celebrity concerts at country and bluegrass venues: Look up the roster of stars slated for major appearances and plan accordingly.

Are there any events or festivals you'd like to attend? Dates and venues can vary from year to year, so always check well ahead of time.

Prefer the great outdoors? If you're planning a winter hiking vacation, be sure to contact the Sugarlands Visitor Center to find out which trails and scenic overlooks are open and accessible. If you're a skier, be sure to check with the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort to learn about trail conditions and closures.

Snowy Frozen waterfall in Smoky Mountains

What About the Weather?

From winter snows to spring floods, mountain weather can be unpredictable. Still, historical patterns can give you some idea of what to expect at any given season. Call or email the Sugarlands Visitor Center to learn about typical conditions around the time you plan to visit. Then be sure to pack accordingly!

Book Your Cabin Now

Whether you require a rustic chalet or a luxurious "cabin-mansion," you'll want to contact Volunteer Cabin Rentals right away. We have a wide range of comfortable rentals to suit any taste and need, all in beautiful Wears Valley, just minutes from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. What's more, our skilled, veteran staff can help you find exactly the right cabin rental for your particular requirements. Book now!


Jon Hoffman is Reservations Manager of Volunteer Cabin Rentals specializing in Mountain cabins near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN. Visit them today at to book cabins for weddings, vacations, reunions and other special events.