Tennessee – It’s a short hike to this rustic backcountry lodge

Photo: Charit Creek Lodge, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area Set deep within the woods of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area on the Tennessee-Kentucky border, Charit Creek Lodge is the perfect weekend getaway for families looking to rough it—with some amenities. Charit Creek is one of only a handful of backcountry lodges in the country that cannot be reached by car. To get there, guests park their car and hike, bike or ride horseback along either of two well-maintained trails (1.2 miles or 1.7 [...]

November 18th, 2015|Categories: Mountains, Tennessee, Trails, Unique Stays|Tags: , |

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee – History and small-town fun in the Smoky Mountains

The Island Show Fountain in Pigeon Forge offers entertaining water shows every 30 minutes. (Photo: Jenni Veal) Pigeon Forge, Tenn., has it all: dazzling shows, knockdown museums; outrageous rides; endless shopping; close proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park; and, of course, the legend of Dolly Parton and her dominion, Dollywood. However, if you peek within the nooks and crannies of Pigeon Forge, there’s even more to be found there—something heartfelt, like nostalgia. On a recent tween weekend getaway with my two daughters and my best friend’s daughter, we experienced [...]

September 1st, 2015|Categories: Mountains, Tennessee|Tags: , , |

Gray, Tennessee – Explore an active fossil site and museum

The Gray Fossil Site in Gray, Tenn., preserves plant and animal fossils that date back 7 to 4.5 million years. In May of 2000, Tennessee Department of Transportation highway crews working on a road-widening project in Northeast Tennessee noticed an unusually dark clay-rich deposit and an abundance of fossil bones in dirt that was being moved. State officials, geologists and paleontologists rushed in to investigate and the site was found to harbor a fantastic number of extinct and ancient animal remains. The Gray Fossil Site, as it became known, is [...]

August 24th, 2015|Categories: Conservation Education, Tennessee|Tags: , , |