10+ Uncrowded Spots in Sevierville, Tennessee
Tread happy and healthy in the Smoky Mountains
Fresh air is always in style in Sevierville, a welcoming town nestled in the foothills of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. Filling your lungs and feeling a breeze on your cheek are reasons enough to visit, but the chance to commune with nature, escape crowds, unclutter your mind, and see spectacular views are equally compelling. Here are just some of the best places to savor time alone or with loved ones.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park may be the nation’s most visited national park, but it’s spacious enough that peaceful havens abound within its borders. Hiking is a heart-healthy way to immerse in nature with year-round rewards from spring wildflowers to snow-capped pines, fall leaves to summer swimming spots. While appealing trails abound, two less-popular trails both offer some of the best odds for uninterrupted natural serenity while reaching picturesque waterfalls. Little River Trail follows the scenic Little River towards its headwaters and the level footpath makes for a relatively easy walk. You’ll pass several historic cottages, most built in the 1920s, plus enjoy native flora along the way to Husky Branch Falls, a 20-foot cascade near a small footbridge. At this point you can turn around for a four-mile hike or add the Cucumber Gap and Jakes Creek trails for a pleasant 5.1-mile loop. Porters Creek Trail meanders through lush forest along the banks of Porters Creek. The first mile passes by stone walls from an old farmstead and cemetery, both from the 1900s, plus native flora (including wildflowers in spring). The 60-foot Fern Branch Falls drops off a ridge near the trail at about the two-mile mark; turn around to complete this enjoyable four-mile round-trip route.
Prefer a scenic drive through the National Park? There are 384 miles of paved and gravel roads to choose among. Among the roads less traveled is Rich Mountain Road, an eight-mile, one-way, gravel road that heads north from Cades Cove over Rich Mountain to Tuckaleechee Cove and Townsend. The steep, winding route boasts spectacular views favored by photographers. Other options include Foothills Parkway East and Foothills Parkway West, both on the park’s north side and both with wide openings that offer stunning views. (East runs from Cosby to I-40 Exit 443; West runs from Walland to Chilhowee.)
Downtown Sevierville showcases 40 of its most important historic sites on a free, self-guided walking tour. Download a free map or grab one near the statue of Dolly Parton—the bronze work of art is a tribute to the most honored female country performer of all time by her hometown community. First stop: The Sevier County Courthouse, the iconic standout in the Sevierville skyline, designed in the Beaux Arts style and built using bricks produced by local African-American brick masons. Construction was completed in 1896, the same year that the state of Tennessee celebrated its centennial. In 1976 it became the first courthouse in the state to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The McMahan Indian Mound Site is considered one of Tennessee’s most fascinating historical landmarks. A tribute to the Native Americans that used to inhabit the area, the archaeological site is located just above the confluence of the West Fork and Little Pigeon Rivers, near the Sevierville Riverwalk Greenway. This historical landmark dates back as early as 200 A.D. and was first excavated in 1881 with artifacts sent to the Smithsonian.
One of only four historic covered bridges in Tennessee, the Harrisburg Covered Bridge is an 83-foot-long covered timber truss bridge across the Little Pigeon River that’s still functional. Located off Old State Highway 35 near U.S. 411, it’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1875 to replace the original bridge destroyed in a flood that same year.
In Sevierville you can cast a line in waters teeming with fish yet uncrowded with anglers. Tennessee holds the world record for smallmouth bass and the Little Pigeon River is widely considered one of the best smallmouth bass streams in the world. Try your luck reeling in a trophy-sized catch. You can also cast a line into Douglas Lake, a 28,000-acre reserve that’s ranked in the nation’s Top 10 for both largemouth bass and crappie fishing. The water also swims with white, striped, and spotted bass.
Mountain Cove Marina , which is located one-quarter mile from Douglas Dam, makes it easy to spend time on Douglas Lake. The full-service, year-round marina rents 22-foot long Crest Pontoon Boats that can hold up to eight people as well as jet ski personal watercrafts. Rent by the hour or for a half-or full day. If you have your own boat, you can put it in the water at the boat launch.
Check into one of Sevierville’s luxury mountain cabins any time of year to enjoy spectacular views and private amenities. At Oak Haven Resort & Spa every fully-furnished cabin (ranging in size from one to seven bedrooms) boasts a large private hot tub, fireplace with gas logs, private screened porch, large jetted bathtub, custom kitchen with full-size appliances, master bedroom with king-sized bed, plus rockers and a swing to comfortably enjoy the outdoors. Most cabins also have a game room. The sprawling property offers a fishing lake, nature trails, golf course, and more. Log cabins, mountain villas, and farmhouse cottages at Hidden Mountain Resort range from one to 14 bedrooms. There’s room to spread out, both indoors and out, thanks to property amenities including fishing ponds, pavilions, seasonal pools, event center, gazebos, fire pit, and more. All rentals boast spectacular views, are individually decorated, and offer upscale features like a private hot tub, gas fireplace, full-service kitchen, and more. Some cabins are dog friendly.
For more inspiring travel ideas, contact Visit Sevierville at 1-888-766-5948.
When the stories start with, "I had the best time ever...," you know you've visited Sevierville, Tennessee.
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