Gateway to the Smokies

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Facebook Live Video from 2021/02/09 - Getting Into The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Facebook Live Video from 2021/02/09 - Getting Into The Great Smoky Mountains National Park


2021/02/09 - Getting Into The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

[NEW EPISODE] Getting Into The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This week, we will discuss the 5 Entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina side of the park.

We will explore not only the wonderful natural features, but the small mountain towns near the entrances.

Tune in for this fun conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.

Show Notes

Segment 1

Joseph introduces the segments of today’s episode, which will discuss the entrances to the smokies. Joseph found out today that his wife and son got through covid without telling anybody, going into detail about the origin of his son’s stoicism. He recites a poem he found that talks about the laid back and free way of living the Smokies bring about. In the last year, the mountains have seen a 16% increase in tourism because people go there to be at ease and feel safe. Joseph talks about the awe these mountains inspire, the twists and turns within, and how this beauty extends into the winter. Every visit is a new adventure, even on the same trails, leaving you feeling refreshed when you go home. When Franklin Roosevelt dedicated this park, he discussed its natural beauty and how it must be preserved. Joseph relates to this as these mountains are home for him, he enjoys the city life and has lived in a variety of places, but always finds himself back in the Smokies.

Segment 2

An important cultural aspect, the entrances to the smokies can be a fun topic to navigate, with crowds looking for secret ones and fun ones. Growing up, Joseph didn’t know where the entrances were, he would go on a trail or a drive and end up in the mountains. The concept of the entrances was new to Joseph, requiring some research even though he grew up a native. Newfound Gap Road, a section of US 441, got its name because it was just that, new found. Indian gap was thought to be the lowest gap until this was found. The Indian culture of Cherokee still remains, along with its beautiful waterfalls and attractions. The masks of the indigenous people are still sold, not as a product of cultural appropriation, rather a means of supporting families. Another tradition in Cherokee culture are storytelling bonfires, which are enjoyed by families and individuals. In addition to the old traditions, casinos have been built, bringing a different crowd and a different type of attention. Joseph reads a quote discussing the approach the Cherokee take to their culture. The next entrance is the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance.On the Blue Ridge Parkway is a visitor center, one of four in the park. The visitor center runs a variety of programs, some led by rangers. There is also a farm museum, which gives an accurate display of farm life in the mountains. On that parkway is a gristle mill, great campgrounds, picnic areas, and trails. The parkway leads to the Sugarlands Valley Nature trail, which is the largest entrance to the park. The Newfound Gap Road runs between the two largest entrances to the park.

Segment 3

Joseph’s favorite entrance is one of the most remote, in the Cataloochee Valley near where he grew up. As a kid, he would go hiking there with his family. In the valley there are a lot of old community buildings that have been preserved. There is a greater diversity of birds in the Smoky mountains than anywhere else. There is also great fishing in the mountains. In 2001, the national park service reintroduced Elk to the park in the valley. The Elk have thrived in the park since being reintroduced to their natural habitat. Often the roads getting into the park through the valley get closed as there are many twists and turns. The Elk have different seasons throughout the year, such as the calving season. By June the calves are out, and in mid summer they can be seen out grazing. The fall is the mating season, the Elk can be heard and seen fighting for mates. They can be hard to find in the winter though. The Cataloochee is home to many great trails that take you to a variety of destinations within the park. Cataloochee is located within Jonathan Creek Valley, where Joseph grew up. Joseph’s parents bought the Meadowlark hotel about 45 years ago, moving the family to Maggie Valley. This valley has grown into a small tourist town, remaining to this day home to the authentic mountain culture. The valley is home to world renowned museums, ski resorts, distilleries, and many more attractions.

Segment 4

Not far from Maggie valley is another entrance to the Smokies in a little town called Bryson City, which is known for its white water rafting. There is a train museum there along with the Smoky railroad, which takes tourists around the towns in the Smoky Mountains. One of the entrances near Bryson City is Deep Creek, which is just three miles from the city. There are amazing trails to hike with beautiful waterfalls. After a few days of rain, many creeks throughout the Smokies are home to great tubing. Lakeview Drive, otherwise known as The Road to Nowhere is another entrance, has a tunnel which runs for miles and leads to a trail. The trail contains old buildings, a lake, and is an outlet to many of the major trails. The final entrance is near Fontana Lake. Besides Cataloochee valley, this is the most remote entrance as you need to take a boat across a lake to get there. Joseph’s family owns the Meadowlark Hotel in Maggie Valley. It is a great location for weddings, hosts barbecues, and has great live music. Next week, Bob Plott will guest on the show.


00:00:39.420 --> 00:00:40.020 Joseph McElroy: howdy.

00:00:40.800 --> 00:00:44.910 Joseph McElroy: Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of gateway to the smokies.

00:00:46.170 --> 00:00:54.450 Joseph McElroy: This podcast is about america's most visited National Park, the great smoky mountains national park and the surrounding towns.

00:00:55.230 --> 00:01:09.840 Joseph McElroy: Areas this area is filled with ancient natural beauty a deep storied history and rich mountain cultures that we will explore weekly with the episodes and experts and all sorts of good stuff.

00:01:11.070 --> 00:01:25.380 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklin mcilroy amanda the world, but also with deep roots in those mountains my family is living the great smokies for over 200 years my businesses in travel, but my heart is in culture.

00:01:26.940 --> 00:01:28.320 Joseph McElroy: So, today, is just me.

00:01:29.490 --> 00:01:39.180 Joseph McElroy: i'm eventually going to talk to you about the entrances to the great smoky mountains natural park and why they're interesting and some of the things to do in the towns and areas around those entrances.

00:01:41.160 --> 00:01:52.050 Joseph McElroy: But right now I just wonder how y'all doing I just found out today, and my son and my my his wife had covidien got over before they told anybody.

00:01:53.400 --> 00:01:56.940 Joseph McElroy: I was shocked Oh, the bravery of you.

00:01:58.920 --> 00:02:04.500 Joseph McElroy: But I think it expresses a certain stoicism that he probably got through me.

00:02:05.640 --> 00:02:06.870 Joseph McElroy: From mountain culture.

00:02:07.980 --> 00:02:11.850 Joseph McElroy: Oh he's more likely you got it from his grandfather because he used to spend.

00:02:12.960 --> 00:02:20.220 Joseph McElroy: Summers there for two or three weeks at a time, and my dad was a my dad is still very.

00:02:21.360 --> 00:02:27.720 Joseph McElroy: suck it up and go get high guy and that sort of emblematic of a lot of the people in the mountains.

00:02:29.970 --> 00:02:38.040 Joseph McElroy: yeah went listened to my first few podcasts and realized that I was talking to loud and fast and I didn't like it.

00:02:40.080 --> 00:02:42.540 Joseph McElroy: It doesn't express the smoky mountains.

00:02:43.980 --> 00:02:46.440 Joseph McElroy: I guess, I was eager to express my.

00:02:47.610 --> 00:03:06.900 Joseph McElroy: My passion for my heritage and for the the sell you on coming to the area but that's not really what the smoky mountains is about there's a certain ease of living, even when it's hard, that is, I think characteristic of the culture.

00:03:08.460 --> 00:03:18.750 Joseph McElroy: It just don't talk fail fast and you don't sell everybody and I guess I might have to relearn that doing that podcast because i've been in New York for quite a while.

00:03:19.740 --> 00:03:27.240 Joseph McElroy: I still go down there i'm not every month, but you know, things were off on here so i'll do my best and you'll hold me to account when I don't okay.

00:03:28.830 --> 00:03:40.080 Joseph McElroy: So i'm talking about Kobe and the mountains and things like that I got the I was searching for some information and I found a poem about coming to the mountains for a visit.

00:03:41.040 --> 00:03:49.170 Joseph McElroy: You know it felt apropos in these times it's by a poet named Linda higher net and it was written in 2014 and i'm just going to say it.

00:03:51.330 --> 00:04:07.380 Joseph McElroy: I think it's pretty it was memorable to me so i'll just i'll just read it, I traveled to the mountains through long and winding road my destination aimless tune into the chill out mode.

00:04:08.730 --> 00:04:13.860 Joseph McElroy: I marvel at the mountains and breathe the clue cool clean air.

00:04:14.880 --> 00:04:20.760 Joseph McElroy: so strange to think that yesterday was dawned in deep despair.

00:04:21.840 --> 00:04:27.000 Joseph McElroy: I leave it all behind me today, I am simply free.

00:04:28.050 --> 00:04:32.400 Joseph McElroy: i'm running with the wind now for now i'm being me.

00:04:33.840 --> 00:04:44.880 Joseph McElroy: I found a new horizon, where I may rest my eyes as sit awhile and wonder, as the mountains pierce the skies.

00:04:46.380 --> 00:04:50.520 Joseph McElroy: As I turned the corner, I see what lies ahead.

00:04:51.600 --> 00:05:01.020 Joseph McElroy: Another stunning vista is where i'm being led, I know I know the road i've traveled.

00:05:02.100 --> 00:05:03.660 Joseph McElroy: i've been where I have been.

00:05:04.830 --> 00:05:09.630 Joseph McElroy: so full of twists and turnings an ever changing scene.

00:05:10.680 --> 00:05:24.570 Joseph McElroy: I take a last look at the mountains and prepare to make my descent i'm heading home for home and i'm happy just knowing my journey was meant.

00:05:26.310 --> 00:05:46.620 Joseph McElroy: And that was in May 23 2014 now the first line that jumped out at me was this in this time of despair deeps to pair the deep despair, you know we've been going through hard times for last year and or so maybe people longer maybe some people last but.

00:05:48.450 --> 00:05:59.700 Joseph McElroy: You know, you can be refreshed in the mountains, I think that you know this poem really spoke to me about that, especially after reading just after i've had that my son had it.

00:06:02.100 --> 00:06:13.770 Joseph McElroy: And I think that's always been a allure of the the the mountains, and especially the smoky mountains, is that you go there to relax to.

00:06:14.880 --> 00:06:17.970 Joseph McElroy: Have a certain ease of living to.

00:06:19.230 --> 00:06:19.620 Joseph McElroy: To.

00:06:21.390 --> 00:06:34.470 Joseph McElroy: just sit back and enjoy life and see breathe the clean cool air, you know that they've actually had a 16% growth in tourism, this last year in the mountains well now that yeah.

00:06:34.950 --> 00:06:46.620 Joseph McElroy: that's because people were escaping you know local travel is become as big and people within 100 miles or so just just want to get away and they know they can go there and be pretty safe.

00:06:49.500 --> 00:06:59.160 Joseph McElroy: You know, I was, I was reading it, and I was struck me by a poem, I quote, I mean from Mark Twain.

00:07:01.020 --> 00:07:08.760 Joseph McElroy: That was 20 years from now, have you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the by the ones that you did do.

00:07:09.180 --> 00:07:18.690 Joseph McElroy: So throw off the bow line say away for sale away from the safe harbor catch the trade winds in your sails explore dream discover.

00:07:19.590 --> 00:07:27.810 Joseph McElroy: And I think that even in the times, where we're in quarantine or having to be away from other people going outdoors and going to places.

00:07:28.260 --> 00:07:48.300 Joseph McElroy: Where there's still natural beauty and wildness a safe sort of wildness to go, you know catch the winds in your sails climb a mountain explore dream discover leave it all behind me today i'm simply free i'm running with the wind now for me for now i'm being me.

00:07:49.770 --> 00:07:52.860 Joseph McElroy: I just I just think that's incredibly lovely.

00:07:54.240 --> 00:07:57.750 Joseph McElroy: You know, and you get to find new horizons and and.

00:07:58.890 --> 00:08:05.250 Joseph McElroy: And rest your eyes on wonder, you see vistas every time you'd make a curve in the.

00:08:06.000 --> 00:08:17.190 Joseph McElroy: Mountain roads, it opens up to a new vista that's just awestruck it's just it's just you're just you're just your breath is taken away, especially, believe it or not, in the winter.

00:08:17.700 --> 00:08:25.950 Joseph McElroy: Because you're driving these roads and the leaves have to have trimmed away they're still the greenery because you have evergreens, but you have.

00:08:26.250 --> 00:08:43.140 Joseph McElroy: You know the leaves have revealed the beauty of the view that they protected from all year long only the people brave enough to go and explore and discover during a cold time can see and they're stunning, I mean i'm just telling you the abuser stunning.

00:08:45.780 --> 00:08:59.070 Joseph McElroy: And so, and you know, and I think every time you go and you discover a new adventure, I mean you're traveling a road that you've been before it's i've been where i've been it's been where i've been.

00:08:59.610 --> 00:09:06.030 Joseph McElroy: But it's an ever changing scene, you know you're always seeing something new, everything is different.

00:09:07.710 --> 00:09:15.930 Joseph McElroy: And then, when you go home when you go home when you leave the mountains you actually feel refreshed and you feel happy.

00:09:16.740 --> 00:09:27.930 Joseph McElroy: All right, you've you've done something you've gone you've you've experienced different culture you've seen different things you've been out out of doors you've clean click clear water you've had some of the cleanest.

00:09:28.350 --> 00:09:37.350 Joseph McElroy: You know quarters in in the in the United States, maybe the world you've had you know some air that's unperturbed by you know pollution.

00:09:37.920 --> 00:09:54.690 Joseph McElroy: And it's just I think a wonderful escape, especially in these times and it reminds me that you know, President Roosevelt Franklin D Roosevelt when he you know sort of was in, and you know was dedicating these.

00:09:56.310 --> 00:10:04.320 Joseph McElroy: These this Park, he said, there are trees here that stood before our forefathers ever came to this continent.

00:10:04.920 --> 00:10:11.730 Joseph McElroy: They are brooks that still run as clear as on the day that first pioneer cut his hand and drank from them.

00:10:12.630 --> 00:10:30.300 Joseph McElroy: In this Park, we should conserve these trees, the pie, the red, but the dogwood the azalea the rhododendron and the trout that and the thrush for the happiness of the American people and more than the American people I think it's the happiness of people from all over the world.

00:10:33.690 --> 00:10:42.420 Joseph McElroy: So I am I sort of was a you know emotional day and this really is, I think.

00:10:43.800 --> 00:10:53.250 Joseph McElroy: sums up my feeling for the mountains and why come back so much and never really left home i've been all over the world, and I lived several different places and.

00:10:53.610 --> 00:11:05.790 Joseph McElroy: I love city life because you know I need a lot of stimulation, but then, when I get a little crazy, I have to go back home, I have to have that clean clear waters and the cool breeze.

00:11:06.180 --> 00:11:13.950 Joseph McElroy: and clean air and I have to have the adventures in the in the in the in the wilds I have to recharge by going there.

00:11:15.210 --> 00:11:19.320 Joseph McElroy: And you know, I think it works for just about anybody to do that.

00:11:21.720 --> 00:11:42.120 Joseph McElroy: And so I encourage you to consider it your home away from home the place you go and explore, because it was meant for you, when it was first consecrated it was meant for you to come and to have that recharging experience and especially in these times of coven and.

00:11:43.140 --> 00:11:44.040 Joseph McElroy: And you know.

00:11:45.090 --> 00:11:55.200 Joseph McElroy: You know, violence in the riotous and yeah policy politicisation it's something where everybody can go without worrying about what the politics of your neighbors are you know, without.

00:11:55.980 --> 00:12:10.620 Joseph McElroy: yeah because you're all looking at nature and you're all escaped from that world for a brief time and you just be human beings together looking at things you know socially distance because you're outside you can be away, but you can still be aware of other people.

00:12:11.880 --> 00:12:18.570 Joseph McElroy: And you know I even you first get there you come to all these towns that have tourism things that seem, some of them seem a little crass and them seem authentic.

00:12:19.140 --> 00:12:28.560 Joseph McElroy: But when you go up into the park and you grew up in the wilderness it's still as authentic and beautiful and undisturbed as it's ever been and you can explore.

00:12:29.490 --> 00:12:41.040 Joseph McElroy: The way I think that you don't get to do a lot in your life alright, so when we come back we're going to talk about ways to get into the smoky mountains and what's going on around those entrances.

00:15:37.980 --> 00:15:44.130 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies.

00:15:45.390 --> 00:15:46.320 Joseph McElroy: podcast.

00:15:47.700 --> 00:15:58.020 Joseph McElroy: i'm my guest today and i'm talking about the entrances to the smoky mountains now you know I don't know why it's a thing.

00:15:59.100 --> 00:16:07.080 Joseph McElroy: But if you're if you're if you're looking around online you'll see lots of talk about the entrances to the smoky mountains.

00:16:08.100 --> 00:16:19.410 Joseph McElroy: They have an employee of the year, since I grown up become an important cultural aspect of visiting and where you're going to come into that My guess is because the crowds come and people want to know.

00:16:19.830 --> 00:16:25.080 Joseph McElroy: which ones are the most fun or which ones are the easiest to get one and where's the secret ones, and all that sort of stuff.

00:16:26.880 --> 00:16:32.220 Joseph McElroy: So the ones on the Tennessee cider are fairly well known.

00:16:33.570 --> 00:16:39.840 Joseph McElroy: And i'll talk about them another day but i'm gonna i'm gonna focus on the less well known ones on the North Carolina side.

00:16:42.060 --> 00:16:42.930 Joseph McElroy: Just to.

00:16:44.040 --> 00:16:46.890 Joseph McElroy: Just to you know give some.

00:16:47.940 --> 00:16:53.460 Joseph McElroy: give some balance to the whole conversation about the entrances so like I said I didn't.

00:16:54.510 --> 00:17:06.120 Joseph McElroy: I didn't know much about entrances growing up, I I just I would go I would ride on a trail somewhere and then we'd been the smoky mountains or we just go and get in the car and drive somewhere and we'd be in the smoky mountains.

00:17:07.620 --> 00:17:11.970 Joseph McElroy: There was no, this is, this is the you know certain entrance.

00:17:13.020 --> 00:17:23.670 Joseph McElroy: I live near the appalachian trail coast that goes through the smoky mountains and i'd walk on that icon, that being the smoky mountain, so I actually had to do a little research.

00:17:25.200 --> 00:17:41.250 Joseph McElroy: You know and and find out more about the the official names of them and what they are, and so it's sort of fun for me to do some reading here and i'm gonna give you some of that information but anyway, the entrances concept is is news you to me, is it is to you.

00:17:42.990 --> 00:17:43.500 Joseph McElroy: So.

00:17:46.200 --> 00:17:52.740 Joseph McElroy: The first one i'm going to talk about his newfound gap road and oh kind of left the.

00:17:54.180 --> 00:17:59.430 Joseph McElroy: entrance to the great smoky mountains okay so.

00:18:00.630 --> 00:18:18.480 Joseph McElroy: Newfoundland there's a group called new family out road and it's the road almost everyone who visit the great smoky mountains National Park will drive on, it is a section of us for for one that crosses the park North, the South over the crest of the great smoky mountains.

00:18:19.590 --> 00:18:27.090 Joseph McElroy: And it links the towns of cherokee and get lumber, which is all the Tennessee side and cherokee has been on the North Carolina side.

00:18:29.610 --> 00:18:40.200 Joseph McElroy: You know what's interesting is is that before they built the smoky mountain the great smoky mountain National Park there used to be a gap up there called Indian gap.

00:18:41.070 --> 00:18:48.540 Joseph McElroy: And everybody thought that that was the lowest gap to cross that CREST that there existed, but when they went to build the.

00:18:49.170 --> 00:19:03.150 Joseph McElroy: The the road you know and to go across it and help you know you know with the smoky mountain building it is that they found there was actually a gap that was 15 I guess 15 miles.

00:19:03.570 --> 00:19:11.850 Joseph McElroy: deeper and are some some amount of deeper I forget the exact details but, and so they started calling a new yeah newfound gap.

00:19:12.330 --> 00:19:24.360 Joseph McElroy: And then, then that became that became the name the feature, and it became the name of the road, so this newfound gap my name and the road, are all birth, with the great smoky mountain National Park.

00:19:26.430 --> 00:19:34.140 Joseph McElroy: Now I want to talk a little bit about chair key before we go into what the what the park is like you know Tara key.

00:19:35.580 --> 00:19:50.070 Joseph McElroy: Is a town in the Koala boundary Indian reservation which is not actually technically a reservation it's a it's actually a private land that's that's held in trust by the Federal Government.

00:19:50.580 --> 00:20:00.840 Joseph McElroy: And then that can be privately owned bought and sold by people, but that people had to be enrolled in the eastern tribe of the cherokee Indians.

00:20:03.000 --> 00:20:03.990 Joseph McElroy: So it's.

00:20:05.070 --> 00:20:24.030 Joseph McElroy: it's a special area I think in that regard now in cherokee it's a great town to go visit right in you know you can see original culture there, you can see original Indian culture, you can see spectacular waterfalls.

00:20:25.530 --> 00:20:28.650 Joseph McElroy: there's there are they have some great fly fishing tournaments there.

00:20:29.970 --> 00:20:37.080 Joseph McElroy: And, of course, you can see, they have a they have some great cherokee cultural attractions, and I think one of the most beautiful is the.

00:20:37.440 --> 00:20:46.290 Joseph McElroy: The cherokee museum, one of the first times I ever saw 3D technology used was when I went to that museum I don't know 20 years ago.

00:20:46.680 --> 00:21:00.270 Joseph McElroy: And you have you go through it and they have a medicine man as a guide and all the different experiences, but he shows up as a hologram so he's in a hologram and all these things, it was really cool is mind blowing at the time.

00:21:01.980 --> 00:21:11.700 Joseph McElroy: And, and I would recommend you go there and there's all sorts of interesting shopping, you know I love there's a there's a couple stores, one of them has you know.

00:21:12.300 --> 00:21:21.030 Joseph McElroy: where you can go find original masks I love masks and they have all these that they have these these indigenous people that will.

00:21:21.420 --> 00:21:36.240 Joseph McElroy: Create mass in the mountains in the cherokee and you know and they represent all sorts of aspects of culture, but they're huge they're well crafted beautiful artifacts and you know they're they're they're making them for.

00:21:37.320 --> 00:21:48.030 Joseph McElroy: For for selling to support themselves and you know and bring income into their family so it's not cultural appropriation to go buy something because they're doing it for that purpose.

00:21:49.020 --> 00:22:04.440 Joseph McElroy: And it's actually helping them, so you can go there by some beautiful massive and then they use things you know interesting textures of grasses and things to make hair and other you know elements of the mass that are just surprising.

00:22:06.000 --> 00:22:18.120 Joseph McElroy: Also that's big and cherokee is there's there's the storytelling bonfires that are like every Saturday and Friday night during the warm months and and into the into the cooler months but not really.

00:22:18.870 --> 00:22:28.740 Joseph McElroy: cold where they tell mountain stories cherokee stories, which are incredible you know fun events for both fam for for families and individuals.

00:22:30.150 --> 00:22:45.600 Joseph McElroy: You can you have they have amazing shopping there they've got casinos there, so now, so you know that's really as made the town itself really more upscale so they got some incredible stores there but they still have some some charming stores to.

00:22:46.920 --> 00:22:56.640 Joseph McElroy: You know from the old days that are still around so you can capture both sort of a little bit more glitz and also get a lot of that mountain town charm there.

00:22:57.840 --> 00:23:13.440 Joseph McElroy: And you can and then there's some really great shows and Al and cultural you know performances there and everybody should go see the outdoor drama onto these hills that tells the story of the tale of tree or tears.

00:23:14.100 --> 00:23:20.970 Joseph McElroy: which I i'm assuming most of you will know, and if not, you should go look it up online on that go into it right, the second but.

00:23:22.470 --> 00:23:29.970 Joseph McElroy: it's basically is the the trail of moving many of the cherokee to Oklahoma that was forced upon them by the government.

00:23:30.690 --> 00:23:47.760 Joseph McElroy: a wonderful quote I read, while doing my research was we're still here we're still cherokee we speak our language dance our songs know our history, our culture, our hearts arts, we are cherokee.

00:23:48.600 --> 00:24:01.710 Joseph McElroy: I feel it's a duty to our ancestors to bring these event to life and to allow the outside world to have perspective on the events that transpired and how they shaped us as a people.

00:24:02.400 --> 00:24:16.320 Joseph McElroy: And this is said by Mike crow, who is a cherokee native who is performed in the outdoor drama under these hills, for the last 12 seasons, they they it seems to me they approach.

00:24:17.340 --> 00:24:25.650 Joseph McElroy: Their community and their professions and their tourism with a depth feeling and thought that makes it pretty special to go there.

00:24:27.000 --> 00:24:42.330 Joseph McElroy: So anyway, the US 4441 leaves the the the quality boundary Indian reservation the town of cherokee and shortly enters into the ghosts smoky mountain grants the great smoky mountain park and there's an entrance sign there.

00:24:47.040 --> 00:24:48.720 Joseph McElroy: The blue Ridge it's.

00:24:50.940 --> 00:24:53.850 Joseph McElroy: it's Actually, I think, called the blue Ridge parkway entrance.

00:24:55.170 --> 00:25:02.910 Joseph McElroy: And it's about mile point I know there's an entrance to the blue Ridge parkway I want you to get into the park, so you can actually travel.

00:25:03.990 --> 00:25:06.300 Joseph McElroy: All over the 469 miles to.

00:25:07.350 --> 00:25:20.760 Joseph McElroy: To the shadowed and national park by giving starting at the blue Ridge parkway right there in Africa cherokee well, the first thing you're going to see is something called the account of left be visitor centers and it's.

00:25:21.780 --> 00:25:25.110 Joseph McElroy: It is a is a very busy.

00:25:26.190 --> 00:25:35.460 Joseph McElroy: location there's a there's a trail that starts there there's also a visitor Center it's one of the four visitor centers in the park so it's worth stopping there.

00:25:36.780 --> 00:25:42.810 Joseph McElroy: And it's open almost every day, except for Christmas and it's you know 200 out of nine to five.

00:25:44.040 --> 00:26:03.030 Joseph McElroy: And it's it has lots of interesting programs there's there's some ranger lead programs about the the park there and they have they have a another museum exhibit there that tells life in the mountains from the native Americans, they also have a.

00:26:04.290 --> 00:26:17.460 Joseph McElroy: The they have a farm museum all right and it came out in farm country museum that has actually log structures of farmhouse a bar and smokehouse apple house corn cribs and others.

00:26:17.880 --> 00:26:27.240 Joseph McElroy: And it actually has demonstrations of mountain farm life that is conducted season so it's very interesting, especially for kids to go and stop there.

00:26:28.410 --> 00:26:33.060 Joseph McElroy: And it says bookstore shops and things like that, so when you keep going on, through that.

00:26:33.600 --> 00:26:41.280 Joseph McElroy: That entrance to the to the great smoky mountains you're going to run across mingus mill which is is a really old.

00:26:41.820 --> 00:26:55.680 Joseph McElroy: grist mill that's still an operation, and it is usually open and the and the seasonal months, so you stop see of chris's megan it's an interesting experience for the kids there's some great correct campgrounds along the way in the.

00:26:57.240 --> 00:26:58.110 Joseph McElroy: In the parkway and.

00:26:59.280 --> 00:27:01.650 Joseph McElroy: In the park in those entrance, especially the smoke mark.

00:27:03.480 --> 00:27:07.590 Joseph McElroy: And it's one of the it's one of the two that is open all around.

00:27:08.670 --> 00:27:22.500 Joseph McElroy: there's some great there's also along that route there's a lot of great picnic areas and there's trails that start from that route, especially there's a they kept part prong trailhead.

00:27:24.120 --> 00:27:28.740 Joseph McElroy: And it's it follows along the kephart from which is a really.

00:27:31.020 --> 00:27:40.290 Joseph McElroy: Really, you know beautiful spot, and it makes it to a historic shelter and, of course, then you get to cleanse Dome, which is one of the.

00:27:41.280 --> 00:27:52.980 Joseph McElroy: One of the tallest highest point it's actually the highest point in the park and you can go up clean the road off the, off the newfound gap road to get right up to that spot.

00:27:55.020 --> 00:28:01.410 Joseph McElroy: And then enter the Tennessee we'll talk about yeah i'm not gonna talk about too much in your tea, but you end up cut you see Jimmy top 20 top.

00:28:02.940 --> 00:28:06.000 Joseph McElroy: You get a couple more trails and the end up going into.

00:28:07.500 --> 00:28:08.550 Joseph McElroy: into the.

00:28:09.660 --> 00:28:10.500 Joseph McElroy: into the.

00:28:12.900 --> 00:28:21.360 Joseph McElroy: what's called the the sugar lands valley nature trail and and that's really where the that's actually the sugar land.

00:28:21.900 --> 00:28:27.150 Joseph McElroy: nate valleys nature trail and gatlinburg where it ends, is the is the largest.

00:28:27.870 --> 00:28:36.030 Joseph McElroy: entrance to the trail with the most people because you know gatlinburg is a huge tourist town it's got dollywood and things like that so so the.

00:28:36.750 --> 00:28:54.300 Joseph McElroy: two biggest entrance are the Cone lefty and then the sugar lands, and so this you know major this this new cat this new gap newfound gap road goes between the two biggest entrances to the great smoky mountains National Park.

00:28:55.830 --> 00:29:00.870 Joseph McElroy: So what we'll come back we'll talk about some more entrances to the national.

00:31:23.340 --> 00:31:29.490 Joseph McElroy: Well howdy this is Joseph Franklin mcilroy with the gateway to the smokies podcast.

00:31:30.840 --> 00:31:38.280 Joseph McElroy: And i'm here talking about the entrances to the smoky mountain great smoky mountain national park and the north Carolina side.

00:31:39.510 --> 00:31:43.020 Joseph McElroy: Now my favorite is one of the most remote.

00:31:44.070 --> 00:31:48.390 Joseph McElroy: entrances to the to the the GS Mt p.

00:31:49.560 --> 00:31:53.790 Joseph McElroy: it's called cat lucci Valley, and the reason is my favorite because I grew up real near to it.

00:31:55.500 --> 00:31:55.950 Joseph McElroy: it's.

00:31:57.030 --> 00:32:01.080 Joseph McElroy: it's a it's a valley that probably a lot of my ancestors were.

00:32:02.220 --> 00:32:08.310 Joseph McElroy: would go visit and know the people there, you know when they mentioned all the names I know them all.

00:32:09.270 --> 00:32:25.800 Joseph McElroy: They all and so marine life my family tree, so it is my, it has to be my favorite and when I was a kid we'd go there, you know, to go up, and you know in there and go do some hiking and and other things, so it was it was a playground for us.

00:32:27.030 --> 00:32:39.480 Joseph McElroy: kind of beauty valley was actually settled in the 1800s by homesteaders and actually flourished and all the way up until when they made it in the great smoky mountains National Park 1928.

00:32:39.990 --> 00:32:55.920 Joseph McElroy: And that's when the it started to be rumors in the US Government was buying up land for the park, and so a lot of people started moving out and then by 1938 there was only a few law for a few remain and then the rest of new way.

00:32:58.230 --> 00:33:04.650 Joseph McElroy: But you know because they stayed so long and up until the time that it was it was ending you know, there was being built.

00:33:05.040 --> 00:33:12.240 Joseph McElroy: That there there's a lot of old Community buildings that were performed pervert preserve for historic display.

00:33:12.750 --> 00:33:30.870 Joseph McElroy: So there's there's a there's an old Chapel called the Palmer Chapel there's an old barn called the well will Mister Mister barn and there's a call will place a call wells and message or palmer's are still big surnames in the in the mountains there, and some of them are my relatives.

00:33:32.730 --> 00:33:40.260 Joseph McElroy: And there's, but they also you know so it's it's a great place to go there's lots of hiking there's lots of common ground there's.

00:33:40.590 --> 00:33:48.870 Joseph McElroy: A lot of wildlife watching I don't know if you know that but there's an there's more diversity birds, I think, and then the great smoky mountains than anywhere else.

00:33:49.320 --> 00:34:05.490 Joseph McElroy: And, of course, fishing is huge catching brown brown brown trout and small small mountain streams, is an adventure and incredibly fun and if you go to the some of the bigger streams a stock it with rainbow trout which gives you a real game fish experience.

00:34:07.020 --> 00:34:07.470 Joseph McElroy: You know, and then.

00:34:10.170 --> 00:34:21.810 Joseph McElroy: The National Park service reintroduced elk into the smoky mountains and they did it and cattle lucci Valley, and it was the first time elk had been in those woods for over 150 years.

00:34:23.220 --> 00:34:42.600 Joseph McElroy: And they have they have actually really thrive their way they and and they actually come out of there now all over the place they're they're seeing in cherokee they're seeing Maggie Valley, there was a video around the other day, with a herd of elk walking into Maggie Valley.

00:34:43.680 --> 00:34:45.810 Joseph McElroy: So it's it's not at all.

00:34:49.710 --> 00:35:02.010 Joseph McElroy: To see elk you can you can actually see it in the surrounding towns, but going up in those in that valley and seeing them in their natural habitat and all the different seasons, they do different things it's it's incredible experience.

00:35:03.270 --> 00:35:03.900 Joseph McElroy: So.

00:35:05.100 --> 00:35:13.320 Joseph McElroy: Ken lucci valleys general is supposedly open year round, but you know a lot of times, the road to get close because they're they're pretty ricky roads getting up in there.

00:35:14.580 --> 00:35:28.080 Joseph McElroy: You you actually have to get off from my 40 X 20 and then you you turn right on to the coal creek road and then you're going to be drive and almost 11 miles to the cat lucci park entrance.

00:35:29.100 --> 00:35:36.780 Joseph McElroy: But that code creek road is is only paved in some sections and others others it's just dirt and gravel and sometimes it's only one way.

00:35:37.260 --> 00:35:50.160 Joseph McElroy: yeah so and it's got hairpin turns and it's got rough road, so it can make it, it can make it an adventure to get there, sometimes it can take an hour to get to that 11 miles.

00:35:51.900 --> 00:35:54.000 Joseph McElroy: And even an hour and a half, as what i've heard.

00:35:56.580 --> 00:36:09.570 Joseph McElroy: So I was talking about, you know what besides all the net the normal outdoor things that you can do it's really fun to be aware that you know there's some definite seasons, to the elk that makes it that makes it.

00:36:11.190 --> 00:36:20.700 Joseph McElroy: Something to go you around to see them, so you know they they have the Calvin caddying seasons, where the CAP calves and Ward and.

00:36:21.630 --> 00:36:33.240 Joseph McElroy: And so you go to try and you know, see the cows see the cows hide that with with their calves, but a lot of times they try to hide them so don't go try.

00:36:33.780 --> 00:36:45.540 Joseph McElroy: dumping in the deep grass and do anything so get a pretty good pretty protective going to be aggressive, but then by June they're they're the casual out, and you can you can see that moving around with the herd.

00:36:47.400 --> 00:36:48.780 Joseph McElroy: Then during the summer, their.

00:36:49.860 --> 00:36:56.550 Joseph McElroy: Their their their out out grazing and the and the bulls are getting rapidly growing new ultra altars.

00:36:57.000 --> 00:37:05.010 Joseph McElroy: And the calves are grown and it's a pretty exciting time to see them, then in the fall the male's is a mating season, they in the.

00:37:05.430 --> 00:37:14.640 Joseph McElroy: UFC fights and you'll see a lot of sounds you'll see you know, then that's when they venture out of the mountains, a lot, because they go a long way to see what they can do and find.

00:37:15.600 --> 00:37:25.470 Joseph McElroy: To find a mates and then winter is pretty quiet, it can be hard to get into there, but it can be fun to try to go up there and hike and find them.

00:37:26.910 --> 00:37:34.920 Joseph McElroy: So, but it's often close it's not something that you can do some great trails are up in the in the in the cat lucci and there's.

00:37:35.790 --> 00:37:47.400 Joseph McElroy: there's something called booger man trail, which is one of the most popular trail with hikers there's a little cat lucci trail that will take you by the old cabins in the courage there's the rough for trail, which is sort of an easy.

00:37:48.360 --> 00:37:58.650 Joseph McElroy: To model trip round trip that will go to the woody home site and there's a little bit longer we went to some people more adventurous and there's a there's a something called a pretty how gap.

00:37:59.820 --> 00:38:18.630 Joseph McElroy: that's it's a creek side hike up to pretty something called pretty how again that's another gap in the mountains going over edge, so you can get some great views now cat lucci is located in Johns creek Valley, which is now part of Maggie Valley.

00:38:20.760 --> 00:38:25.590 Joseph McElroy: And I grew up in both in john green valley and Maggie Valley.

00:38:26.730 --> 00:38:30.600 Joseph McElroy: I grew up and was on Johns creek live in something called fox run.

00:38:31.740 --> 00:38:32.940 Joseph McElroy: Which my grandmother.

00:38:34.470 --> 00:38:38.730 Joseph McElroy: Had and actually made into one of the first subdivisions in the mountains.

00:38:40.050 --> 00:38:49.710 Joseph McElroy: But it was very it was still very, very rural I went to a one one room one room basically schoolhouse but it's.

00:38:50.370 --> 00:38:57.000 Joseph McElroy: When my parents eventually bought a metal Arc motel and Maggie Valley, which you guys might have heard if you've listened to before and that's become our.

00:38:57.240 --> 00:39:04.590 Joseph McElroy: sort of our family homestead This is like 45 years ago and we moved into Maggie valley and we became tourism tourism.

00:39:05.040 --> 00:39:12.420 Joseph McElroy: Experts and you know, there was a there was an amusement park golf bag ghost town, the sky that wasn't Maggie of Allah which has since closed, that was the big draw and attraction.

00:39:12.840 --> 00:39:21.060 Joseph McElroy: It was a place where they reproduced old West shows, and things like that the Maggie valley gurus a small authentic mountain.

00:39:21.360 --> 00:39:28.350 Joseph McElroy: A tourist town with lots of little roadside mode hotels and motels and craft stores and arts and crafts and.

00:39:28.890 --> 00:39:39.690 Joseph McElroy: square dancing and you know everything sort of authentic you know mountain culture became you know part of the culture of Maggie valley and, to this day Maggie Valley.

00:39:40.020 --> 00:39:49.830 Joseph McElroy: is one of the top little tourist towns in the north Carolina side of the mountains is but it's very authentic and hasn't become commercialized, to the extent that the Tennessee side has.

00:39:50.880 --> 00:40:01.230 Joseph McElroy: It has a lot of history, and it has it does have a lot of interesting shops and restaurants has got a lot of wood carvers there it's got it's got.

00:40:02.670 --> 00:40:17.040 Joseph McElroy: Its got the wheels through time the museum, which is this museum, full of like millions of dollars worth of old motorcycles and old cars it's still work and actually world renowned museum people coming from around the world to see it.

00:40:18.420 --> 00:40:28.800 Joseph McElroy: We have we have Pat, we have you know there's paddling there's golfing or zip lines there's lots of hiking there's bike trails there's there's a ski resort.

00:40:30.300 --> 00:40:43.470 Joseph McElroy: In the mountains and Maggie valley called Carlucci ski area we we have we have places that they do blue grass authentic blue man grass Raymond fairchild, who was a multi.

00:40:44.190 --> 00:40:49.320 Joseph McElroy: grammy award winning bluegrass player came from Maggie valley so we're very proud of that.

00:40:49.980 --> 00:41:01.350 Joseph McElroy: We used to be called the world craft capital of clogging there's a place called the stomping ground that still does you know stopping does clogging all the time and it's a great place to go and you have wonderful.

00:41:02.820 --> 00:41:09.150 Joseph McElroy: Because it's right valley and amount you get wonderful viewing of the fall colors and the seasons were part of the quilt trail.

00:41:09.540 --> 00:41:19.140 Joseph McElroy: and new things we got is we've got it we've gotten some distilleries and breweries, we got the elevated amount Australia, where does whiskey and moonshine bear waters breweries.

00:41:20.250 --> 00:41:29.430 Joseph McElroy: And and there's a winery we have we have a waterfall that's really great waterfall part of the waterfall trial color soco soco falls.

00:41:29.850 --> 00:41:41.160 Joseph McElroy: We can there's a summer and winter to being for kids and we have a we have a mountain heritage stream that goes right through Maggie value with really fresh water and it's.

00:41:41.790 --> 00:41:52.500 Joseph McElroy: And there's mountain there's mountain trout and there's rainbow trout that are stopped stopped in there and then we have this great festival grounds, called the Maggie valley festival grounds and it's.

00:41:52.980 --> 00:42:06.960 Joseph McElroy: And we have great music grammy award winning bands come there and it's really close to our place the middle or motel so anyway i'm going to tell you briefly about the other three entrances that we had we'll come back and close the show.

00:44:27.150 --> 00:44:39.150 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast and we're talking about the entrances on the North Carolina side of the great smoky mountains National Park.

00:44:40.080 --> 00:44:47.700 Joseph McElroy: Now I was talking about Maggie valley there's another great little town it's not too far from Maggie aliens aliens other side of cherokee and it's called bryson city.

00:44:48.540 --> 00:45:02.280 Joseph McElroy: And it's a it's it's a also another great gateway to the great smoky mountains National Park with really great wildflower streams and as part of the appalachian trail.

00:45:03.780 --> 00:45:15.450 Joseph McElroy: it's a it's known for whitewater rafting because both the Texas tech a CG river is there and then that'll a not a halo river river is there and then that HALO rivers.

00:45:16.110 --> 00:45:25.650 Joseph McElroy: was recommended by ABC is good morning America as the as the number one place to spend a white a wet and wild vacation the US us.

00:45:26.010 --> 00:45:38.940 Joseph McElroy: I remember going there as a kid and they have these areas that are you know very simple and easy to go through, but they got some I think they're called class for rapids that the the the marines and navy seals come and train on.

00:45:39.990 --> 00:45:51.030 Joseph McElroy: So they got some really crazy and great adventures, I was I got adventurous wanting went down one that was a little bit more advanced and I could not was on the front of the.

00:45:51.450 --> 00:45:58.140 Joseph McElroy: The raffle really small guy was on the back and that was the wrong place for me to be because we hit what that a little waterfall.

00:45:58.560 --> 00:46:12.810 Joseph McElroy: You know, and I hit the bottom and he came flying out because I pushed down he knocked me and I went in the ref one on top of me, and I was twirl around it took me a minute to reach out and grab that thing and push it out of there, but that was the more adventurous.

00:46:14.880 --> 00:46:25.680 Joseph McElroy: experience, I think the net a halo is where some of the deliverance was filmed to his deliverance that movie was filmed in that area and no the banjo player was not my relative I don't think, but he could have been.

00:46:27.150 --> 00:46:37.530 Joseph McElroy: Also in bryce and city is there's a smoky mountain trains museum of course that goes along with the great smoky mountains railroad.

00:46:38.010 --> 00:46:51.960 Joseph McElroy: I have a nice mountain railroad and they have a they have a heaven old steam engine pulling cars and do it and taking tourists on tours of the various small towns around the mountains and.

00:46:52.590 --> 00:47:06.870 Joseph McElroy: And you know they'll have they'll have food on these times and they'll have dinner, you know that have music they'll have all sorts of different experiences and they want called the polar express as during the Christmas and wintertime things for kids that's very popular.

00:47:08.340 --> 00:47:17.670 Joseph McElroy: They also have a fly fishing museum with you know with all sorts of fishing gear and fly rods from the 1800s.

00:47:18.960 --> 00:47:21.840 Joseph McElroy: So there's two entrances near.

00:47:23.160 --> 00:47:25.230 Joseph McElroy: near bryson city.

00:47:27.150 --> 00:47:30.630 Joseph McElroy: And you have one is called deep creek, and that is.

00:47:31.680 --> 00:47:40.230 Joseph McElroy: That has a lot of popular river tubing waterfalls and campgrounds it's just three miles from.

00:47:41.280 --> 00:47:51.480 Joseph McElroy: From the from the from the great smoky mountains from the railroad and and bryson city as lots of hiking on it.

00:47:52.650 --> 00:47:59.760 Joseph McElroy: So there's a lot of nice day trips from braces so you're able to go up to see the hiking see waterfalls.

00:48:00.870 --> 00:48:08.550 Joseph McElroy: I mean there's there's like several that as one of the areas it's got a lot of them so it's a nice place to go if you want to see a lot of waterfalls just by hiking.

00:48:08.910 --> 00:48:17.700 Joseph McElroy: You know, near near Maggie and cherokee there's some great driving trails to go see a lot of waterfalls but they have actually one that you can go see a bunch of them with the hiking.

00:48:19.140 --> 00:48:30.930 Joseph McElroy: there's that they got they got some creeks you know that are good for tubing most almost all the time yeah some of the towns like even Maggie valley has great creeks that are good for to me but they've had to have a few days of rain first.

00:48:32.490 --> 00:48:34.380 Joseph McElroy: And they have great picnicking there.

00:48:35.760 --> 00:48:36.360 Joseph McElroy: So.

00:48:37.980 --> 00:48:38.310 Joseph McElroy: it's.

00:48:39.720 --> 00:48:41.550 Joseph McElroy: it's it's a great entrance.

00:48:43.200 --> 00:48:46.770 Joseph McElroy: For going and just doing family fun and it's easy to get to.

00:48:48.420 --> 00:48:57.270 Joseph McElroy: The other entrance near bryson city is is called lakeview drive and that's also just about three miles from downtown bryson city.

00:48:58.740 --> 00:49:09.180 Joseph McElroy: And it's it's it's it's actually better known as the the the the the road to nowhere and I mentioned this before, but.

00:49:09.900 --> 00:49:27.270 Joseph McElroy: You know when those people were leaving in the 1938 and 28 there was a lot of negotiations on you know what would happen after they live left because part of the area was also flooded for the for the for the there's a lake there.

00:49:28.290 --> 00:49:38.280 Joseph McElroy: And called like Fontana, and yeah so leaving their young people are leaving things like you know you know homesteads and old.

00:49:38.880 --> 00:49:46.590 Joseph McElroy: Family graveyard so you know they had an agreement to have a road along the most smoky mountain side of the smoky mountain.

00:49:47.310 --> 00:49:57.660 Joseph McElroy: side of the lake that would go to where they could you know visit their loved ones and things like that, but it got caught up in budgetary concerns and problems and it never got built.

00:49:58.050 --> 00:50:12.150 Joseph McElroy: So there's a six mile piece and got built and went to a tunnel and then it stops there and then the other side of tenant goes into a trail hiking trail so it's called the road to nowhere and it's fairly famous.

00:50:13.380 --> 00:50:26.310 Joseph McElroy: And it's you know it's got a lot of beautiful and wonderful things to to go to Atlanta eventually go to Fontana, like you can do a lot of hiking there's a lot of there's some natural there's some old buildings along the way.

00:50:28.110 --> 00:50:29.400 Joseph McElroy: it's a it's got.

00:50:31.770 --> 00:50:32.670 Joseph McElroy: It actually.

00:50:34.140 --> 00:50:45.090 Joseph McElroy: it's got several the major trails go there, including I think another trail to claims Dome so that's another way to get there, which is a great experience.

00:50:46.830 --> 00:50:52.560 Joseph McElroy: And finally, the other, the other entrance is called.

00:50:54.000 --> 00:50:59.670 Joseph McElroy: near five town lake right now Fontana lake is.

00:51:00.810 --> 00:51:09.000 Joseph McElroy: is actually besides Kelly, he values the other remote area, the great smoky mountains, because, basically, you have to get on a boat.

00:51:10.950 --> 00:51:16.020 Joseph McElroy: From on the farm town lake and and have it take you across to one of the small.

00:51:17.190 --> 00:51:21.930 Joseph McElroy: small breweries, on the other side, which is the great smoky mountains and that's like a 20 mile.

00:51:24.360 --> 00:51:25.200 Joseph McElroy: drive.

00:51:26.880 --> 00:51:39.990 Joseph McElroy: And it's Luke that that is located near robin's ville right and robin's hills and other quaint little town and incident Graham county and it's starting to be in the foothills of the mountains.

00:51:41.430 --> 00:51:45.000 Joseph McElroy: And it has lots of outdoor adventures beautiful sceneries.

00:51:46.500 --> 00:51:54.720 Joseph McElroy: And it's it's a nice place to go to get a lot of relaxation, and of course it's it's built around water and like culture.

00:51:55.890 --> 00:52:00.210 Joseph McElroy: And you know you can you can rent a boat, you can do lots of things that sort of town.

00:52:01.470 --> 00:52:06.270 Joseph McElroy: So we got a lot of great small towns in the mountains there's only a few of them I got to talk to you about.

00:52:07.200 --> 00:52:16.440 Joseph McElroy: where you can come and have a great refreshing and experience, you can you can get see studying views you can go home really happy.

00:52:17.430 --> 00:52:35.790 Joseph McElroy: Because you've experienced you know those those moments in travel that are worth living and you know it's a way to get rid of that despair that we all sort of existing in with this pandemic in politics everything else, so let me finish up with.

00:52:37.260 --> 00:52:46.650 Joseph McElroy: You know who would I want to know why i'm doing this, I you know i've got a family motel for the middle of motel it's a classic roadside.

00:52:47.790 --> 00:53:00.090 Joseph McElroy: motel it's been in my family for 45 years and I think the motel itself is around 70 years old it's been renovated, we got some beautiful rooms, you have a huge facility for doing weddings.

00:53:01.260 --> 00:53:09.720 Joseph McElroy: Big big recreation area where we have fire pits and this goes fishing stream goes through it there's another stream so we're actually at the confluence of two streams, which is.

00:53:10.050 --> 00:53:16.800 Joseph McElroy: very lucky for weddings and people who have barbecues we ever usually during the summer, we have a free Barbecue every Saturday night.

00:53:17.160 --> 00:53:27.060 Joseph McElroy: We have lots of music friend of mine is was a former drummer, for the simple minds exploring Scottish roots of the appalachian music and he's playing there all the time.

00:53:27.600 --> 00:53:38.520 Joseph McElroy: I have another site called smokey adventures COM, or you can go to to get listings about all these things I talked about which is like hiking and wedding places and.

00:53:38.910 --> 00:53:43.770 Joseph McElroy: Then you can also buy books and trail maps that help you explore the smoky mountains.

00:53:44.160 --> 00:53:53.700 Joseph McElroy: and find other resources that are really great for you're planning your travels in the smoky mountains and then i'm part of where traveler magazines.

00:53:54.510 --> 00:54:03.870 Joseph McElroy: yeah network, and I have built a section all about the smoky mountains, where traveler calm slash great smoky mountains with dashes between the.

00:54:04.260 --> 00:54:12.120 Joseph McElroy: In the where the spaces should be and it's been around for 80 years that magazines got a lot of visitors and we're doing more in depth stories.

00:54:12.510 --> 00:54:23.070 Joseph McElroy: And profiles of experts and people enter stories that you can go there to fill your your anticipation for coming to the mountains.

00:54:23.640 --> 00:54:37.020 Joseph McElroy: Next week, going to have Bob plot pod plot is a third is the third great grandson of Johannes George plot who first brought the plot bear hounds to America.

00:54:37.440 --> 00:54:54.240 Joseph McElroy: In the mid 18th century and he's the great great nephew of Henry plot who enters the breed of the great smoky mountains in the early 1800s he is got an incredible resume of dealing with doing stuff in the cultural realm as well as the marketing around.

00:54:55.290 --> 00:55:00.420 Joseph McElroy: he's written several books and he's full of information, and I think we're talking a lot about.

00:55:00.750 --> 00:55:14.100 Joseph McElroy: These plot hounds in their car and the cultural impact that they had upon humming in the mountains and I look forward to having you again next week same time same channel, thank you very much i'll see you soon ciao.

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