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Bryson City/Western NC for a month?

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Bryson City/Western NC for a month?

Old 08-26-2017, 09:55 AM
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Default Bryson City/Western NC for a month?

Wife and I are anxiously looking forward to spending the month of September just outside Smoky Mtn Natl Park, Nantahala Natl Forest, Bryson City and Almond NC, etc. We are renting a home there. Very close to Fontana Lake as well.

Any advice, recommendations, things to do, not to do, etc are welcome. Never know...we may be scouting for a return, more permanent, stay too .

It's my wife and me (retired age) plus our two year old lab Tonka.

Thanks, Chris
Old 08-26-2017, 09:59 AM
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If your into mountain biking, you have to go to Tsali......incredible trails. Don't have to be a hardcore mountain biker, you could get by with a hybrid style bike (but will wish you had a mountain bike) for a fun, casual day.

Kayak or raft the Nantahala. Even if your not into kayaking or rafting, it's kind of neat to go down to the big falls at the end of the river at either the beginning of the day or end of the day and watch the water flow/levels as the river is dam controlled. Interesting in the morning to look at the dry rocky falls before they turn the water on and then watch them quickly become a loud, raging falls within minutes as the water starts to flow over them. Not quite as impressive, but also neat to go at the end of the day and watch when the water gets turned off. They have a nice restaurant along the water that has decent food. The big falls are below the restaurant and they don't allow anyone to run them, so everyone has to exit the river before they reach them, but right above the restaurant is a nice set of falls/rapids that you can easily sit and watch people try and navigate....you will see some funny wipe outs.
Old 08-26-2017, 10:11 AM
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Stay away from culluwhee, too many collage kids. And the casinos in Cherokee are dangerous.
Tsali, nantahala and the Nolachukee are a lot of fun though.
Old 08-26-2017, 10:29 AM
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If you have kids and maybe if you don't check out Deep Creek. It's five minutes from downtown area and rents tubes for like $5.00 a day to float down a rocky creek. We would spend all day there when the kids were young.
Old 08-26-2017, 10:38 AM
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I agree with Bikem, deep creek tubing, Fontana dam visit, visit a trout farm and catch your own trout to take home and cook.
Old 08-26-2017, 12:07 PM
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I believe the Ocoee river is the one that turns on in the morning and off in the evening. Its a a higher degree of difficulty that the Nantahala. My older folks and me and my young son (at the time) had a great time on the Nantahala. Very serene and relaxing. Lots of waterfalls to see in the area.
Old 08-26-2017, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by peacemon View Post
I believe the Ocoee river is the one that turns on in the morning and off in the evening. Its a a higher degree of difficulty that the Nantahala. My older folks and me and my young son (at the time) had a great time on the Nantahala. Very serene and relaxing. Lots of waterfalls to see in the area.
Both the Ocoee and Nantahala are dam controlled. The Ocoee is quite a bit further away than the Nantahala which is practically on their doorstep in Bryson City.
Old 08-26-2017, 01:09 PM
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Unto These Hills in Chreokee. Gem mining near Franklin. All the customary things in around the Great Smoky Park; Cades Cove, Clingsmans Dome etc. In Sevierville check out the Smoky Mountain Knife Works.
Old 08-26-2017, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by kone View Post
Wife and I are anxiously looking forward to spending the month of September just outside Smoky Mtn Natl Park, Nantahala Natl Forest, Bryson City and Almond NC, etc. We are renting a home there. Very close to Fontana Lake as well.

Any advice, recommendations, things to do, not to do, etc are welcome. Never know...we may be scouting for a return, more permanent, stay too .

Thanks, Chris
Unfortunately they currently have one of the best attractions (to me.... disabled) closed this season. Parsons Road. It's a dirt road you enter just of the loop at Cades Cove and drive completely over the mountain and come out on the Tail of the Dragon. Most creek crossings have concrete bottoms and you are almost guaranteed to see bear, dear and the occasional Elk if you go in the morning or evening. They closed it due to pine beetles which have hit the Forest very hard and most pines are dead or dying and every time the wind blows there is a blowdown over parsons. But if you like to bike it's open to biking or hiking, neither I'm capable of but if you want to see the most beautiful part of the park that is the road. But you will see bears 90% of the time on that road. Of course fishing in cherokee in top notch, my wife just pushed my wheel chair out into the water under some shade trees and I can sit there all morning and usually do very well. Even have latched on to a few yellow trout up near the bridge. Don't do the train, it's turned into a tourist trap and the best routes have been dropped. I think next month Ober Gatlinburg opens the snow tubing area, has a beautiful year round ice skating rink that I like to watch.... very interesting to watch but I think the inner tubing would be absolutely freezing. I've never done it but I see kids doing it. Ice cold water and Dystonia are not compatible..... at all. Breakfast at Peters in Cherokee or Flapjacks in Pidgeon Forge. I'd bypass Gatlinburg all together. For the best burger you've ever had try Wize Guyz in Cherokee, Real ground steak, the OMG burger is the one. Go the the Cherokee trout hatchery to see some MONSTER trout. Don't bother fishing Fontana, waste of time.

Old 08-26-2017, 01:50 PM
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We did the Great Smoky Mtn railway trip when we were in Bryson City couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.
Old 08-26-2017, 01:55 PM
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Guess I should add young "retired age" and active wife and me plus our two year old lab Tonka.
Old 08-26-2017, 02:07 PM
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If you are in decent shape and active, walking the trails at Tsali rather than biking them would be great with the dog, especially during the week as they are generally less crowded and you may never see another person. The trails alternate days when they are open to horses or bikes, but they are always open to walkers. They are wide trails and you can let the dog off the leash as long as you know the dog will not pose a threat or menace to the occasional biker or horse if they are encountered. Trails haven't different lengths and many are big loops, but you can walk out as far as you want and then turn around if you don't feel like doing the whole loop. They are very well marked and wide enough for you and your wife to walk side by side. On side note, you may not want to go after a rainy day as many of them have long stretches of clay that tend to get muddy and may not be so enjoyable to walk. If your really in great shape or adventurous, you can hop on the Appalachian Trail and go out and back. Tons of water falls in the area if that's your thing.
Old 08-26-2017, 03:19 PM
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The fishing's pretty good in Fontana if you have access to a boat. I was there in August many years ago and was told at the marina that the fishing wasn't very good that time of year and buying a license would probably be a waste but I managed several walleye and a few rainbows as well!
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:22 PM
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Check out Sliding Rock, in the Pisgah National Forest, near Brevard, NC. (In Brevard, look out for white squirrels, one of the few areas where they can be found!)

https://www.visitnc.com/listing/sliding-rock
Old 08-26-2017, 03:26 PM
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While there, head over to Asheville and check out the Biltmore estate (bout an hr drive). Check out Dollywood, it is pretty cool. My mom lives in Bryson in the summers. The train is a must try once. Deep creek is really nice to picnic at. Drive the parkway (Sept probably to early for leaves changing). Go have drink or dinner at the Freymont inn. Lots to do!
Old 08-26-2017, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Diverboy View Post
Both the Ocoee and Nantahala are dam controlled. The Ocoee is quite a bit further away than the Nantahala which is practically on their doorstep in Bryson City.
My Apologies. I've seen the Ocoee turned on and off. Rafted the Nantahala but I didn't know they controlled the flow on it. My folks had a place in Murphy.
Old 08-26-2017, 04:29 PM
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Lots of great feedback so far, keep it coming.

Also tell of places to eat and drink, especially breweries.
Old 08-26-2017, 05:17 PM
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If you like vintage motorcycles the Wheels through time museum in Maggie Valley is a must see. Every thing in the place starts and runs!
Old 08-26-2017, 05:18 PM
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Deep creek is COLD! My grandfather had a cabin up in the mountains near Bryson and I learned to fly fish on Deep Creek as a young man. Campground is gone. The tubers have driven the trout into Tennessee so the fishing is gone. Used to go the the local drug store (Swains) for ice cream. I think there a train ride up the mountains you can take. Cherokee has a nice museum of Indian art. Some impressive baskets (EXPENSIVE).
Old 08-26-2017, 05:52 PM
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We usually take a drive through the roaring fork trail just out of Gatlinburg There are a couple of old homesteads left that are neat to walk through. The Catalochee Valley on the North end of the park is a little more secluded and normally have elk out in the fields early and late. Cade's cove is usually a nice drive with the chance to see bear and whitetail. Clingmans Dome is a good place to visit. If you are a little more adventurous you can hike into the Laconte lodge and spend the night. The Dixie stampede in Pigeon Forge for a live show and dinner.

Lecontelodge.com

https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/roaringfork.htm

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