New Elk Patrol Rides in Smoky Mountains


What is the Elk Bike Patrol? Elk Patrol? What’s the Elk Patrol? If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry. It’s new. A $1,000 grant from the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority to Friends of the Smokies has made the new Elk Patrol possible. So what is it? The new Elk Patrol is a group […]

Plan a Visit to the Great Smokies Today!


The following is a guest post by Laura Chapman, who is a freelance writer. You can email Laura your thoughts and comments at

Elk in the Smokies: What to Know


When you think of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you think of black bears. Or maybe salamanders. But did you know that rangers are trying to reintroduce elk into the park? Elk used to be native to the area, and roamed the Great Smokies. But in the mid-1800s, they were eliminated from the area, […]

Touring the Blue Ridge Parkway — North Carolina’s Finest Appalachian Scenery, Wildlife, & Culture


The following is a guest blog post, written by Angie Picardo. Angie is a writer at NerdWallet, a consumer friendly financial literacy site where you can find advice on traveling with your family to comparing long-term care insurance.

How to Plan a Trip to Gatlinburg in 6 Easy Steps


Heading to Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains for the first time? It can be overwhelming at first. But you won’t regret it! It’s our absolute FAVORITE place to visit! There’s SO much to do! To help you, I’ll be walking you through six steps to planning your trip. Take it a step at a time, […]

How to Hike Safely in Winter Weather

Snow hit the Smokies on Monday. Here's how to be prepared.

Last week, a hiker was rescued after being stuck in the sudden, unexpected snow from Superstorm Sandy for nearly 24 hours. According to WBIR, Steven Ainsworth, 56, was hiking the Appalachian Trail alone when he got stuck: “He was hiking the Appalachian Trail in reverse, and was actually in one of the most rugged sections […]

Wildfire Spreads in Cherokee National Forest

According to the Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog, U.S. Forest Service officials at the Cherokee National Forest say that a wildfire has burned almost 200 acres in Polk County since Monday. About 50 rangers and volunteer fire fighters are trying to contain the blaze. The effort is made more difficult by the terrain, which is steep […]

5 Things We Love About the Smoky Mountains

Rock hopping! We LOVE it! Wish I was rock hopping right now...

Fail. That’s me! For almost two and a half years, I’ve written the CabinConnection blog three times a week, except on holidays. Until last week. Huh. Last week, I only managed to produce ONE blog entry! I could make excuses about Mother’s Day and my birthday (yes! I turned 34 last week!) and the new […]

Dollywood American Eagle Has Triplets

Oh yes, they are furry and cute. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, bald eagle parents “Independence” and “Franklin” gave birth to three babies last week in the “Eagle Mountain Sanctuary” at Dollywood. Apparently, the babies are called triplets because they all hatched from their eggs within a 30-hour period, which […]

5 Spots to Camp in the Smokies


Okay, so I’m not a huge fan of sleeping in a tent. But I know a lot of people are. Two of those people happen to be in my family. For sure, I’ll be spending at least a few nights in a tent this summer. Maybe even in the Smoky mountains. If so, I’ll need […]