Category Archives: Uncategorized

Government Shutdown Impacting Fall Vacations?

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Well, it happened….the government ceased to come to an agreement and therefore the government is shutdown for now. This means that the National Parks across the country have closed their gates and are limiting access for visitors. However, the popular section of 441 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will remain open during the shutdown and families will still be able to enjoy the beauty of one of the nations most popular parks during the government shutdown. The Blue Ridge Parkway will also remain open during the this time and visitors will be able to access this beautiful section of highway that stretches across the blue ridge mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. 

These two sections of road are some of the most scenic in the Western North Carolina area, asImage well as the most popular to visit. if these two roads would have been closed due to the shutdown the tourism in this area would have been affected dramatically. October is one of the biggest months of the year for this area and there are many small businesses that depend on this months visitors to help get them through the winter. No one is really sure how long this government shutdown will last, but the great thing about it is that we here in the mountains can still enjoy the beauty of the government property that surrounds us!

We hope that this shutdown does not alter your plans and that you still plan on visiting the mountains this fall, the colors are going to be great this year! As for all the government employees out there that have been furloughed during this time we are sorry to hear this and we hope this problem gets resolved quickly.

Mountain Leaf Lookers Contest

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To celebrate the official start of the fall season in the Mountains of North Carolina Yellow Rose Realty is going to be giving away some tickets to take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad this fall. The Railroad is a great way to see the colors of fall and relax while taking in all of the awesome views. Read on to find out hoe to enter.

Yellow Rose Realty is giving away two tickets to ride the Great Smoky Mountains this October, a value of over $100. The contest is located on their Facebook wall, all you have to do is find a post containing the picture you see above then like the photo and write a comment on it about why you love fall in the mountains! This contest is super easy to enter, so you should go to Facebook right now and enter. The winner will be chosen on September 30th, but the tickets must be used in October 2013 or they will no longer be good. Make sure to like the Yellow Rose Realty Facebook Page and Share the post with your friends. Good Luck!

Fall is on it’s Way!

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One of our favorite times of year around the mountains of North Carolina is fall! The mountains change from and endless sea of lush greens to a never ending canvas of splotched reds, yellows, oranges. These beautiful colors give the mountains a warm and rich feel that makes you just want to curl up next to a fire and sip some hot apple cider. Fall in the mountains also means tons of festivals and events, there are many things for visitors to enjoy when they visit during the fall and you can find a whole list of what will be going on in the area under out Area Events page.

We are almost to the middle of September and the Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 1.30.40 PMcolors have already started to change a little in the higher elevations, but the peak season usually does not show up until early October in the high elevations and late October early November in the valleys. Once the colors really start to change, a ride on the Blue ridge Parkway or through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be breathtaking. The gorgeous view paired with the bright colors of fall make for some of the best memories of the mountains.

Fall color experts were saying that the colors this year might not be as good because of all the rain we had this summer. However, the experts did say that if we had a dry and hot September that the leaves would be bright and colorful, and let me tell you what, we have had a very hot September! Our weather over the past two weeks has been more like summer than anything we saw all summer, hot and dry has been the usual lately and that is fine with us because the brighter the colors in the fall the better!

Check out the Great Smoky Mountains Association’s Fall Color Report for updates on what the color is doing in the area and what the predictions are for peak season. We hope to see you in the mountains this fall! Make sure to check out yellowroserealty.com for specials on vacation cabin rentals in the area.

The Busy Season

IMG_0886It is officially here, “The Busy Season”! The week of July 4th is one of the busiest of the entire year, with thousands of people descending on our little town to enjoy the beauty of the nature around them and to steal a little bit of our small town charm for their memories. We love this time of year because there is so much going on and there are tons of people around to help boost our small town economy, but this also means that we will be working ourselves to death until the visitors leave. We are okay with working overtime right now though, because in a seasonal town like this you have to make up for January, February, and March when you can.

Even though we find ourselves working a lot during this time of the year we also find time to still enjoy the beautiful place that we call home,  and we would like to share with you some of the things that you should not miss out on seeing/doing when you are in town.

1. Deep Creek

Tubing at Deep Creek, fun things to do in the smokies, family fun in Bryson City, NC
Familly Fun at Deep Creek in Bryson City, NC

This a special spot because it is part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and even though it is very busy in the parking and picnicking areas during this time of the year you can still find peace and relaxation if you are willing to hike far enough in to the park. Many people will just turn around once they see how many people are using Deep Creek for tubing, but if you take the initiative to hike 1/2 mile further than the rest of the crowd you will not be disappointed! With many waterfalls, diverse wildlife, hundreds of thousands of trees, and much more your time spent here will be simple but so enjoyable.

2. Wesser Fire Tower or Wesser Bald

This is a great spot to go where you can experience some great mountain views and peacefulness without being tuck in traffic and sharing your time with hundreds of other visitors. You can drive most of the way to Wesser Fire Tower and then the hike is about 1.5 miles on the Appalachian Trail. Once you reach the fire tower you can climb on up and sit and soak in the views while enjoying a picnic or take a short nap, be sure to bring sunscreen though.

3. The Fingerlake

IMG_0932The Fingerlake is part of the Nantahala National Forest, this lake is connected to Fontana Lake by a pipes, so that means no boat traffic to worry about! There are absolutely no motorized water crafts allowed on this part of the lake, so that means you can swim, paddle-board, kayak, canoe, float, soak up the sun, and much more without having to worry about getting run-over by a boat. This is a very popular spot in the summer for locals and tourists alike to cool off and enjoy the water, but it is still one of our favorites!

These are the places we will share with you for now, check in later on for more unique places that you should not miss while you are visiting our small town with a big backyard!

 

No More Rumor, US-441 is Open!

With an extra $500,000 dangling in front of the construction company working diligently on the road construction project would you expect anything less than a completion date over a month ahead of schedule? Well, if you did, they have proved you wrong; but in the end they have truly surprised and excited the businesses the rely on that section of road to bring in many tourists every year. Just in time for the tourist season to set in and having US-441 back open has changed the grim outlook many businesses had on the upcoming season to smiles and enthusiasm!

US-441 is one of our favorite drives in Western North Carolina because there are just so many things that you can do and see along the way! Here is a list of our favorite things to do while driving through the National Park on any given day, however, you may have to make multiple trips to complete the list.

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– Mingus Mill: This neat old structure provides and easily accessible hike for all visitors and make for a nice little leg stretch and fresh air session.

– Picnicking – The US-441 drive is full of great secluded pull-offs that make for a great place to have a family picnic while enjoying the beauty of the park. Don’t feed the bears though! Picnic areas are located at Big Creek, Chimneys, Cades Cove, Collins Creek, Cosby, Deep Creek, Greenbrier, Heintooga, Look Rock, Metcalf Bottoms, and Twin Creeks.

– Newfound Gap – Just past/before the Clingmans Dome road turn-off is Newfound Gap, which is where a lot of cars stop to take a break and enjoy the view, have a picnic, or take advantage of the restroom. This is the about the mid-point of the drive and its all downhill from here on out, unless you go on a hike!

– Charlies Bunion – This popular day hike is about 8 miles round trip, but is relatively flat and well maintained. If you want to say that you have walked on the Appalachian Trail then this is the hike that you need to do, and the view at the end is pretty awesome. There is also a chance for you to see an Appalachian Trail shelter and drink out of a mountain spring!

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 11.13.53 AMMountian Farm Museum: These historic structures were once part of a functioning Appalachian community that was tucked away in the Great Smokies. Now these structure rest at the entrance to 441 and if you can catch the live demonstrations that go on you will most likely learn something new.

– Mount LeConte – This awesome peak is rare in the National Park because it offers the highest lodging and dinning facility to guests in the eastern United States! At 6593ft it is the third highest peak in the National Park but still provides awesome views. There are four different ways to hike up to Mount LeConte. The most popular along US-441 is going to be the Alum Bluff Cave Trail which will take you straight up the mountain and along cliffsides for about 4.9 miles. This is a great day hike for the family looking for a challenge, you legs will be soar, guaranteed!

– Chimney Tops – This hake is another one of those steep incline ones, but again it is worth the work once you get to the top. The unique jagged rock formations at the top make for some creative and careful climbing, but it is a great place to sit, relax, take in the view over a snack or picnic. This is a great day hike, and if you get to hot on the hike then the river at the bottom is a great place to let the kids play and cool off!Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 11.14.26 AM

– Clingmans Dome – This is one of the most popular stops along this section of road. Clingmans Dome takes you to 6643ft in elevation and if you are there on a low smog day then you will be able to see forever! The hike up to the lookout tower is about a mile and a pretty good incline, but is is a paved trail, which make for easier walking. The hike is well worth the reward once you get to the top!

– Cades Cove – Now this place is truly breathtaking, however, you do have to venture off of 441 for a bit to reach Cades Cove but it is an awesome spot. This motorway creates a loop that visitors can drive along and view historic buildings and sometimes wildlife. In the peak of tourist season though you can bet on a line of traffic because I am not the first person to write about Cades Cove, it is a very popular spot! Now on the weekends if you get there early enough there are no cars allowed on the road, just bikes, you can bring your own or rent one, but the rentals go fast.

There are many more things to be enjoyed and seen along the US-441 section of road, I have merely skimmed the surface and provided you with some ideas to get you going. We hope to see you soon in Western North Carolina and if you are looking for a cabin don’t forget about Yellow Rose Realty and their great options!

See ya soon,

The Team at Yellow Rose Realty

US-441 Should Be Open Soon!

GSMNP_Landslide_011613Rumor has it that US-441 from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC will be opening very soon, much sooner than May 15th. When this project started the expected completion date was going to be May 15th, 2013. However, that was before the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and The National Park put out a contract taunting a $500,000 incentive to get the road project completed early. The company doing the work does not just get the $500,000 for finishing a day early though. The incentive rules were $18,000 given each day that the road was completed prior to May 15th up to $500,000, so if they finished on May 14th that is $18,000 extra. Now what company would pass up an extra $500,000 on a job that they are already making tons of money on? Exactly, none! This reason alone, along with some “mountain-here-say” from people who would know, is why we think the road will be open very soon. If you do the math $500,000/$18,000 comes out to roughly 28 days, this would make the completion date around April 17th, to ensure the construction company gets the entire $500,000 incentive.

We are excited to get US-441 back open a flowing again because it is such a beautiful drive andScreen Shot 2013-02-15 at 1.37.39 PM brings many people to the area. The economic impact on Cherokee and Bryson City, NC has been felt by the landslide, we are lucky that this did not happen during peak vacation season in the mountains! There are many people that visit this area just to drive through the national park on US-441 and see all the beautiful sites, we do not want to imagine the impact if the road was closed during our busiest seasons! We are very thankful for the hard work that has went in to this project and we can’t wait to hear of an official opening date (from an official source), when we do we will be sure to let everyone know!

We can’t wait to see you this year,

-The Team at Yellow Rose Realty

US 441 Closed: Alternate Routes to Cherokee and Bryson City, NC

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US-441 Closed until May 15th

Has the Great Smoky Mountains National Park closure making you second guess your trip to Western North Carolina or has it made it harder for you to get here? If so, read the article below before you make any final decisions about where you are going on vacation, you might be surprised.

Option 1: US-129 South to NC-28 South

Along this route as you are leaving Tennesse you will drive by the beautiful Chilowhee Lake and have the option of going to the Chilowhee Dam or just taking a photo from an overlook on the “Tail of the Dragon.” The famous “Tail of the Dragon is defines by having 318 curves in 11 miles, which may be scary to some of you who get carsick reading this right now. However, the speed limit is only 35 so you legally can not get too carried away, although many people do every year. After you come off of the “Tail of the Dragon” you will turn left on to NC 28 South and cruise along the Cheoah Lake on your way to the base of Fontana Dam. Fontana Dam is the tallest concrete dam east of the rockies and is quite a destination for visitors. Leaving the bottom of the dam you will continue south through a few more curves until you reach the Fontana Village Resort, where you can refuel, grab a snack, play a round of disc golf, or just wave as you go by. Once you pass the Fontana Village you will have the option at an intersection of going straight to get to the top of Fontana Dam, which is way worth it, or bearing right and continuing on NC 28 South. This last section is moderately curvy, but you will barely notice the curves because of all the mountain scenery around you. Take advantage of soaking in the simplicity and beauty of the mountain countryside. If the curves are too much for you stop off at Tsali Recreational Area to stretch your legs or to get those tires dirty on mountain bike trails! After Tsali you will come to a stop sign at the intersection of US-74 where you can either turn left to get to Bryson City and Cherokee or right to go into the Nantahala Gorge.

Option 2: I-40 East to US-74 West/Great Smoky Mountains Expressway

This will be the fastest option for those driving through Knoxville, TN to get to Western North Carolina. On your way out of Tennessee you will enter a portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where you will have the option of breaking up your trip with a nice raft trip down the Pigeon River and a canopy tour at exit 447, or take a short hike on the Appalachian Trail where is crosses I-40 at exit 451.

If you are feeling really adventurous then I will recommend and tell you how to get to one of my favorite swimming holes, Midnight Hole! Take exit 451 and turn right to go across bridge and turn left on to Waterville Road, Waterville Road will lead you in to North Carolina and eventually in to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where the road will turn to gravel and be called NC 284/Big Creek Park Road. Follow this road until you reach a parking are with bathrooms. From exit to parking area should be a little over 3 miles. The trail is accessed from the road just before the parking area, or by a trail which passes from the parking area through the tent-only campground climbing to the main trail just beyond the campground rest rooms. Hike along the trail, which is a old access road for about 1 1/2 miles until you reach Midnight Hole on your left. Midnight hole is a crystal clear swimming hole with a waterfall and huge rocks that make for great jumping platforms! This is a great spot and one that the everyone will remember.

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Again for the adventurous folks out there this is how you make Max Patch part of your trip! Once in NC on I-40 still take exit 7 and turn left on to Cold Springs Creek Trail and follow it for about 6 miles until it intersects with Max Patch Road. Turn left on Max Patch road and follow it for about 2 more miles, you will be close to the TN boarder. There will be a small parking area where you can get out and take a hike and enjoy the views, hop on the Appalachian trail just to say that you have while your there! This is a little detour but way worth it in the end, the views are spectacular!

If you are not up for the above adventure then continue in to North Carolina on I-40 and the merge on to US-74 W towards Waynesville, NC. You can stay on US-74 which will take you past Waynesville, Maggie Valley, Sylva, and Dillsboro to end you at the Cherokee exit (74) or Bryson City exit (67).

For travelers looking for a more scenic drive take US-74 until Exit 103 for US-19 South towards Maggie Valley. This route will take you off the main drag through Maggie Valley where you can find somewhere to shop or eat, and the takes you across Soco Mountian down in to Cherokee, NC and then in to Bryson CIty, NC. This route crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway at the top of Soco Mountain, if you wish you can turn right on to the parkway and take it down in to Cherokee as well.

If you would like to ride a little more of the parkway take US-74 for about 12.5 miles until you see a sign for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take a slight right on to the Parkway and once you come to the stop sign turn right to go towards Cherokee. You will take the parkway until it ends at the intersection on US 441 where you can turn right and check out the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Mountain Farm Museum, or left and head in to Cherokee and Bryson City.

Option 3: US-74 East

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For those traveling through Chattanooga or Cleveland take this route instead of going through the National Park. This route take you in and out of the majestic Nantahala National Forest the entire way, and is really a great ride despite the curves. As you are leaving Tennessee this route will take you through the Ocoee Gorge right along side the raging Ocoee River, if you are feeling up for it then you should stop and go for an exciting Rafting adventure. If not, continue on towards Murphy, NC where you can find a place to shop in historic downtown or something to fill your stomach with. Continuing on US-74 East head towards Andrews, NC. Andrews is another small but historic town if you are looking to explore, and it also has a Disc Golf course if you are looking to stretch your legs. After Andrews you will enter the famous Nantahala Gorge, which is known for its highly popular Nantahala River that is filled with fisherman, rafts, canoes, and kayaks most of the year. Continue through the gorge stopping as you please to take a short hike on the Bartram Trail, or the Appalachian Trail. There are many rafting guide services in the gorge if you wish to check them out on your way through and set up your trip, or enjoy one of the canopy tour adventures offered there to help make your long drive more enjoyable. Once you are out of the Nantahala Gorge you will be back out on the highway and headed towards Bryson City and Cherokee! This is a great drive and one that might be a little curvy at times but is really enjoyable because of all the mountain beauty that you get to drive through.

I hope you have found an alternate route that you and your family are going to try when thinking about visiting Western North Carolina. Look at the US-441 closure in the park as an opportunity to see other parts of the mountain region that get sometimes get overshadowed by the National Park, instead of a “vacation plan changer.” We here at Yellow Rose Realty and all the other businesses in Western North Carolina are still here to make your vacation and amazing experience whether the Park is open or Closed. Come see us soon!