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Attractions in the Photogenic Smoky Mountains

Updated on August 28, 2014

A Natural Shrine

All of America's mountain ranges are majestic, each one having its own personality. The Rockies are spectacular in their size, strength and colors and seem to grow in size as they cross the border northward into the great Canadian Rockies. Tectonic plate shifts, groaning glacial movements southward and back, and some unseen hand combined to make an artist beyond compare. There is nowhere else like a mountain and its valley.

The Appalachian ranges in the Eastern US are magnificent in different ways, forested, full of native plants and wildlife, visited by streams, waterfalls and rivers, producing autumn palettes that must strength the color spectrum past that which the human eye can see. The Great Smokies, Blueridge Mountains, and Skyline Drive are my favorites; along with the mountains of South and their pine forests and legendary Grandfather Tree, and our Pacific Northwest mountains and forests - all these are magic.

The mists rising in the Smokies seem supernaturally beautiful, wafting up with the secrets of the local legends, family stories and North American histories buried within their valleys. People have lived in these mountains for hundreds of generations, the wildlife much longer and the mountains forget nothing. Standing in these mountains is an honor.


The Great Smoky Mountains provide one of the best opportunities for scenic travel in the Eastern USA. The mists rise in the mornings and evenings and truly appear as smoke - as if from smoke signals or magic fires in secret places. The misty mornings of Korean pine forests gave rise to the image of the Land of the Morning Calm and morning in the Smoky Mountains is its rival in serenity and natural magic.

Up in the Smoky and Blue Ridge areas, there is quiet and peacefulness broken only by the sounds of wildlife, the breezes in the trees, and the musical burbling of the flowing waters. The rising mists remind the onlooker of the Earth as it cooled after the Creation.

A local valley contains Pigeon Forge, Tennessee at the river of the same name. The valley was crossed by a Native American pathway that merged with another in what is now Pigeon Forge, named for an iron forge built on the river to serve settlers' blacksmithing needs.

US Route 441 now follows the footpath known also as the Great Indian Warpath and Trading Trail in nearby Sevierville. Several Indigenous Nations used this path, but the Cherokee are among the most well known in lower Tennessee and North Carolina. The town of Cherokee NC is southeast of Pigeon Forge and is where I purchased my first native Cherokee-made all wood recurve bow. The area today offers a number of tourist attactions as well.

At Clingman's Dome.
At Clingman's Dome. | Source

Clingman's Dome

In 2009, voters chose Clingman's Dome as the Number 32 Greatest Place to Stand in the USA, out of 100. It is a serene place inside Great Smoky National Park and a good place to relax and take a photo. sponsored the 2009 contest to find the 100 Greatest Places to Stand in the World and in the USA, based on thought-provoking photo opportunities. You can visit their web sight and upload your own photos of visits you have made to the Greatest 100s.

This landmark, Clingman's Dome, is the highest point on the Appalachian Trail and its top is covered in a high-altitude boreal spruce and Fraser Fir forest. A veiwing platform is available from which to see the mountain and surrounding areas, with a wide paved trail of one-half mile leading up to the platform.

The paved path begins at the Great Warpath and Trading Trail (Newfound Trail, since settling Europeans renamed it for their modern times and culture) and is open from April 1 - November 30 every year. On a clear day, hikers can see a distance of 100 miles and directional signs for points of interest in the distance are hung along the trail.

Walking through Mists on Clingman's Dome

Legends of the Smokies

  • Mysterious Places and Legends in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains -- The mountains are full of mysterious places, with numerous explanations as to what causes the mystery. We will continue to build this section with each mystery we find and what we have found out about them. (
  • Cherokee NC Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina - Official site of the Native American Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina.
  • The Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Clingman's Dome

Clingman's Dome:
Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Forneys Creek, NC, USA

get directions

Knoxville TN:
Knoxville, TN, USA

get directions

A Smoky Mountain Drive

'Smoky Mountain Blues; Bumble Bee Martin, 1935

Conversing Parrots at Parrot Mountain

The oldest building in Pigeon Forge TN, the Old Mill.
The oldest building in Pigeon Forge TN, the Old Mill. | Source

Colleges and Universities

  • Fountainhead College of Technology
  • Lincoln Memorial University - LMU - Can you see it? Your career path is here.

    Can you see it? Your career path is here. Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. LMU strives to give students a foundation for a mo

  • National College :: A Higher Degree of Success!
  • Pellissippi State Community College
  • Smoky Mountain University
  • South College, Knoxville, TN

    South College is a regionally-accredited, private institution meeting the demands of the East Tennessee business community. Offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in various business, legal, and health-related fields.

  • Tusculum College | Tennessee's First College

    The opportunities are wide open when you complete your bachelor's or master's degree from Tusculum College.

  • The University of Tennessee - Knoxville

    The University of Tennessee, Knoxville was founded in 1794 and was designated the state land-grant institution in 1879. The University now has nearly 26,000 students and 400 academic programs.

Business and Employment Market Increases

On July 1, 2011 the area around Clingman's Dome had a variety of job openings, with about 1,900 in Knoxville, Tennessee and 1,000 openings in Waynesville, North Carolina. In June 2013, the area offered over 14,500 job listings. Pigeon Forge, home of Dollywood, and Gatlinburg TN affer seasonal jobs as well as year-round employment. The County of Sevierville is one of the fastest growing places in Tennessee, expecting a total population of 100,000 by 2020.

Many of the jobs available in this region of the counry involve Trucking and Transportation, Healthcare, Management, and Sales.

Hot Jobs

  1. Trucking - Company drivers, freight, owner-operators, flatbed trucks, other - Over 1,000 jobs.
  2. Retail Salespeople - Over 500 jobs
  3. Sales Representatives
  4. Pharmaceutical Sales
  5. Event Specialists
  6. Managers and Assistants - Over 1,000 positions in various fields.
  7. Taco Bell - 140 jobs
  8. Physical and Occupational Therapists
  9. RNs and Nurse Managers, including Travel Nurses
  10. Software Engineers

Additional High Demand Jobs

  • Scientists, Medical Directors, Allied Health Professionals, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Lab Technicians, Beauty Advisors.
  • Fortune 500 Companies - Over 840 jobs.

Pigeon Forge Area Hiring Companies

  1. University of Tennessee Medical Center
  2. Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Other
  3. Mercy Health
  4. TEKsystems
  5. Walmart and other retailers - Over 500 jobs
  6. CVS/Pharmacy
  7. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
  8. Teamhealth
  9. Crossmark
  10. Rush Trucking
  11. Wyndham Hotels
  12. Alcoa
  13. Brookdale Senior Living
  14. Siemens
  15. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
  16. ARG
  17. Summit Medical Group
  18. Advanced Auto Parts
  19. Scripps Networks
  20. Jones Apparel Group
  21. Signature Healthcare
  22. Girling Health
  23. Med Travelers - Travel nurses, travel phsysians, travel PTs and OTs, others.
  24. Homestead Senior Care

Hot Jobs in Knoxville

  1. Customer Service Representatives
  2. Truck Drivers
  3. Event Specialists
  4. Trucking - Owner Operators
  5. Sales Representatives
  6. Company Truck Drivers
  7. Regional Flatbed Truck Drivers
  8. Physical Therapists
  9. Administrative Assistants
  10. Store Managers

Additional High Demand Jobs

  • Occupational Therapists
  • Taco Bell Assistant Managers
  • Staff Accountants
  • Salespeople
  • Physical Therapists

Hiring Companies

  1. Taco Bell
  2. TEKsystems
  3. Mercy Health
  4. Teamhealth
  5. Rush Trucking
  6. SAIC - Science, Technology and IT jobs.
  7. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
  8. Crossmark
  9. Staples, Home Depot
  10. Accounting Principals
  11. URS Corporation -- engineering and architectural design, environmental, construction.
  12. Pilot-Flying J - Gas and Convenience Stores
  13. Alcoa
  14. Marriott Hotels, Wyndham Hotels
  15. Siemens

Hottest Waynesville Jobs

  1. Company Drivers - Heavy Trucks
  2. Regional Flatbed Truck Drivers
  3. Truck Driver - various vehicles
  4. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  5. Trucking - Owner Operators
  6. Certified Nursing Assistants in Pediatric Care
  7. Physical Therapists
  8. Assistant Managers
  9. Store Managers
  10. Salespeople

Additional Hot Jobs

  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Occupational Therapists

Major Hiring Employers

  1. Bayada Nurses
  2. Haywood Regional Medical Center
  3. Western Carolina University
  4. Rush Trucking
  5. Harris Regional Hospital
  6. Indian River Transport
  7. Averitt Express
  8. Medwest Haywood
  9. Teamhealth
  10. Food Lion
  11. Big G Express
  12. Bi-lo - Gasolene and Convenience Stores
  13. KFC, Staples, Dollar General, Best Buy - Clerks, crew, management
  14. Pilot-Flying J - Gasoline and Convenience Stores Builders Transportation
  15. Genesis Healthcare

Comments and Experiences

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    • wolf40901 profile image


      7 years ago from South Carolina

      i'm from Tennessee and often visited the Smokies. we were practically raised outside. the views are amazing.

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 

      7 years ago from Texas, USA

      What a beautiful place it would be to live in! And this is interesting to see the job trend is good there. You've whet my appetite to start dreaming! :) Hmmm...

      Excellent article and information.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      7 years ago

      Dearest Patty,

      Your poetic opening statements to this amazing location warmed my heart! I too, have stood in these fine places, took hundreds of photos, and had the majesty etched in my soul!

      The Smokies and Blue Ridge Mountains are like no other, as you so eloquently pointed out! Each of our many natural treasures has its own face and fingerprint!

      Once familiar with the distant soft rolling blue hills shrouded in magical mists and serene peace one cannot imagine anyone trying to harm them!

      Thank you for sharing this most beautiful Hub on a perfect Independence weekend! Again, I bow (Recurve, of course) to you creative perspective and insight!

      Blessings to you Patty always, Earth Angel!

    • chander mehra profile image

      Chander Mehra 

      7 years ago from Delhi

      congratulations. great hub

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for commenting, nightbear. I'll never forget my first visit here as a child.

    • nightbear profile image

      Susan Kaul 

      7 years ago from Michiagn, USA

      Wow, That is such a gorgeous location. My husband and I have always wanted to visit there. Maybe it will still happen. And I loved the talking parrots. How fun is that!! Beautifully done. Thank you.


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