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<em>Smoky Mountain Magic</em>

Smoky Mountain Magic

SMOKY MOUNTAIN MAGIC--Horace Kephart's fictional adventure set in the Deep Creek watershed, Cherokee Indian Reservation, and Bryson City in the summer of 1925. Written in 1929 and never before published. The original manuscript was passed down for 3 generations recently surfaced during the park's 75th anniversary celebration. "What better topic than a journey into a forbidden realm, complete with witches, robber barons, noble savages and a winsome lady, all wrapped in a cloak of mystery and myth?" asks reviewer Gary Carden. Kephart is featured in Ken Burn's PBS series on our national parks. He is the author of "Our Southern Highlanders", "Cherokees of the Smokies", and "Camping and Woodcraft". Available in hardcover and softcover. Read More >

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If You Have a Half Day

From Family Fun in the Smokies by Katy Koontz, published by Great Smoky Mountains Association.  Click to see more about the Family Fun Book and the Special Family Fun Kit.

You’ll find so much to see and do in the Smokies that no matter how long you stay, you’ll wish you’d stayed longer. This chapter gives various suggestions for how best to spend your time. Use these itineraries as a guide and feel free to alter them to suit your family’s energy level and interests. Do see the individual chapters on visitor centers, hikes, self-guiding nature trails, etc., for a fuller description of what’s involved with each option. Also feel free to ask the helpful staff at any of the three visitor centers for additional suggestions and information.

If you have a half day … in North Carolina

Historic Highlights: Start at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and then visit the adjacent Mountain Farm Museum, with its historic farm and log buildings. Walk the Oconaluftee River Trail (three miles roundtrip) from the farm museum into Cherokee and back, stopping to read the brief displays about Cherokee legends and history along the way.

Mountain Views: Start at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, and then take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Heintooga Ridge Road at the sign for Balsam Mountain. On Heintooga Ridge Road (closed in winter), stop at the Balsam Mountain Campground (closed in winter) to take the Balsam Mountain Self-Guiding Nature Trail (1.5 miles roundtrip). Continue to the end of Heintooga Ridge Road to the Heintooga Picnic Area (closed in winter) to see the overlook and enjoy lunch.

Three Waterfalls: From downtown Bryson City, N.C., follow the signs toward Deep Creek Campground. Follow the park road past the picnic pavilion to the Deep Creek trailhead at road’s end. Hike the Three Waterfalls Loop (2.4 miles roundtrip), which highlights Juney Whank, Indian Creek, and Tom Branch falls. After the morning hike, have lunch at the Deep Creek Picnic Area.