Each summer, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Service teams up with Cocke County Tourism to host the “Celebrating Cosby” community programming which honors the rich cultural and natural history of the Cosby area through storytelling, dance, music, and history walks.
“These programs offer incredible opportunities for visitors to discover Cosby by experiencing it firsthand with the people who live and work here,” said Chief of Resource Education Stephanie Kyriazis. “We are grateful to our friends from the local community who are leading these unique experiences.”
Plan your visit to the Smokies to include these fun, free events held in the Cosby Campgrounds.
July 7, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Moonshiners
White lightning, mountain dew, moonshine! Come distill myth from fact as you learn details of making moonshine in the mountains from Moonshine Legends Mark Ramsey, Digger Manes, and Kelly Williamson.
July 14, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Cosby Homecoming
Join Park Rangers and Cosby residents as grandchildren, children, and elders share the stories of their families in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Take a walk down memory lane to learn first-hand about what life was like living and working in Cosby both prior to and after the establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Welcome to Your Wild & Woolly Destination for Wilderness, Whitewater & Open-Air Wonderment
Exit 447 along I-40 about 14 miles south of Newport doesn’t really look like much on a map. But this wide spot in the road just five miles from the TN-NC state line is brimming with all manner of nature-based activities to please outdoor recreation enthusiasts.
Hartford, Tennessee has become a magnet for adventure seekers. It offers a range of sensory stimulation suggestions that’ll ignite your spirit of exploration and set you on a course for seeking more of everything the waters, woods and wild landscapes of Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer.
With genuine hospitality and an eagerness to please those with a predilection for embarking on outdoor excursions, Hartford invites visitors to embrace an escape into the wonders that abound in the mountains and valleys all around.
Hiking: Backpackers and day trekkers can go trail stepping along countless footpaths and arboreal alleyways that wind through primeval forests and past falling water, leading to an abundance of awe-inspiring vistas and innumerable hidden treasures of nature. Want to get your feet on the Appalachian Trail? You can do that in Hartford.
Rafting: The Pigeon River, with its roiling freestone currents and rough-and-tumble rapids, promises to swamp you with invigoration. Trip Advisor recently featured the Volunteer State’s most adrenaline churning river-running put-in points, and Hartford topped the list. For that matter, it’s regarded as one of the most praiseworthy whitewater joyride jumping off spots in America, if not worldwide. Expert guides navigate you through Class III and IV rapids, ensuring a delightfully soggy but assuredly safe experience.
Ziplining: The 37753 zip code offers the kind of thrill-filled airborne escapade you’d normally associate with an amusement park. But on this ride, you can experience the weightless sensation of flight while immersed in nature’s wonders. Get familiar with a bird’s eye perspective on the landscape below as you soar through the tall temperate rainforest canopy, suspended by a harness from which you will be held safe and harmless.
Fishing: Sink a line in the pristine rivers and many gurgling high mountain creeks surrounding Hartford. A variety of gamefish species inhabit these scenic waters, providing ample hook-setting opportunities for action-seeking anglers. Lay back and reconnect with nature as you lazily await a twitch of the rod tip. Or get hyper-focused and hone your fly casting skills as you try to entice a hungry trout or bass to burst the surface and slurp up a hand-tied bug you’ve pitched into the strike zone.
Biking: Strap on your helmet, mount your trusty steel-and-titanium steed, and pedal into an exhilarating network of bike trails and more planned for in the backwoods forest service roads around Hartford. From mellow slow-roll meandering to intensely sheer gravity-fueled down-mountain descents, Hartford’s rugged terrain beckons mountain biking enthusiasts of all skill and age levels.
So whether you’re looking for a chill weekend getaway or a thrill-charged vacation of a lifetime, the endless opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, rafting, zip lining, and mountain biking make Hartford a gateway where exhilaration and rejuvenation are always available in a heartbeat.
The Adventure Side of the Smokies is a veritable outdoor waterpark for paddlers, float trips, kayak fishing, and swimming, all surrounded by some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful mountains and forests in the southeast.
During this week of National Water Safety, we want to remind you to play it safe on our waters. Each of the rivers offers a different experience, but also different risks.
The Pigeon River is known for its exhilarating whitewater, but the inherent danger comes from the rapids and the rocks.
In the spring, the French Broad can vary in depth and current from rains and extreme weather. Popular for float fishing and backpack paddling, the level of the river and weather conditions are your best guides before entering the river.
The Nolichucky can also vary in water flow and depth. Flooding rains upriver, will create hazardous conditions downriver.
Never enter the water without wearing a personal floatation device (PFD). Even strong swimmers can get caught in a current on the rivers. When the water is high, eddies can form from submerged rocks and trees. Make sure the PFD is sized properly for both adults and for children. PFDs can be purchased locally at most large box retailers in the area if you have forgotten to bring on.
Come play, but play it safe in and around our rivers and lake.