Showing posts from September, 2019

Black Bear Safety in the Smoky Mountains

There are approximately 1,600 black bears that call the Great Smoky Mountains National Park home. Seeing these beautiful creatures is why many families make the trip to the Smoky Mountains . With its great wooded areas and open fields, Cades Cove offers the best chance to see black bears in the Smokies . In this week’s blog, Cades Cove Heritage Tours would like to remind you that these bears are wild animals and give you some safety tips if you encounter a bear. Keep Your Distance The most important thing to remember is to keep a safe distance. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park requires you to stay at least 50 yards away from bears at all time. If you get closer than 50 yards, you could be fined or even be arrested. Bear attacks are very uncommon, but bears will protect food and cubs, so if you get to close, they could see you as a threat. Do Not Feed Them If you have food, keep it secured and never leave it unattended. Never feed the bears! This can be very dangerous

History of Logging in the Smoky Mountains

We know the Smoky Mountains as foggy towering mountains with a thick forest. Did you know that before the Great Smoky Mountain National Park existed that most of the Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains were barren? Here at Cades Cove Heritage Tours , we love the rich history of the mountains and we love to tell the stories. In this week’s blog, we would like to talk about the history of the logging industry in the Smoky Mountains. Early Logging Endeavors The first logging operations in the Smoky Mountains began in the 1880s. The most well-known early loggers were the English Lumber Company on Little River, the Taylor and Crate on the Hazel Creek, and Alexander Arthur on the Pigeon River. These operations couldn’t reach the high forest ranges, so they focused on the low-lying areas along waterways. They used splash dams or booms to float logs down the rivers to get to the mills. The dangers of working on waterways were flooding, and all three companies failed after their opera

History of Moonshine in the Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains are well known for amazing fall foliage, black bears, and moonshine! Moonshine? Yes, moonshine is a huge historic part of life in the Smokies. You will find all kinds of distilleries, large and small surrounding the Smokies, but it wasn’t too long ago that these mountains were crawling with bootleggers running corn whiskey stills. In this week’s blog, Cades Cove Heritage Tours will tell you all about the history of Moonshine in the Great Smoky Mountains . How It All Started When Irish and Scottish immigrants settled in the Smoky Mountains in the 1700s, they brought along their tradition of whiskey making. The Irish and Scottish typically used grains and barley to make their traditional whiskey, but the plentiful amount of corn would soon become the product of choice. The Whiskey Rebellion On January 27th, 1791 the House approved legislation to impose an excise tax on whiskey. The Distilled Spirits Tax was implemented to pay down national debt that had acc

Don’t Miss the “Behind the Scenes Tour” with Mike Meldrum

Who would know more about Cades Cove than a retired Great Smoky Mountains National Park ranger? Here is an opportunity to go behind the scenes with expert Mike Meldrum. You will not want to miss this amazing tour. In this week’s blog, we will tell you what you can expect in this Cades Cove tour . About Your Guide With nearly 20 years of service in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, retired ranger Mike Meldrum is what you might call an expert on the Smokies. A tour with Mike will take visitors to exclusive locations in the Cove, including the CCC Camp, the World War II Memorial Tree, Cable’s Lodge, Gregory’s Cave, and more. Visitors will also have the chance to hear about Joe Gregory’s thriving business. Back in the day, Joe used to charge visitors 50 cents to explore the cave. Earlier, it was used by Native Americans and Americans alike for various purposes. Aside from reported Civilian Conservation Corps moonshine parties and dances, the cave also hosted a government fallou