Bluegreen Resorts’ Laurel Crest vacation destination in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, puts you and your family amidst all the colorful natural beauty in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of two Bluegreen Resorts properties in the Tennessee portion of the Smokies, Laurel Crest gives you comfortable accommodations with easy access to the park and nearly 1,000 miles of trails and stunning rock features, waterfalls, streams, old-growth forests, and valleys. The most popular of all the national parks, Great Smoky Mountains is so vast that scientists continue to discover previously unknown animal and plant life within its borders. Bluegreen Resorts members can enter the park through nearby Gatlinburg and watch as close to 400 miles of scenic roadway unfold before you, each leading deeper into the wilderness of Appalachia. Each season offers much to enjoy, although numerous visitors would name autumn, with its rich, multi-hued foliage, as their favorite.
The park’s beauty is matched by a fascinating history. The Mountain Farm Museum preserves log structures from all over the region, giving Bluegreen Resorts members glimpses of the way previous generations of settlers and native Cherokee peoples lived over centuries. Visit the cabin of John and Lucretia Oliver, constructed without the use of nails or pegs. The cabin sheltered the family during their first rough winter in Cades Cove, when they managed to survive on corn meal and dried pumpkin, a gift from the Cherokee.
When Bluegreen Resorts members travel along the hiking trails within the park, they may encounter some of the world’s most strikingly beautiful waterfalls. An easy walk to Grotto Falls, Bluegreen Resorts members can walk behind the veil of the falls as it drops. Members can also visit the 80-foot-high Laurel Falls after a 2.6-mile hike on paved roadways, or make your way through pine, hemlock, oak, mountain laurel, and flaming azaleas to the rushing waters of Abrams Falls, the deepest pool with the largest volume of water in the park. Animal lovers might meet up with various species of wildlife, and bird-watchers might very well spot 100 species in a single day.
A favorite among adventurous Bluegreen Resorts members, Clingmans Dome is the highest point along the Appalachian Trail, offering a clear-day view of seven states. Hikers will also not want to miss the trek along Chimney Tops Trail, affording a panoramic view of the park from almost 5,000 feet. And Bluegreen Resorts members with a taste for thrills will not want to pass up the opportunity to enjoy some whitewater rafting in the Smokies.
The area in and around Pigeon Forge also holds other possibilities for fun. The community is home to Dollywood, the 150-acre theme park complex honoring multi-awarded country music superstar Dolly Parton. Dollywood and its companion water park, Dollywood’s Splash Country, offer a multitude of roller coasters and other rides for the whole family, and numerous dining and entertainment choices.
Specialty gift shops in the area offer treasures that include pottery and woodwork. The Three Bears General Store, which sells homemade fudge, jams and jellies, cabin-themed décor, and distinctive clothing, is a local favorite.