Great Smoky Mountains – Spring Break 2017

Spring break has come to an end and I am wishing it were here again. There is something special about family getaways and connecting with the ones you love. It’s a great recharge and takes you away from the everyday grind to focus on what matters most. This year we enjoyed The Great Smoky Mountains. I love the mountains and came to find out during our trip that my boys do too.

When looking for a vacation for our family, I knew I wanted to go to the Smoky Mountains but honestly wasn’t sure if it would be something the boys would enjoy. So when choosing a place to stay I wanted to be close to other activities in case the boys got bored and drove me crazy during hikes. For that reason I decided to stay in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The initial plan was to do about 2 hikes and enjoy the downtown area. Well that didn’t happen. To my surprise, the boys enjoyed hiking and thats all they wanted to do. Boys after my own heart. I love the crisp clean air of the outdoors in the mountains and we got to enjoy that for a week. We hiked everyday!!! It was perfect!

We had a 10 hour drive but the kids were great. We have been traveling with them since they were babies. I think at this point they are use to it. Silas was a champ!!! So for all you mamas traveling with littles, I promise it gets easier and you will be happy you did it. It’s a lot of work but worth it :).

We saw wild elk on our drive which I thought was pretty cool.

We stayed at a community called Black Bear Falls. Its a log home community really close to the Smoky Mountain entrance. I like that it wasn’t very secluded but thats just me. There isn’t a lot of yard space. So if that is your thing then this isn’t the place for you. The log homes are nice though.

Day 1 of our hike it snowed. I have never hiked in snow or been in the woods in snow. It was beautiful. The boys thought it was the coolest thing. It was messy but so fun. We hiked Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls is a great hike for older kids. If you have young ones I don’t recommend it.

It was cold during our trip which is a bonus for us since we live in Florida and it is summer year round. It’s nice to getaway for a season change but just for a few days. Then come home to flip flops again 😉   Here we are enjoying the view of Laurel Falls. This was a easy trail and great for young kids or moms wearing a baby carrier 😉

During the winter months, Ober Gatlinburg has snow tubing. Boys enjoyed that too. We opted for night tubing since we were hiking during day. Make sure you book your tubing in advance online. They do sell out fast.

A few other great trails were the Gatlinburg Trail and Porters Creek. FYI….Getting to Porters Creek is a bit of a scary drive for those that aren’t use to mountain driving but this was the boys favorite trail because they jumped rocks on the creek and found some great hiking sticks.

Cases Cove is a must see. It was BEAUTIFUL!!!

Our evenings were hanging out in the cabin. The boys had their own floor with their bedroom, bathroom and game room. The game room had an arcade with Pac-man and Donkey Kong which I thought was awesome since those are the games I use to play. It was the boys favorite thing to do there. We also bought them a season of The Simpsons so they could watch it while on vacation. So when I would go downstairs to check on them they were playing Pac-man and watching The Simpsons. It screamed my childhood and brought the biggest smile to my face.

My view every morning.

Is this not the sweetest face. The mountains wore him out…LOL!

 So for all you mama’s out there with little ones and want to make this trip, these are the trails I recommend that were fun and easy to do Laurel Falls, Cades Cove, Gatlinburg Trail, and Porter’s Creek.

I will be daydreaming of this trip until our next one.

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