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Appalachian Trail
South of the Smokies on the Appalachian Trail are the long climbs of the Stecoah-Cheoah Mountain area, then the outstanding Nantahala section, with 4,000-foot gaps and 5,000-foot peaks. Cheoah Bald offers panoramic views of western North Carolina. Like much of the A.T. in the deep South, you have a feeling of remoteness, and a sensation of being in deep forests. The variety of forest growth and the beauty of the flowering shrubs, along with the many spectacular views, make this entire section of Trail memorable.
 
 
 
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Blueridge Parkway
Outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities make the Blue Ridge Parkway one of the most popular units of the National Park System. "America's Favorite Drive" winds its way 469 miles through mountain meadows and past seemingly endless vistas. Split-rail fences, old farmsteads and historic structures complement spectacular views of distant mountains and neighboring valleys.
 
 
 
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Cattaloochee Ski Area
About Cataloochee Ski Area Within a days drive of most of the beaches in the Southeast.... Our winter playground is nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks – riding the chairlift has never been more rewarding. Smooth, gentle slopes like Easy Way and Rabbit Hill, serviced by a triple chairlift, gives beginners the elbowroom they need to learn the basics and practice their skills. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders find plenty of action on Rock Island Run and Lower Omigosh, while seasoned experts can face the steepness found on Upper Omigosh. For skiers and snowboarders looking for a thrill, our Cat Cage Terrain Park delivers with ramps, rails and boxes. At Cataloochee, everyone in the family, skiers and snowboarders, from novice to veteran, can carve a place of their own.
 
 
 
Cherokee Indian Reservation
Cherokee Indian Reservation A visit to Cherokee is like stepping into the past. You'll find a nation still linked to ancient customs and traditions that enable today's cherokee to live in harmony with nature as their ancestors did. You'll experience a culture that has endured the plunder of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and survived scores of broken treaties by the white man. Today, Cherokee shares its unique culture by offering you a memorable vacation experience that's fun for the entire family. On the left side are several categories for you to find more information about Cherokee from accommodations to cultural attractions and from fishing to gaming. Find directions from your location to ours by using MapBlast. Cherokee is located 150 miles from both Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina; 35 miles from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; one hour west of Asheville, North Carolina. The Great Smokies cover the seven westernmost counties in North Carolina including Cherokee, with the northern fringe of the Smokies in Tennessee. Also, sixty percent of the National Park is in North Carolina...so Cherokee is the ideal headquarters for a real Smokies vacation.
 
 
 
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Fish for Rainbow Trout in the LITTLE TENNESSEE!
If you are an angler or just a lover of the outdoors, you will absolutely love the Little Tennessee River between Franklin and its confluence with Lake Fontana. If God made a more beautiful section of mountain river, I have yet to see it.
 
 
 
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Gem Mining
Gem Mining Franklin is known as the Gem mining capital of the world. Gem mining has been a favorite activity for visitors to the Franklin area for years. Try your hand at mining for rubies, sapphires and other precious gems at any of the numerous gem mines around Franklin. Some lucky tourists have struck it rich by discovering some of the worlds largest rubies. Visit the Chamber of Commerce for a Gem Mine Map. Locations include: Sheffield Mine, Rose Creek Mine, R & S Gems and More, Mason's Ruby and Sapphire Mine, Mason Mountain Mine, Jackson Hole, and Gold City Gem Mine.
 
 
 
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Great Smoky Mountain Railroad
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Truly a spectacular trip with 53 miles of track, 2 tunnels and 15 bridges. Choose from a variety of excursions ranging from half-day to full-day trips...steam or diesel locomotives, gourmet dinner trains, mystery theater dinner trains and a wide array of seating options. With the romance and mystique of an era gone by, guests on board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will enjoy year-round scenic train journeys across fertile valleys, through tunnels and across river gorges in a spectacular region of eastern America called the Great Smoky Mountains. This section of western North Carolina offers a wide array of ever-changing vegetation and fantastic landscapes. With the advent of the railroad into western North Carolina in the 1890s, logging became a major industry and remained so until the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1934. In all mountain logging terrain there are steep grades. Conventional locomotives could not hold traction on the hastily-laid rails. To solve the problem, a unique type of locomotive was used. The Shay Locomotive and the Climax The Shay locomotive had vertical cylinders placed to the right of an offset boiler. The cylinders turned a crankshaft geared to transmitting power to the wheels, thus providing high traction. A competitor of the Shay was the Climax locomotive which also had vertical drive gear. Roads and Autos As highways became the primary movers of people, rail passenger service declined and was halted here in 1948, but freight service continued. By 1988, because of dwindling traffic and high maintenance costs, Norfolk Southern filed for abandonment of the 67 miles of track between Dillsboro and Murphy. The State of North Carolina stepped in dramatically, purchased the line, and leased it to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Inc., a group of shippers and investors. Today the railroad owns 53 miles of the track and right of way from Dillsboro to Andrews.
Web Address: http://gsmr.com
 
 
 
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Great Smoky Mountains
Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America’s most visited national park.
Web Address: http://nps.gov/grsm
 
 
 
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Harrahs Cherokee Casino
Harrah's Cherokee Casino and Hotel Welcome to the excitement. Known for delivering 24 hours of gaming action, Harrah's Cherokee Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina, has built a reputation for exciting, live entertainment and fine dining. Arrive in the Great Smoky Mountains and you«ll be enchanted as you walk among the wildflowers and waterfalls. The inviting homeland of the Cherokee Indians is nestled at the edge of the National Park and presents you with some of the most fantastic trout fishing, hiking and sightseeing in America. Harrah's Cherokee's brand new luxury hotel is open! The 15-story hotel features two restaurants, a conference center, gift shop, indoor swimming pool, fitness area and much more. The 252-room hotel is enhanced with Indian crafts and artwork through out each floor. Experience the Native American culture in a truly luxurious atmosphere. For reservations call 1-800-HARRAHS.
 
 
 
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Highlands, NC
Highlands, NC Known to many as the Vail or Aspen of the East–summer home to some of America's wealthiest families. Stroll downtown Main street and shop. For that special evening make reservations at the Five Star-rated Wolfgangs on Main reastaurant. Afterwards enjoy a play at the Highlands Theatre. Highlands is a short 30 minute drive from Franklin. Enjoy the breathtaking drive through the gorge and visit spectacular waterfall stops along the way on Hwy. 28 South (Highlands Rd.) From the Highlands Chamber of Commerce Web Site: "Highlands is a unique mountain village that has served as a respite for tourists and second home owners looking for natural beauty, splendor and upscale amenities that this resort town has to offer. Located on a plateau measuring 5 miles long and 3 miles wide, the town at 4,118 feet, it is one of the highest incorporated communities E. of the Mississippi River. People return to Highlands year after year to stay in one of our historic inns, lodges, or bed and breakfasts. They enjoy luxurious dining in some of the finest restaurants in the South, including four Wine Spectator Award of Excellence establishments. The town has earned a reputation as a culinary paradise."
 
 
 

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