Ballantyne Magazine

FALL 2018

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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Page 76 of 99

Just outside the visitor center is a gentle, family-friendly hike that traverses Fighting Creek Nature Trail. Cataract Falls, a 40-foot waterfall, is less than a mile out along the easy and well-marked trail. The round-trip walk takes an hour, and can be extended another mile along the Fighting Creek loop for up-close views of dense ferns and wildflowers that layer the forest floor. ANAKEESTA MOUNTAIN Overlooking Gatlinburg is Anakeesta Mountain, a 70-acre village and outdoor recreation GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK Gazing westward atop the tower at Clingmans Dome near Gatlinburg, you can watch the raptors soar against green-hued mountain tops, their silhouettes backlit by hazy sunshine. It's easy to see why most "ATs," the nickname for Appalachian Trail hikers, are careful not to miss this detour, about 20 yards from the legendary trail. "Sunrise and sunset views are unbeatable from this vantage point," says Mark Booth of Smoky Mountain Guides, noting that Clingmans' 6,643-foot height makes it the highest point in Tennessee. Hiking to this lookout is one of numerous two- to three-hour excursions available in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Sugarlands Visitor Center at Gatlinburg is a welcoming gateway and the favored entry point to the park. Many modest hiking excursions are available in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A popular hike is the moderate two-mile, round-trip trail to Spruce Flats Falls. The trail can be accessed at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, southwest of Gatlinburg. Ziplining is an option at Anakeesta Mountain. The Children's Treehouse Village Playground at Anakeesta offers adventure in the treetops. Photo courtesy of Anakeesta Mountain Photo courtesy of Anakeesta Mountain Photo courtesy of Mark Booth and Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism BALLANTYNE FALL 2018 75 Escape

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