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Alex Middleton

Smoky Mountain Knife Works - Sevierville TN

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Taking a little family getaway this coming weekend to the Sevierville/Gatlinburg area and I'm just curious if anybody has ever been here, and if it's worth a stop.  It looks pretty interesting from the website, but I just get a little gunshy anytime google lists something as a "Nearby Attraction". 

Also, if anybody has any recommendations for any local, out of the way, restaurants I'd be all ears.  The wife and kids are happy eating at the normal chain places, but I don't plan on driving 600 miles and eating the same food I can get 10 minutes from my house. :D  

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I'm not likely to make it off this continent, but when I still had dreams left I wanted to visit Oregon in the Fall......:rolleyes:

Now I would rather visit SMKW with a bag full of money :ph34r:

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Alex, the wife and i were going to take the boys to gatlinburg in march for spring break, but it fell thru. But we replanned it for march of '20. I investigated the area well, and smkw looks awesome! I do believe that in the corner of their parking lot is an older gentleman that runs a small knife shop, where you can even make your own. That sounded like someone to talk with for awhile. Not sure about the food, but im sure you better put a vise grips on your wallet! Hope you all have safe travels!

Tom

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1 hour ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

, but when I still had dreams left I wanted to visit Oregon in the Fall

Having been born and raised in Oregon, I have to ask "why the Fall"?

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There are a couple of really good smokehouse rib joints in the area...and a couple of really good dinner show restaurants on the main drag...

I really wasn't impressed with Smokey Mountain Knifeworks...seemed like more of a larger scale commercialized knife shop.

No shortage of things to see or do in the area....some nice leatherworking shops and a small custom knifemaker named blackdog knife 

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If you go to Gatlinburg, take it easy on the girly fake flavored moonshine tastings. If you wanna get sozzled, just go to the alphabet store, drink some overpriced beer, or call that guy you may or may not know prior to leaving. I felt pretty toxic after that last trip. 

Gatlinburg is a pretty cool place. I used it as like a drinking retreat, but I'm sure there's a lot more to it. Take the lift up to anaquesta or whatever that place is called. Pretty view. Cool bridges. I can't remember where we ate at but it was cool cuz a creek ran right under the place. 

It is littered with sub-par hand rails though. I scoffed at their lack of craftsmanship -_-

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Unless you want cheap pocketknives and a downstairs full of cheap kitchen gadgets, Smokey Mountain Knife Works is a waste of time.  As a native of the area, we avoid the whole Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area like it was radioactive.  It's not all tourist trap, but you have to look really hard for the reality behind the outlet malls and such.  Gatlinburg has decent restaurants, but not cheap.  My favorite one was destroyed in the fires a couple of years ago, dunno if they rebuilt.  There are some decent antique stores between I-40 and Sevierville, and now that they've almost finished the road and sewer construction you can actually get into them.

To experience what the area used to be, take Wears Valley Road from Pigeon Forge to Townsend.  

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I have to agree with Alan... the novelty wears off fairly quickly imo

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6 hours ago, Gerald Boggs said:

Having been born and raised in Oregon, I have to ask "why the Fall"?

the beautiful trees.....colours.

We don't have much of that over here, it was the focus of my bonsai collection.....Fall colour.

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Been there once.  Fun for a few minutes.  But I thought everything was overpriced for what it was.  Couldn't even find a good solid Arkansas stone there.  Left with some paracord.

Sevierville is pretty though.  The whole state of Tennessee is pretty.  Always my favorite one to drive through.  And dang if there isn't plenty of eye candy. 

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The restaurant in Townsend is a good one, nice to have a bite to eat before going up to Cades Cove.

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2 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

the beautiful trees.....colours. 

Wrong side of the USA.  Oregon has lots of trees, but mostly evergreens.  It does have, as does all the Northwest, great rivers,falls and the coastline is very scenic.  Fall colors is a east coast and especially New England event.  Here in Virginia,  we do OK, at least in the western half. 

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9 hours ago, Gerald Boggs said:

Wrong side of the USA.  Oregon has lots of trees, but mostly evergreens.  It does have, as does all the Northwest, great rivers,falls and the coastline is very scenic.  Fall colors is a east coast and especially New England event.  Here in Virginia,  we do OK, at least in the western half. 

It seems I'm ignorant about knife shops on other continents, might be about the other thing as well...

But......looking at this: google image search I take it you mean there are even more amazing places B)

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Posted (edited)

Yes, I remember trees turning in the fall in Oregon, but I never remember saying "WOW" until I lived in Maine.  I think Sugar Maples are the key, they turn an almost glowing florescent color in the fall

Edited by Gerald Boggs

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Thanks for all the input.  We're only going to be there for a couple of days so I think we'll skip it.  Lord knows we'll probably get sucked into enough tourist traps as it is already.

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The most impressive thing that I found in the area was the drive across The Smokey Mountain National  Park between there and Cherokee.  I did it on two  wheels  and loved it.

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Ooh, yeah!  That's a lovely drive as long as you don't get stuck in a river of motor homes.  And the Museum of the Cherokee Indian is very, very good.  If you've got kids between the ages of 7 and 14 there's plenty of tourist traps for them in Pigeon Forge.  The actual forge hasn't existed since around 1863, but it was under what is now the gift shop at the Old Mill Restaurant.  Here's the story... 

 

 

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On 6/10/2019 at 8:39 AM, Alan Longmire said:

Unless you want cheap pocketknives and a downstairs full of cheap kitchen gadgets, Smokey Mountain Knife Works is a waste of time.  As a native of the area, we avoid the whole Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area like it was radioactive.  It's not all tourist trap, but you have to look really hard for the reality behind the outlet malls and such.  Gatlinburg has decent restaurants, but not cheap.  My favorite one was destroyed in the fires a couple of years ago, dunno if they rebuilt.  There are some decent antique stores between I-40 and Sevierville, and now that they've almost finished the road and sewer construction you can actually get into them.

To experience what the area used to be, take Wears Valley Road from Pigeon Forge to Townsend.  

What Alan said.

I was born and raised in Townsend and live about 20 minutes down the road now. If you want really laid back, there's a couple decent museums in Townsend:

http://www.gsmheritagecenter.org/

https://littleriverrailroad.org/

Really low-key, but give you some good insight into the history of the area. The staff are often non-natives, but there's some interesting stuff to see.

Cades Cove is always good IF you can do it on a week day. Weekends are mostly lines of traffic backed up by inconsiderate bear watchers who just stop in the middle of the road.

There's a new section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley that is open now (a decades-long project). It overlooks Townsend and is really nice.

 

 

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Thanks Don.  We're heading that way tomorrow morning and we'll have all day Friday to keep ourselves entertained.  I'll see what the wife says about taking a trip on the Cades Cove loop. 

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You won't go wrong with the Cades Cove Loop. Be prepared to stop and watch the animals and take lots of photos!

When we went they took us thru there on the drive tour and there was probably 15 cars. The dude behind me kept blowing the horn every time the procession stopped to take pics of the animals! After about the fifth time, I got out of my car and told him, Dude I have no idea why you came on this trip if you didn't want to see the scenery and the animals! Then I paused and told him if he didn't want to see this then pass or turn around but, if you continue to blow that horn every time we stop I am gonna come back there and shove it up your ^$$! Everybody in the procession started to cheer. He must have got the message because he quit blowing the horn!! 

But you won't regret the trip unless you run in to some like the dude!! :D

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We got in around 4 this afternoon.  Sevierville and Pigeon Forge are a freaking zoo!  It's basically a 12 mile long strip mall/carnival combination with a stoplight every 10 feet.

We had no plans so we decided to take Wears Valley Road out to the park and take a spin around Cades' Cove.  You guys were right, it was a lot of fun.  I see deer and turkeys just about every day, but I saw more bears this afternoon than the rest of my life combined.

Mama bear wasn't shy,

 20190613_182137.jpg

But her three cubs didn't want to come down and join the party.

20190613_181959.jpg

Between the wildlife and the scenery,

20190613_184200.jpg

It was well worth the trip.  It's sounding like we're going back tomorrow to do some hiking.  Thanks again for the tips guys!

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The Abrams Falls trail is nice, if a bit steep.  The falls are just okay, mostly because of crowds.  Cable mill is nice.  They found the head of the trip hammer that went with the old forge on Abrams Creek a few years ago during a drought.  It was in the creek.  

If it were warmer (it's a bit chilly for June here in the mountains of Tennessee) I'd recommend doing some tubing on the Little River in Townsend.

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I appreciate the heads up.  Abrams falls is where we're planning on going.  Unfortunately, I think I'd have to be a whole lot more familiar with the area to have a chance at avoiding the crowds.  This place was crazy on a Thursday night.  I can only imagine what Saturday is going to be like. :huh:

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Alan what was your favorite restaurant that burnt?  I have not been to a lot of restaurants in that area. But my favorite to get a really good steak is the Alamo. It was rebuilt after the fire. 

 

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