The Resort at Governor’s Crossing was awarded the 2018 Travelers’ Choice Award by Trip Advisor being one of the Top 25 Hotels for Families in the United States, ranking 17th. The Resort is the only hotel in Tennessee to receive this award in 2018!
As we bring another installment to our Off the Beaten Path Series we highlight the Little River Railroad and Lumber Co. Museum in Townsend TN. Many guests of The Resort at Governor’s Crossing visit and enjoy the beauty and history of Cades Cove but have no idea how close they are to a big part of the regions heritage at this small museum.
Located on Lamar Alexander Parkway just a mile east of Wears Valley Road, the most popular route to Cades Cove from The Resort, sits this museum of early 1900s railroading and logging. W. B Townsend, whom the town was named after, came to the region after having run a successful logging business in Pennsylvania. In 1901 he founded two companies, the Little River Lumber Co. and the Little River Railroad. Soon the lumber company owned nearly 80,000 acres of timber in what is now the Smoky Mountain National Forest.
As the two companies began to flourish; workers, their families, and other settlers moved into the area starting other businesses. Saw mills, tanneries and even tourism provided many opportunities for these settlers as the railroad serviced over 150 miles in the region. In 1924 the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Assoc. was formed hoping to turn the area into a national park. After many negotiations, W.B. Townsend sold the land, retaining logging rights for another 15 years, giving conservationists 80,000 acres to advance the park movement. By the late 1930s most of the trees had been harvested and the small camps and towns in the region began to disappear and along with them much of the history of the region.
The Little River Railroad and Lumber Co. Museum provides a small look into this history. Outside you will find a locomotive, railcars, steam engine and a logging crane. Inside the Walland Depot, restored and moved here in 1983, you will find artifacts, photos and stories about the region and the life these people lived. Alongside the depot sits a gift shop, a replica of the Elkmont Post Office, with volunteers who gladly offer more stories of the history of the railroad and logging company.
Admission is free, donations are greatly appreciated. The museum is open daily in June, July, August, and October. Also they are open on weekends in April, May and September and by appointment only November through March.
Directions from The Resort: Turn right onto Collier Drive going .5 mile to the intersection with the Parkway. Turn left on Parkway going 2.4 miles to traffic light #3 in Pigeon Forge. Turn right onto Wears Valley Rd. (Hwy 321) traveling 16 miles to the junction of Hwy 321 & Hwy 73, Lamar Alexander Pkwy. Take a right at light and proceed 1 mile, the museum will be on your right.
Directions from Cades Cove Loop Rd exit: Right on Laurel Creek Rd traveling 7.4 miles to intersection of Hwy 73/Townsend Entrance Rd. going left to exit National Park. Travel 3.2 miles Lamar Alexander Pkwy (Hwy 321 S), museum will be on your right.
The Resort at Governor’s Crossing announced it’s schedule for the 3rd season of their poolside movies. Guests are able to lounge, swim and even float in the lazy river while enjoy family friendly movies during the summer and early fall. The schedule is subject to change, updates will be added accordingly. In case of inclement weather the movie will be canceled.
All movie titles link to IMDb movie review web site
5/26/2017 Monsters Inc
5/30/2017 The Good Dinasour
6/1/2017 The Secret Life of Pets
6/3/2017 Finding Nemo
6/8/2017 Monsters University
6/13/2017 Happy Feet
6/15/2017 Hotel Transylvania 2
6/17/2017 The Lego Movie
6/22/2017 The Secret Life of Pets
6/24/2017 Sponge Bob Movie-Sponge Out of Water
6/27/2017 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
6/29/2017 Despicable Me 2
7/1/2017 Hotel Transylvania
7/4/2017 The Lorax
7/6/2017 Despicable Me
7/22/2017 Inside Out
7/27/2017 The Lego Movie
7/29/2017 Wreck-it Ralph
8/1/2017 Finding Dory
8/3/2017 The Box Trolls
8/8/2017 Inside Out
8/12/2017 The Incredibles
9/1/2017 Inside Out
9/3/2017 Despicable Me
Established 225 years ago by Revolutionary War veteran Timothy Chandler, The Wheatland’s was one of the largest farms in Sevier County at its peak covering over 4,600 acres. The plantation presents a rich diverse history of the region and is also known for paranormal experiences. Many accidental and intentional deaths have been reported to have occurred at the Wheatland’s Plantation.
In 1780 John Sevier, whom Timothy Chandler served with at the Battle of Kings Mountain, defeated Cherokee Indians at the Battle of Boyd’s Creek. Timothy Chandler moved his family to the Boyd’s Creek location in 1791. After his death in 1819 his son John took over the farm. The original farm house burned in 1825 and John commissioned the building of the Federal-style home to replace it. There is a mass grave of approximately 28 Cherokee warriors between the house and the creek.
One of the builders of the plantation home was Capt. William Morgan. John Chandler and Morgan built one of the first commercial distilleries in Tennessee making wheat whiskey which they shipped via inland waterways to New Orleans. By the mid 1800s they were producing 8,000 gallons of whiskey annually.
During the Civil War Union troops wintered at the plantation. After the war Chandler paid emancipated slaves and upon his death in 1875 he left a portion of land along the south side of the plantation to the former slaves. The grounds of the plantation have over 100 slaves and two Revolutionary soldiers buried here.
Many original structures remain at the plantation including the brick mansion house, a hand hewn smokehouse, summer kitchen with dining hall and a loom house. The interior of the main house retains most of its original design including handmade railings and hand carved mantels.
The Wheatland’s Plantation is open Thursday- Sunday 11AM-4PM Spring, summer and fall. Winter hours are limited, please call. Tours take around one and one-half to two hours and cost $15.00 per person for Historical Tour and $20.00 for History and Ghost Walk. For more information visit the Wheatland’s web site or call 865-365-1052.
The Wheatland’s Plantation is a little over 13 miles from The Resort at Governors Crossing. When leaving The Resort turn right on Collier Drive. Go to the intersection of Collier Dr and the Parkway, turning right. Go to the Winfield Dunn Pkwy (HWY 66). Heading North on Winfield Dunn Pkwy go about 5 miles to TN 338, Boyds Creek Hwy (there is a Pilot Service station on the left). You will turn left onto Boyds Creek Hwy and travel 5.8 miles to the Wheatland Plantation which will be on your left.
Many times guests at The Resort ask where is some place the locals go. Even though the famed Apple Barn is just minutes away many an area resident in desire of homegrown fruits (especially apples), produce and good eats will make the trip to Carvers in nearby Cosby Tennessee, about 25 miles from The Resort.
With the Great Smoky Mountains as a backdrop customers will see rows and rows of mature apple trees as one starts up Carver’s driveway to the old style apple sorting barn and attached restaurant. Inside the barn guests will find tables and benches full of fresh fruits and produce, much of it raised on the farm or from other local growers. Shelves on interior walls will display homemade jams, apple and peach butter, plus juices and ciders. Above the shelves on the interior west wall you will find giant wooden signs describing the different varieties of apples including their flavor and recommended uses.
After checking out the barn and stocking up on produce it might be time for some home style southern cooking as you make your way into the Applehouse Restaurant, which serves breakfast (can order up to 1PM), lunch and dinner. The restaurant is noted for their Catfish Dinners and their awesome Chicken N Dumplings. Just like Sevierville’s Applewood Farmhouse Grill, you get delicious apple fritters with homemade apple butter along with fresh cider included in your meal at the Applehouse Restaurant. If you’re looking for some sweet treats for the trip back to The Resort check out Stacy’s Candy Store on the north side of their parking lot.
DIRECTIONS: This is the shortest route and you will be going most of the way cross country. As you exit The Resort turn left onto Collier Drive, when you come to the stop light take a left onto Veterans Blvd. At the second stop light make a right onto Middle Creek Rd., you will then go .8 of a mile to a right on Earnest McMahon Rd. On Earnest McMahon you will go .7 of a mile and Earnest McMahon will fork left, you will then travel 1.6 miles to a stop light. Turn right at the light onto old TN 35 going .2 of a mile to a left staying on old TN 35 (the Walter’s State College campus will be on your left). You will travel .8 of a mile on old TN 35 dead ending on TN 339, take a right. (Side note; just a short distance after making the turn onto 339 you will see a sign for the Harrisburg Covered Bridge, if you have time to stop this is one of 4 remaining covered bridges in the state). On TN 339 you will go 1.3 then TN 339 will make a right hand turn (there is a small gas station/convenience store on the corner). This will now be your longest stretch as you travel 14.9 miles through the Sevier and Cooke County’s country side. TN 339 will dead end onto US 321, make a left and you are 1.8 miles from Carver’s entrance on your right. Your total distance is 23.5 miles.
Many times guests of The Resort at Governor’s Crossing inquire about things to see and do away from Dollywood and the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg tourist scene. A nice day trip of less than 45 miles round trip from The Resort can allow you to visit both the Forbidden Caverns and Bush’s Visitor Center. So load up the family, turn left onto Collier Drive at the entrance to The Resort, as we begin our road trip. Take Collier Drive to a left onto Veterans Boulevard and then a right at the intersection of Dolly Parton Pkwy (US 411). You will travel a little over 11 miles on US 441 until you come to a right on Blowing Cave Road (there will be signs advertising the Forbidden Caverns). A little over a mile on Blowing Cave Road and we will reach our first destination.
Hundreds of years ago Indians used the Forbidden Caverns for shelter. The caves river, the source believed to come from an underground lake beneath English Mountain, provided the Indians a ample source of clean water. The Indians also used flint found in the caverns to form arrowheads and Knives. After the turn of the 20th century the fresh water supply found a new use as the cave was used by moonshiners from the early 1920s to around 1943. In the early 1960s investors began undertaking the development of the caverns as an attraction for the general public. The caverns contain many calcite formations that continue to grow along with which is believed to house the largest wall of rare cave onyx or drip stones. The caverns maintain a constant temperature of 58 degrees and the average guided tour lasts about one hour. The Forbidden Caverns does charge admission, Adults $16, children 5-12 $10, four and under are free. Check the coupon books at The Resort for discounted admissions.
Leaving the caverns we again travel east about 4 miles to the Bush’s Visitor Center. Home of the renowned Bush’s Best Beans, the visitor center is housed in the original A. J Bush & Co. General Store. Free to the general public you can view a short film that includes an intro from Jay & Duke
as the film tells the Bush family history and shows modern processing and canning of their beans. You may also view a timeline presentation of the company from its inception. The store also has clothing, home goods and memorabilia for purchase. As you prepare to head back to The Resort conclude our day trip stop in the Bush’s Family Café for a dinner of Southern dishes and special treats.
THIS PACKAGE HAS EXPIRED, 2017 PACKAGE WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON!
Add to your vacation fun by adding NASCAR Speedpark all day tickets to your reservation at The Resort at Governor’s Crossing. Start out with luxury accommodations, the enjoyment of our indoor & outdoor water parks plus all the other onsite amenities at The Resort and bundle in a day of fun at NASCAR Speedpark.
General all day admission tickets are for unlimited rides on the following tracks: Rookie, Competitor, Qualifier, Baby Bristol, Family 500, Young Champions, Smoky Mountain Speedway (must have a valid driver’s license) and Slidewayz. Plus unlimited use of Bumper Boats, Dragon’s Lair Fantasy Golf Course, Exciting Kiddie and Family Rides, and Rock Climbing Wall.
General admission tickets are required for anyone entering NASCAR Speedpark. Tickets are good any one day in the 2016 season and are non refundable.
Go to our special package on-line booking engine, choose your dates and applicable rate type (our standard every day rate is called Rack, if you are a member of AAA, AARP, own a business or are a government employee you may select those applicable discounted rates). If available you will be offered the opportunity to upgrade, and then a box will appear where you can add tickets or other items. Look for the NASCAR Speedpark logo and select the tickets needed. (If you require more than 4 tickets select 4 and then you will be able to add additional tickets). Speedpark ticket prices are $24.00 each and this includes all taxes and fees. Tickets will be billed for at the time of making reservation and will be included in the deposit.
The packages are available for stay dates 4/1/2016 to 11/26/2016 on-line and must be reserved 2 days prior to arrival. You must have Java Script enabled on your computer to view these rates. You may also call 800-497-5749 to reserve your package.
Check NASCAR Speedpark’s web site: https://nascarspeedpark.com/hours-and-info/ for schedule and hours of operation.
Whisper of the Pines was designed and built exclusively for The Resort at Governor’s Crossing by Viz Art in Houston, TX. Weighing in at over 180 pounds and taking over 4 weeks of production, the 140 hand blown flutes and bulbs give a unique entry into The Resort.
Artists found inspiration right here in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As you make your way up the Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte you come across several areas of evergreen trees. One such area suffered from a blight several years ago killing most of the trees leaving a vast expanse of barren tree trunks. Today evergreens have begun to grow back filling in the void around the brown. Whisper of the Pines depicts the beauty of this area utilizing the striking and uncommon ratio of brown to green in this section of the park. On the hike to Mount LeConte you can see life shooting out amongst the brown in every which way with no rhyme or reason. The natural spires and juxtapositions of blown glass imitate the very beauty of nature. And when there is a gust of wind the new trees whisper to you to let you know that they are there and becoming more vigorous then ever before.
The Resort at Governor’s Crossing has announced a tentative schedule for 2016 for their very popular pool side cinema. The Resort started showing Family Friendly Movies this previous year from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Due to overwhelming popularity and requests from guests the schedule has been extended adding 12 additional show dates.
Mar. 26….Big Hero 6
Apr. 9……The Box Trolls
Apr. 16…..Inside Out
Apr. 30….Happy Feet
May 14….Hotel Transylvania
May 21….Planes Fire & Rescue
May 27….Despicable Me
May 28….Despicable Me 2
June 7… .Hotel Transylvania
June 9…..Toy Story 1
June 14…..Monsters University
June 16…..The Parent Trap
June 21…..Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
June 23…..A Bugs Life
June 25…..Despicable Me 2
July 5…….The Lego Movie
July 7 …….Pocahontas
July 14…..The Wizard of Oz
July 16…..Finding Nemo
July 19…..The Muppets (2011)
July 21…..Back to the Future
July 23…..The Lego Movie
July 26…..The Lorax
July 30…..Inside Out
Aug. 4…...Finding Nemo
Aug. 6……The Incredibles
Aug. 11…..Monsters Inc.
Aug. 20.….Finding Nemo
Sept. 2….. Finding Nemo
Sept. 4.…..Inside Out
Sept. 10….Monsters Inc.
Sept. 17…..Wreck-It Ralph
Sept. 24…..The Lego Movie
* Indicates a change from original scheduled movie
A listing of restaurants open and their hours of business in Pigeon Forge for Thanksgiving 2015, information compiled Nov. 18, 2015.
|Auntie’s Anne’s Cinnabon||286-7001||10AM-6PM|
|Baskin Robbins Ice Cream||453-3337||11AM-Midnight|
|Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que||429-2200||11AM-9PM|
|Big Daddy’s Pizzeria||429-7171||4PM-9PM|
|Cakes By Bakin’ Bishop||774-1117||Call for Hours|
|Corky’s Ribs & BBQ||453-7427||4PM-10PM|
|Denny’s Diner-South||774-5047||24 Hours|
|Denny’s Diner-North||428-2411||24 Hours|
|Dude’s Daiquris||286-3800||Call for Hours|
|Flapjacks Pancake Cabin||908-6115||7AM-1PM|
|Funnel Cake Factory||453-3623||Call for Hours|
|Happy Days Dinner||774-7707||11AM-9PM|
|Hard Rock Café’||430-7625||11AM-Midnight|
|Iron Boar Saloon||429-7779||2PM-9PM|
|J T Hannah’s||428-4200||11AM-9PM|
|Jimmy Buffet’s Margariaville||210-8530||11AM-8PM|
|Kentucky Fired Chicken||453-4371||10:30AM-9PM|
|Kinkaku Japanese Steakhouse||774-7598||12PM-11PM|
|Krispy Kreme Doughnuts||428-3222||7AM-11PM|
|La Cieliton Lindo Mexican Restaurant||286-9145||Call for Hours|
|Loui’s Grill||428-2700||7AM-11AM & 5PM-8PM|
|Mad Dog Creamy||774-5558||4PM-10PM|
|No Way Jose’s||429-7779||2PM-9PM|
|Old Mill Pottery House Café||453-6002||10:30AM-8:30PM|
|Old Mill Restaurant||429-3463||10:30AM-8:30PM|
|Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen||366-1510||10:30AM-6PM|
|Reagan’s Broken Egg Pancake House||453-4600||7AM-12:30PM|
|Reagan’s House of Pancakes||428-0652||7AM-12:30PM|
|Sawyer’s Farmhouse Restaurant||336-1090||8AM-2PM|
|Smoky Mountain Brewery||868-1400||Noon-11PM|
|Smoky Mountain Pancake House||453-6746||7AM-Noon|
|Subway North at Fast Stop||429-2709||24 Hours|
|Taco Bell South||908-1193||Call for Hours|
|The Fudgery||286-0119||Call for Hours|
|The Sweet Shoppe of the South||286-0119||Call for Hours|
|Wood Grill Buffet||429-3120||10:30AM-8:30PM|
|ALL Information Subject to Change|