The Great Smoky Mountains

November 4, 2011

Recently, our family has made two visits to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We visited the upper side of the park -- Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. There are many opportunities for you and your family in the area. Here's a glimpse of our top favorite opportunites and/or activities. 

Friends of the Smokies
Your first opportunity is to get a membership in the "Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park". There are many benefits including discounts on merchandise, accommodations, and attractions in and around the park. You can join for as little as $25 per year. I recommend you register online three weeks prior to your trip, so that you may receive your membership card before you go. The discounts offered through the membership will save you money.

Junior Rangers
Your second opportunity is geared toward the young ones in your family. Kids age 5 through 12 can become Junior Rangers of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Whether or not you homeschool your children, this will be an educational experience that will stay with them into adulthood. Taking care of our national parks is vital to their survival. Junior Rangers receive a certificate and badge once they complete an age-appropriate workbook. The workbooks can be purchased at the visitors center bookstores for only $2.50. The requirements in the workbook include: completing 8 of the 11 activities in the book, participating in a ranger-led program at the Sugarland Visitors Center, filling a bag with garbage found in or around the park (to be turned in at the visitors center), and taking the Junior Ranger oath. It was a proud moment when we watched our two kids earn their Junior Ranger certificate and badge!

(**Note: If you register for membership in the Friends of the Smokies, the workbooks are 15% off.**)

Berry Springs Lodge
The last opportunity to tell you about today is where to stay. For a peaceful, romantic stay without the kids, there is no better place to stay than Berry Springs Lodge. The rooms and suites are great, including some with hot tub and fireplace. You are welcomed in the evening with desserts and beverages in the dining room. In the morning, they serve a full country breakfast. Patrick and Sue Eisert are the innkeepers of this fabulous Bed & Breakfast! When you make reservations, be sure to tell them Beckthings sent you!

Don't forget about our giveaways this month! Enter our first giveaway right now! Click here!


  1. Nice job! These 3 things are great!

  2. My parents live right by The Smokey Mountain National Park. It is one of my favorite place to visit.


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