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Check out the Amazing Things to do in Wears Valley:

Situated in the Great Smoky Mountains, Wears Valley offers a serene escape with stunning vistas, local eateries, historical sites, and plenty of outdoor adventures. Here’s a guide to the best things to do in Wears Valley where you can enjoy.

#1 Admire the Scenery of Cove Mountain:

Wears Valley sits at an elevation of 1,454 feet, surrounded by majestic mountains that create a breathtaking panorama. The tallest of these peaks is Cove Mountain, standing at 4,078 feet. Its dramatic rise of over 2,000 feet from the valley floor makes it an impressive sight, especially in autumn when the foliage turns vibrant shades of red and gold.

Simply driving through the valley provides spectacular mountain views, but to fully immerse yourself in the scenery, consider renting a cabin. The cozy retreats offer the perfect vantage points to appreciate the natural beauty.

#2 Enjoy a Meal at Elvira’s Cafe:

When hunger strikes, head over to Elvira’s Cafe, a beloved local spot for lunch. Known for its hearty and delicious menu, Elvira’s serves up a variety of crepes, pancakes, and sandwiches that are perfect for refueling after a morning hike.

This cafe has won the hearts of both locals and visitors, earning rave reviews for its friendly service and tasty food. Whether you’re in the mood for a sweet treat or a savory meal, Elvira’s has something to satisfy your cravings.

#3. Explore Headrick Chapel

Step back in time with a visit to Headrick Chapel, built in 1902 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This quaint white chapel has been a cornerstone of community life in Wears Valley for over a century.

According to local legend, the chapel’s site was chosen after a thunderbolt struck an old oak tree on the hill where the chapel now stands. Besides its historical significance, Headrick Chapel offers picturesque views of the valley, making it a lovely spot for a peaceful visit.

#4. Discover Metcalf Bottoms Park Entrance

Wears Valley is home to a lesser-known entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, leading to the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. From here, you can explore other parts of the park, like Cades Cove and Elkmont, but Metcalf Bottoms itself has plenty to offer.

This scenic area along the Little River features several hiking trails that take you to the historic Little Greenbrier community. Follow the Metcalf Bottoms Trail to discover an old schoolhouse, a graveyard, and the Walker Sisters’ cabin.

To get there, turn onto Lyon Springs Lane from Wears Valley Road and follow it into the park via Line Springs Road. Continue on Wear Cove Gap Road until you reach Little River Gorge Road. Before you head out, you can stock up on hiking gear at Great Smoky Mountain Outfitters, a local outdoor shop.

#5. Tour the Moonshine Distillery

Although the Tennessee Moonshine Distillery is a relatively new addition to Wears Valley, it draws on a long tradition of moonshining in the area. In the past, farmers in remote communities like Wears Valley would produce corn liquor under the cover of night to avoid the authorities.

Take a tour of the distillery to learn about this fascinating history and sample some of the local moonshine. It’s a great way to connect with the valley’s heritage while enjoying a unique tasting experience

#6. Experience Mountain Coasters

For a thrilling adventure, try one of the mountain coasters in Wears Valley. These roller coasters are built into the natural landscape, offering a fun and exciting way to explore the area.

There are two popular coasters on Wears Valley Road, near Pigeon Forge: the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster and The Coaster at Goats on the Roof. Both rides combine the excitement of a roller coaster with the beauty of the mountains, providing an unforgettable experience for thrill-seekers.

#7. Soar on Zip Lines

To truly appreciate the beauty of the Smoky Mountain forests, take a zip line tour with Wears Valley ZipLine Adventures. This local outfitter offers some of the most exhilarating zip lines in the area, with one stretching 2,000 feet long and 275 feet above the ground.

The fully forested course provides stunning views of Mt. LeConte and other peaks within the national park. It’s an adrenaline-pumping way to see the sights and enjoy the great outdoors.

#8. Horseback Riding with Walden’s Creek Stables

Experience the Smokies from a different perspective with a guided horseback ride through the mountains. Walden’s Creek Stables offers tours that take you along scenic trails, passing historic homes, moonshine stills, and beautiful mountain vistas.

In addition to horseback riding, Walden’s Creek Stables hosts a Wild West Adventure show, complete with a barbecue dinner, a wagon tour, and bonfire. It’s a fun and family-friendly way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

#9. Search for Gems at Friendly Falls Gem Mine

Legend has it that the Cherokee buried gold in Wears Valley before being forced to leave on the Trail of Tears. While finding hidden treasure might be a long shot, you can still enjoy a fun and rewarding experience at Friendly Falls Gem Mine.

This charming spot on Wears Valley Road features a local crafts store, a private waterfall, a restaurant, and a creek-side mining flume where you can sift for gems. Kids will love searching for emeralds, sapphires, and rubies, and who knows—you might just strike it rich!

#10. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

Located in nearby Townsend, TN, the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is a fantastic place to learn about the history and culture of Appalachia. The museum features indoor exhibits and several outdoor displays, including cabins, cantilever barns, and other preserved buildings.

Explore artifacts ranging from ancient Cherokee items to a preserved banjo from a Cades Cove resident. During the summer, the museum also hosts live bluegrass concerts, adding to the rich cultural experience.

Wears Valley offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and exciting activities. Whether you’re admiring the views, indulging in local cuisine, or seeking adventure, there’s something for everyone in this picturesque valley.

Admire the Amazing Things to Do in Wears Valley with A King’s Lodge:

Wears Valley, located in the Great Smoky Mountains, offers a wealth of experiences from scenic drives to thrilling adventures. Whether you’re marveling at Cove Mountain’s panoramic views, savoring a meal at Elvira’s Cafe, or discovering local history at Headrick Chapel and Metcalf Bottoms, every moment here is unforgettable. Enhance your stay with A King’s Lodge, offering The Lodge, Cherokee Hill Cabin, and The Farmhouse for a cozy retreat amidst nature’s splendor. Make Wears Valley and A King’s Lodge your next destination for memories that endure. Book your stay now at the Smoky Mountain Resort!



1. What are some popular outdoor activities in Wears Valley?
A: Wears Valley offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking at Cove Mountain, exploring historical sites like Headrick Chapel, and enjoying thrilling experiences like mountain coasters and zip lines.

2. Is there a recommended spot for dining in Wears Valley?
A:Yes, Elvira’s Cafe is highly recommended for its delicious Southern cuisine and cozy atmosphere. It’s a local favorite known for its pancakes, sandwiches, and friendly service.

3. What historical attractions can I visit in Wears Valley?
A:Visitors can explore the historic Headrick Chapel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Metcalf Bottoms Park Entrance, which leads to scenic trails and historic sites in the Great Smoky Mountains.

4. Are there family-friendly activities in Wears Valley?
A:Absolutely! Families can enjoy horseback riding with Walden’s Creek Stables, gem mining at Friendly Falls Gem Mine, and visiting the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in nearby Townsend for educational exhibits and live concerts.

5. Where can I stay in Wears Valley for a relaxing getaway?
A: A King’s Lodge offers a serene retreat with options like The Lodge, Cherokee Hill Cabin, and The Farmhouse, nestled in the Smoky Mountains. It’s ideal for those seeking a peaceful stay close to nature.

6. What types of accommodations are available at A King’s Lodge?
A:A King’s Lodge offers various accommodations including The Lodge, Cherokee Hill Cabin, and The Farmhouse, each providing unique amenities and stunning mountain views.

7. What activities are offered at A King’s Lodge?
A: Guests can enjoy activities such as hiking, relaxing by the lodge, and exploring nearby attractions like Wears Valley and the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s a perfect spot for nature lovers and those looking to unwind in a beautiful setting.


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