Land of Arches at Pickett State Park

By Mike Steely One of the most rustic and wondrous areas within a couple of hours drive from Knoxville can be found at Pickett CCC Memorial State Park. The CCC stands for the Civilian Conservation Corps which worked to create the park, as the Depression Era federal work project did for many of our parks. […]

A Day Away in the Smokies

  By Mike Steely Sometimes you just have to get away for a day or two. My wife and I did that recently after both of us were stressed out and neither of us in good health. We hooked up our little pop-up camper, reserved a camping spot on the Little Pigeon River, and drove […]

Alcatraz East has more than you expect

By Mike Steely “So much fun it’s a crime” is the motto of Alcatraz East, an unusual attraction in Pigeon Forge. It looks very much like a prison on the outside and inside are several floors with displays on just about every crime and major criminal and victim you can imagine. If you are into […]

Unusual geological features in our area

By Mike Steely We are so blessed to live in an unusual part of our nation. You may not think of it but there’s lots of places within a day’s drive where you can encounter oddities of nature and man. For instance, Cumberland and Pine Mountain in Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky were both formed by […]

‘Every three steps’ at Brushy has a story

By Mike Steely So much violence, sadness and history is woven into the place but it’s a place you’ve got to visit and experience for yourself. Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary opened on August 4th as a tourist attraction and if you’ve ever wondered what prison life was like over the last 100 years a visit […]

Taking the Ocoee Loop

By Mike Steely Looking for an afternoon drive? How about heading south along what was once the Old Federal Road? The route was first developed in a treaty in 1805 and improved in 1819 as a toll road. Today we know the basic route as Highway 411. The highway skirts the foothills of the lower […]

Visiting historic courthouses

  By Mike Steely   When I was a child the courthouse square in my small town was a hub of activity with trials during the week and also on weekends. Whittlers sat around the square on benches, trimming wood back to nothing or making axe handles and shavings they often bagged and took home […]

Dam good places to visit

By Mike Steely Getting away from Knoxville on an outing can be fun and educational. Don’t tell the kids it is educational, surprise them. Ever taken a day to visit the many dams in our region? People who fish know most of them, especially if they fish from shore as one of the favorite shore […]

Ever been to the Nibroc Festival?

By Mike Steely Are you interested in three days of free festival fun just 90 minutes north of Knoxville that includes two stages of music, a car and motorcycle show, a 2K run, street parties and carnival rides? If your answer is yes, you should check out the Nibroc Festival which will be celebrating 66 […]

Want to get high in East Tennessee?

  By Mike Steely If you’d like to rise far above the increasing hustle and bustle of our area there are many overlooks around that are easy to drive to and safe to visit. Getting away for a Sunday or any day and taking the family along can be an exciting and visually pleasing adventure. […]

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