Posted by Phil Rodgers in Smoky Mountains
Fortunately for locals and visitors alike, East Tennessee is teeming with opportunities to play outside in the summer, whether it's in the national park, a state park or one of the region's many lakes or TVA reservoirs. Recreational staples like boating, fishing, hiking, camping and cycling are just a few of the examples of how a person can spend some quality time in the fresh air and sunshine.
In our last blog post, we introduced you to just a few of the many retail establishments in the Smoky Mountains region that cater specifically to folks looking to enjoy some quality outdoor time. This week, we're going to add a few more suggestions to that lineup. Depending on your specific plans, we're confident that whatever gear or expertise you may need on your next trip to the Smokies, you'll find a store that will take good care of you.
At Goats on the Roof in Pigeon Forge, we also offer a quality outdoor experience. From riding our thrilling alpine coaster to feeding our live goats (yes, they live on the roof) to mining for precious gemstones like prospectors of old, you can do it all while ensconced in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.
This vendor is located in Wears Valley, TN, only a few minutes' drive from Pigeon Forge on Wears Valley Rd. Like some of the shops we featured in our last blog post, GSM Outfitters carries some of the top name brands when it comes to hiking and camping. These include Osprey, Patagonia, Teva, Chaco, Keen and Marmot, just to mention a few.
Clothing-wise, GSM has a wide range of options to cover you from hat and sunglasses to socks and shoes or hiking boots. In fact, they have an exclusive line of clothing, sandals and boots designed to equip you for any climate conditions you might experience in the Smokies (or most anywhere else, for that matter). As for gear, look for backpacks, binoculars, electronics, hydration packs, fire-starting gear, knives, nutrition, sunscreen, trekking poles, water bottles and much more.
You'll find Uncle Lem's on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. This family-owned business focuses more on clothing items, including hoodies and sweatshirts, T-shirts, hats. Again, Top brands like Chaco and Patagonia are representative of the wide selection they offer. They also sell food items like local honey, coffee and even books about the store's namesake, Lem Ownby, the great-great uncle of the proprietors. Ownby grew up and lived in the Elkmont area of what is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and he became known as “the sage of the Smoky Mountains.”
Located in Maryville, TN, this retailer is a little farther afield from the others, but it carries a great selection of quality clothing and gear for those interested in spending time in the great outdoors. They've been in business for more than 25 years and are very highly rated, so if you happen to stray over into the Maryville area, give them a look-see.
Whereas many shops only focus on clothing and footwear for hiking, LRTC can do that and also get you all set up for that next camping trip or even rock-climbing adventure. For example, they carry tents and sleeping bags, hammocks and cookstoves, packs and even water-filtrations systems. For you climbers, look for rope, shoes, harnesses and carabiners, helmets and many more items. They also happen to be next door to a shop called Cycology, which is a great place to go for all things cycling.