Thinking about planning a camping trip soon? As fun and exciting as camping can be, it can be a little bit frustrating or stressful when you go camping with the kiddos. There are several steps that you can take to ensure that your next camping trip goes off without any hitches.
Think about the kids first!
Keep your children in mind. While this may seem like common sense, it is important to do. You will want to research where you will be camping. This includes the park that you choose to visit, as well as which camping spot you choose. Since children can easily get bored, you will want to choose a park that gives you access to a number of activities, such as one that has a lake, swimming hole, playground or hiking trails.
Let children help plan activities!
By letting your children help you plan some of your camping activities you are opening up their ability to be creative. Let them choose a few of your camping activities, this will help to keep them excited about camping. It is also important to mention that your child will likely be proud of the fact that they got to help you plan your next trip.
Make a checklist before you go!
When packing for a trip of any kind, have you prepared for your trip in advance, in terms of packing the supplies that you will need or the food that you would like to bring along with you? You may want to take the time to create a camping checklist for yourself, as there are a number of benefits to doing so. Organization is key to making any trip successful, especially with little ones.
Check the weather!
Whether your next camping trip is one that was just planned or one that you have been planning for months, it is important that you check the weather. The weather will have a direct impact on the clothing that you need to bring along with you, the activities that you planned for or even if you still want to go on your trip at all. When camping, hiking or taking any trip into nature, it is best to prepare for just about anything, especially when it concerns the weather.
We hope you have an amazing trip with the little ones! We would love to see some of your photos, share them to our facebook page when you get back!
#CampingVibes #TravelExploreCapture #CMOnline
We are honored to receive the Summer 2020 Photography award for our photo of The Great Blue Heron at Cummins Falls.
The Great Blue Heron is the largest and most familiar heron in Tennessee. It is a year round resident and often mistakenly referred to as a “crane”.
The Great Blue Heron is widespread across North America in both saltwater and freshwater habitats from southern Alaska and central Canada southward to northern Central America and the Caribbean.
It spends the winter throughout most of its breeding range, with some individuals migrating to southern Central America and northern South America.
We are so excited about this award!
Honestly any photo at Cummins Falls is worth an award, the scenery is breath taking.
Thank you, ViewBug!!
Check out our latest hike to Cummins Falls here!
I have a great adventure for you and your family! A quick drive over to Maryville, TN only about 45 minutes outside of Knoxville, you will discover Look Rock Trail!
Google Plus Code: J3M4+2Q Maryville, Tennessee
Once you drive up the Foothills Parkway you will see a parking lot to your left and that is best place to park before going to the Tower.
You will see the sign for the trailhead, right before you enter the parking lot.
The hike to the Tower is .5 miles from the start of the trailhead. This hike is a short hike but don't let that full you. You are going up the entire way! Just be ready.
The good news is, the entire hike is paved! That means it's a great trail for the young hikers!
The views are amazing and worth the hike, you won't be disappointed!
The trail ends at the base of the Tower.
Dotting the landscape of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are a few fire towers and observation towers perched high above the trees with excellent mountain views. The Tower in Maryville is one of my personal favorites!
This is the view that makes the Great Smoky Mountains one of the biggest travel destinations in the United States!
We went on our late evening hike to check out the sunset from the Sahara Dust that was heading over the Eastern United States and much of Tennessee last night. The view as you can see was something out of a movie. The sky was hazed with fog and clouds. It really was an incredible view.
If you decide to venture on, you can take the path under the Tower and head over to the rock formations just behind the Tower gate. In my opinion, it's best not to bring small children to this area. The rocks are steep can be dangerous.
For the adults you should definitely check it out!
Don't forget your camera for this hike!
It started to get dark and the rain started to come in, so we headed back down the trail.
Overall, we would consider the hike Easy to Moderate just because of the steep climb to the top. For the kiddos, if you are just going to the top of the Tower we would rate this hike a 5. Especially since it's paved.
We filmed our entire hike up to the Tower and the Rock area, you can check it out on Facebook or Youtube!
See Look Rock During the day, click here!
Tucked away on the East end of Knoxville you will find the perfect place to take a walk.
Loves Creek Falls is a park complete with a walking trail, playground, picnic tables and natural spring that flows along the tail.
We spoke to some of the locals at the park when we noticed them collecting water from a springhouse on the side of the stream.
They told us that locals had been collecting water from that spring for decades.
The water was so clear and the spring itself was so peaceful to watch.
The walking trail is paved until you get to the sign for Loves Creek Falls and then its gravel past that point.
Paved Trail: 0.25 mile
Natural Trail: 0.65 mile
If you are not wanting to take the walking trail you can just picnic in the beautiful park. With over 6 acres, you will have plenty of space.
Don't forget to bring the little ones on this trip! There is so much for them to see and do.
They even have a rather large playground.....Although right now the playground if off limits due to the pandemic, but you can still have a good time exploring the park.
It was a great trip, only a few minutes from downtown and kid-friendly all the way around!
Enjoy your trip to Loves Creek!
The Noe Family
Sick and tired of being cooped up in the house because of COVID-19?
We found one of the BEST weekend getaways, less than 2 hours from Knoxville and plenty of room for social distancing!
390 Cummins Falls LN
Cookeville, TN. 38501
We chose to camp out for the weekend, near Cummins Falls State Park and decided to stay at the Old Mill Campground.
The Old Mill Campground is directly across the street from the entrance to Cummins Falls State Park. (4801 Blackburn Fork Road, Cookeville, TN 38501)
The campground was the perfect place to stay. Beautiful views, plenty of space for tent camping, the staff was very accommodating and you can hike from your tent to the Falls.
The campground was very kid friendly, they have a great playground, the facilities are close to the campsites and the general store even serves ice cream!
If you decide to walk to the State Park from the campsite it's about .5 miles to the parking lot. I recommend driving over to the parking lot, especially if you are bringing kids along. You will need this energy for the hike downstream. The road to the entrance is gravel and partially paved.
Once you get to the entrance you will need to show your permit, right now Cummins Falls State Park is charging $6.00+ taxes per person to enter. They are only allowing up to 150 people in the park per day. So make sure you pre-plan for your trip and reserve your permit online.
The total hike is approximately 2 miles, you will walk about .3 miles before the trail starts to descend.
If you are only wanting to see the Falls and not actually wanting to complete the hike through the downstream you can stop at the overlook, only a few minutes from the entrance.
I would rate this hike; moderate to difficult depending on your hiking experience. Some of the rocks, tree roots and water ways can be a challenge once the gravel road ends.
Once you get to the downstream gorge you can walk along the shore or in the water to the water falls. Walking along the shore isn't available the entire hike to the falls but it can be helpful sometimes when the rocks get too challenging to climb over. It's an amazing view and the water is so clear.
Trail Tip: Just make sure you have comfortable water shoes, you won't want to do this in flip-flops.
Keep your eyes open for wildlife, it's all around you during your hike. You will see birds, turtles and plenty of fish!
The wilderness is memorizing, the water falls are breathtaking, the swimming hole is a great place to cool off after your journey and I promise you wont be disappointed!
The rock beach area is a great place to lounge.
Trail Tip: Life vest are available at the front entrance and the gorge area. They are required for kids under the age of 12.
I would rate the trip to Cummins Falls a 2 for little ones. Due to the water isn't safe for kids to swim under the age of 12 without a life vest, the trail is rough with rocks and tree roots and the water can rise suddenly if there is rain.
I hope you enjoy your trip to Cummins Falls State Park, we will definitely be back soon!
We spent our day trying to find a Golf Course we hadn't visited in Knoxville and came across Three Ridges Golf Course.
6101 Wise Springs Rd, Knoxville, TN 37918
The greens are very well taken care of and the scenery is so peaceful.
Three Ridges Golf Course is an 18 hole championship course with
Three Ridges Golf Course is one of Knoxville's premier public golf facilities.
Three Ridges was named one of Golf Digest's “Best Places To Play.”
Three Ridges does have all of their details online regarding cart rentals, annual cards, specials and discounts.
You can check that out here!
Looking for a great place to cool off with the kiddos this summer?
We would recommend checking out Perry Mill Dam in Walland, Tennessee.
The dam is about 35 minutes from downtown Knoxville and worth the drive!
Google Plus Code: P5X7+C6 Walland, Tennessee
The dam is tucked away off the main road (321) and features several spaces to set up for the day. The parking lot is gravel and no hiking is required to get to the swimming hole.
Make sure you bring water shoes, you will have to cross several rocks to get over to the beach area. Although the rocks are mostly smooth, they are also slick and you need a little traction.
This is a great place to launch kayaks and canoes.
We found a small water fall tucked away on the other side of the dam. I would recommend checking the area out, just make sure you are aware of the rivers current and your swimming abilities before traveling too far from the entrance.
We had several little ones along for the trip with us and we think it's a great place for all ages.
Make sure you go when it hasn't recently rained so you can enjoy all of the splash areas if you are traveling with little ones.
Our trip to Cades Cove trip was breathtaking!
The Cades Cove Loop winds for 11 miles through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Cades Cove Loop Road Townsend, TN 37882
Our drive from Knoxville was about 1.5 hours and scenic all the way. We brought along 4 kiddos for this trip and they really enjoyed themselves in the streams. You have so much to see and so many different areas you can hike, I think it would be impossible to see everything unless you make several trips to the area.
During your drive, keep an eye out for white tail deer, coyote, elk, fox and black bears.
We went to spend sometime searching for frogs and bugs...because that is what kids want.
They do have a trail that heads towards Abrams Falls and we plan on completing that trail next time, it is a little too steep for the little ones.
Trail: 5 miles
Tennessee isn't just about mountains, waterfalls, swimming holes and beautiful sunsets.....
Tennessee is also filled with Jeepers!!
On May 16th we attended the Topless in the Smokies 2020 Jeep Ride. Cades Cove Jeep Outpost put on the event and sponsors included; Rugged Ridge, The Jeep Crew & The Official Topless for TATA's Charity Wheeling Event.
I honestly have no idea how many Jeep fanatics came on the drive but it had to be in the thousands! The Jeeps took up three different parking lots to line up for the drive.
The ride was amazing and I think the passersby enjoyed seeing all of the Jeep driving down parkway. Someone even made a video to capture just how many people attended the event. The YouTube link is below for Mark Hurst video:
It was an amazing event for a great cause and we can't wait to tag along next year!
The drive itself was a scenic ride across the Foothills Parkway from Cades Cove Jeep Outpost, through Wears Valley, to Chilhowee Lake. Total drive was about 31 miles.
Cades Cove Jeep Outpost has several photos from the event on their Facebook Page, if you are looking for your Jeep!
We found ours!
Look Rock has no physical address
Latitude: 35-37'59'' N
Longitude: 083-56'31'' W
Look Rock trail doubles as an observation ledge that overlooks the national park. It also boasts 360 degree panoramic views of the Smokies.
Trail: 0.5 miles long
The majority of the hike is a paved side walk through the woods to get to the observation ledge. Perfect if you want to bring along little ones.
The walk up to the ledge is so peaceful and you are surrounded by nature.
Don't forget your camera for this hike!
We are the Noe's! We live in East Tennessee and love to hike, swim, travel, golf and just enjoy the little things in life. We are trying to capture all of the amazing experiences you can find in our area and beyond!
2020 Photo Award
Look Rock Trail
Loves Creek Falls
Cades Cove Jeep Ride
Perry Mill Dam
Landing at Rivers Edge
Kids and Camping
Outside of Tennessee