Rarity Bay Hiking Club Salutes Chimney Trail December 2014 Planned Reopening in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Share Article

Real Estate Scorecard is an industry leader of online real estate reviews, keeping buyers informed about what's happening at the most popular gated communities and best cities to live in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

News Image

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

America's Favorite National Park

How sweet it is for the Rarity Bay hiking club to live less than an hour from America’s most visited national park. A priceless and free American amenity. The very popular Chimney Tops Trail is scheduled to re-open 7 days a week at the end of this year and the Rarity Bay hiking club couldn't be happier. Set in the Appalachian Mountains, there are over 150 official hiking trails spread across 521,985 acres in the park. Hiking even the easiest trails can transcend folks into a different world and state of well being. The lowest elevation in the park is 870 feet at Abrams Creek. The highest elevation is 6,643 feet at the summit of Clingman’s Dome. And the park is not only for hiking.

Rarity Bay equine owners and enthusiasts also enjoy over 500 miles of horse trails in the park. There are five drive-in horse camps; one in Tennessee and four in North Carolina. The Cades Cove stables in the park is closest to the gated community of Rarity Bay. Cades Cove is the easiest place to bike on the 11 mile loop.

With over 9 million visitors to the park each year, avid Rarity Bay hikers like Karen Millikan of On the Lake Realty suggest getting to the park early and exploring less known hiking trails. It’s common to see artists capturing the beauty of the park along the streams, near waterfalls and along mountain plateaus. The park is an incredible sensory experience with the smells, sounds and sunlight reflecting through the forest.

Park amenities include trout streams, camp sites, guided walks and more. Programs taking place until November 1st include guided hikes to Clingman’s Dome, Cades Cove full moon hikes, Cades Cove stargazing, Back Porch Old-Time Music Jams, daily lectures and demonstrations throughout the park.

Most folks enter the park from Gatlinburg Tennessee or Cherokee North Carolina however the Townsend entrance is closest to Rarity Bay. Popular hikes and sites to see in the park near Townsend:


An 11 mile one way road leads visitors through a scenic valley where churches and log homes dating back to the early 1800’s are preserved. The historic Cable Mill Grist Mill still spins today. During the fall season, the Rarity Bay hiking club reveals the valley is a popular photo stop, to view the fall foliage and bugling elk during the early morning or at sunset.


A steep 4 mile hike leading up to rock pinnacles and epic views. The trail had been closed for the most part since 2012 because of heavy use and heavy rain on the steep terrain. Thanks to the efforts of Trails Forever Crew, Chimney Tops Trail will be fully re-opened by the end of this year.


A 7 mile road leads folks up to the Clingman Dome parking lot. From there, hikers climb another half mile on a steep paved path to the observation tower showcasing 360 degree views of the Smokies. At the summit, trails on the Appalachian Trail separate North Carolina from Tennessee are easily accessible.


Located 1.8 miles south of Clingman’s Dome, Andrews Bald is the easiest bald to reach. The Forney Ridge Trail starts from the end of the Clingman’s Dome parking lot. The 4 mile round trip hike is challenging but the panoramic views of the Smokies at 5,900 feet are worth the trek. The bald makes a great spot for a picnic lunch.


For the serious Rarity Bay hikers, Mount LeConte is the third-highest peak in the park. At the top, a rustic lodge is available to overnighters. The lodge which can accommodate up to 50 guests can only be reached by hiking to it. Five hiking trails lead to the summit: Boulevard Trail (16 miles round trip), Alum Cave Trail (11 miles round trip), Rainbow Falls Trail & Trillium Gap (13 miles round trip) or Bull Head (14 miles round trip). The summit offers some of the best views of rocky outcroppings.

With over 17,000 documented species of plants and animals, Rarity Bay hikers attest to the forest being a place of fascination and peacefulness. Tuliptree, Black Gum, Red Maple, Scarlet Oak and Sourwood are the super stars during the fall foliage season blazing the park with color.

Residents are blessed with having America’s greatest wilderness area within a one hour drive of their Rarity Bay home. The first time we visited the friendly Tellico Lake neighborhood, we were mesmerized by the stunning views of Great Smoky Mountains National Park across the lake. As if a daily temptation to hike the park. Here's a quick overview of Rarity Bay:

24 Hour Manned Gated Entrance
18 Hole Championship Golf Course designed by D.J.VeVictor and Peter Langham
Golf Clubhouse with Dining
Outdoor Swimming Pool & Tennis Courts
White Stables Equestrian Center
Walking Trails & Dog Park
Homes/Villas/Condominiums and Homesites

Real Estate Scorecard believes Rarity Bay combines the best of all worlds; close proximity to a major city, a best boating lake, the traditional country club lifestyle and quick access to America’s favorite national park.

Contact Karen Millikan of On the Lake Realty at 423-519-3258, a long time resident and Rarity Bay hiker and is more than willing to show folks the award-winning Tellico Lake neighborhood.

About Real Estate Scorecard:

Real Estate Scorecard writes unbiased real estate reviews providing in-depth information about popular gated communities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, all in an effort to help people discover where to retire in the Southeast.

Website: http://realestatescorecard.com

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Margie Casey, Founder
Follow us on
Visit website