Tennessee's history is rich and diverse. Historic sites, trails, music, crafts and the arts, paint a picture of a colorful state that has seen two centuries of statehood.
The Tennessee Heritage Trail has been recently developed by the State, in order to highlight the cultural heritage of our people. Numerous Gatlinburg-area locations have been designated as integral stops along the Trail.
The Tennessee Heritage Trail is divided into three pathways:
Arts & Crafts
On the Arts & Crafts Trail you will find folk art, trolls, candles of all descriptions, hand-made pottery, oak and willow baskets, watercolors, sculpture and lithographs. You will also come face to face with players in outdoor dramas, be entertained by elaborate stage productions that tell the history of Tennessee, and give life to newly created works.
In Gatlinburg, the Arts & Crafts Trail stops, feature the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and The Great Smoky Arts & Craft Community. Arrowmont, a nationally known visual arts complex, located at 556 Parkway (865-436-5860), provides year-round, changing gallery exhibits, along with an extensive fine arts resource center and bookstore.
The Arts & Crafts Community features shops, studios and galleries of over 80 artists and craftsmen all in an 8-mile loop. Meet and talk with our talented artisans, as they work in their shops and studios, creating some of the finest crafts in the country. Take Hwy. 321, out to Battle's Grocery Store, turn left. The shops are located through out the Glades/Buckhorn Road area. (865-671-3600 ext. 3504).
The History Trail
Discover the people and events that shaped America's 16th state.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park rightfully stands as Gatlinburg's area designee on this trail.
Formed more than 200 million years ago, and dedicated as a National Park in 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains were chosen as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976. Truly a national treasure, the 520,000 acre Park is the most visited of all the U.S. National Parks. It has thousands of species of animals, birds, flowers, plants, trees, and insects not found anywhere else, and the Park personnel are working continually to reintroduce native endangered species back into the land. The Peregrine falcon and river otter have been brought back successfully, and the red wolf, last seen in 1905, was put back into its natural Smokies habitat in 1992.
Bountiful folklore regarding the early settlers of White Oak Flats, now known as Gatlinburg and the National Park, weaves an unparalleled yarn of mountain life and times from hundreds of years ago.
By following Tennessee's Music Trail, you will find diverse styles evolving from three cultural traditions. East Tennessee's Appalachian region is known for its folk songs and bluegrass which evolved from the immigrant influences of the 1700's.
In Gatlinburg, look for Music Trail features in three locales; The Old Heidelberg Dinner Show, Smoky Mountain Travelers, and Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre. The Old Heidelberg Dinner Show was established in 1975 in Gatlinburg and has been entertaining guests in its Bavarian style ever since. One of the most popular times to enjoy The Old Heidelberg, is during the annual Octoberfest.
The Smoky Mountain Travelers features live bluegrass and mountain music, with shows nightly.
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre is billed as an evening featuring an original musical comedy, with audience participation sing-a-longs.
Hillbilly Hoe-down (now located in Pigeon Forge) is a two-hour Country "Comusical" down-home variety show.