If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.


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Great Smoky Mtns/Cades Cove and Townsend

A Quieter Side of the Smokies

© Becky Linhardt 2010

Located only 7 miles from one of the park’s best known features, Cades Cove, the Townsend area promotes itself as “The Peaceful Side of the Smokies” cq and as “The Back Porch of Cades Cove.”  Townsend, Tennessee is an alternative to the busy commercial areas of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg but still close enough to access for entertainment in those areas.

What’s Special

Outdoor Activities in the National Park

The natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts a lot of people each year – over 9 million visitors in 2007.  One of the most popular destinations within the park is Cades Cove and for good reason.  With its historic buildings, open fields and forested hillsides it provides photographic panoramas and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife.  The park rangers offer a variety of programs related to both the history of the original settlements in the cove and the wildlife that now enjoy living there.   SPECIAL NOTE:  Spring 2010 – Cades Cove Loop Road is undergoing major repairs and will reopen May 21, 2010.  For alternative driving tours and confirmation of the reopening date check www.SmokyMountains.org.

Mountain Arts

The Visitor Center offers a bit of mountain culture during the summer in a special exhibit area where area artisans produce and sell their work daily.  Their work must fit the environment of our area – local artisan, local material, and hand-made.


The new, covered outdoor amphitheater at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is a great place to experience traditional mountain music at a summer concerts. At Wood N Strings Dulcimer Makers in Townsend, impromptu folk music sessions are not unusual.

Culture and History

The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center provides a great introduction to mountain life long ago in East Tennessee and the traditions that shape contemporary craftsman and musicians.  There are eleven historic buildings for visitors to explore including cantilevered barns, cabins, sawmill, and even an underground still and an outhouse – each with a great story of life in the “coves,” the mountain valleys.  Visitors can learn more about the town’s former lumbering industry and its connection to the formation of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park through displays in the Little River Railroad and Lumber Museum in Townsend.


Cades Cove Heritage Tours leave from a building next door to GSMHC.  A combo ticket, with visit to GSMHC first for an overview, then the 3-4 hours guided bus tour of Cades Cove gives you a really good sense of how people lived.  The historic buildings in Cades Cove are not furnished so seeing the furnished GSMHC buildings first helps visitors imagine the lives of the people who once lived in Cades Cove.


Nearby are the Tuckaleechee Caverns for an experience underground.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: 865-436-1200 or www.nps.gov/grsm

Townsend: 800-525-6834 or www.SmokyMountains.org

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center: 865-448-0044 or www.gsmheritagecenter.org Cades Cove Heritage Tours: 865-448-8838 or www.cadescoveheritagetours.com

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.


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