About This Listing
Quiet, serene but just 12 miles to Gatlinburg, 5 to quietest parts of Park & most hiking trails in whole area. Deck over stream, private access. RENOVATION RATE! No loud or inside work while you're home. I'm booking up SOLID, act now! LGBT friendly.
The White Tail Room features a king sized Tempur-Pedic Bed, perfect for sore muscles in the evening. So far I've received rave reviews.
Welcome to the quiet side! Fern Gully is eco/friendly, creek-side & your quiet sanctuary away from the crowds & heat but still just 12 miles from all the action of Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge. She's rich with artifacts & memorabilia from my family's history behind the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You'll never find any other place like her to call home during your trip on Airbnb or ANYWHERE else! Best of all, I'm offering SUPER low discounts during our renovation special! No work loud or indoor work will go on while you're home, she's just not as gorgeous when flower beds are still being built and the honeymoon suite off the side of the cabin is being built in. But the off side is that she's booking up by the hour, so you really do need to reserve now while you have the chance! :)
FERN GULLY'S UNIQUE FEATURES:
The biggest and best : my rate is below Airbnb suggested rate considering all the amenities & cut even more with the as a renovation described above.
My room's now a studio apt w/ sound insulated walls & separate entrance hidden from view by curtains. EVERYTHING PICTURED IS YOUR PRIVATE SPACE! We share only the front yard & only hear each other through a few floor creaks. You'll only see me if you so choose. My dog Zoinks loves guests!
*Historic, one-of-a-kind furnishings!*
My Great Grandfather lobbied Roosevelt to create The Great Smoky Mountains National Park & single-handedly rescued the rivers' trout population decimated by logging. The reward was to be one of the few families in the world to have cabins in Elkmont, last inhabited community in the Park & home of the world-famous synchronous firefly colony. Many of Fern Gully's furnishings are from our cabin there.
*SCREENED WATERSIDE DECK!*
Spans nearly whole length of cabin. Rocking chairs, picnic table for 6. Lights illuminate water at night. 2 grills; Eco friendly propane/infrared & charcoal. One rental across stream to very far end. Everything else is wild forest filled with birdsong!
- GREAT ROOM: vaulted ceiling, fully equipped kitchen, fireplace, reclining leather sofa & 46" flat-screen HiDef TV w/ Roku.
- Main Guest Room: King Tempur-Pedic bed, ceiling fan, huge closet. Pocket door to priv. bath & another to Great Room. Wand shower head & seats.
- Extra Room: Simple & small but with dbl bed, single & window over water. Laundry en suite, Eco-friendly detergent provided.
- All floors are hardwood/bamboo.
- Oatmeal, local jams, ciders, coffee & tea provided.
- Detailed House Manual on kitchen counter
- Small library, games, coloring books & puzzles for rainy days.
- Guidebook section within this listing on the site full of itinerary suggestions & includes a map. More details in "other things to note" section.
- EVERYTHING PICTURED IS YOUR OWN PRIVATE SPACE! Our only shared area is the front yard. Should you go outside while my dog is out, she's extremely friendly.
- There are a steps off your side of the deck leading right to the water's edge.
- My room is a studio apt. Like any neighbor, I don't come into your home! We can communicate by email or our Airbnb chat, but no texting available.
Interaction with Guests
- I won't interact with you unless you want, but both my dog & I are friendly, outgoing & love to help! I can't receive texts, but we can communicate through email & our Airbnb conversation. I don't even own a cell phone.
-House Manual has the info you need w/out assistance Avail. from 9:30 - 9:30.
- My immune system was destroyed by Lyme disease, so during cold/flu season I avoid direct contact but as said we can communicate through Airbnb messages or email.
Very quiet. Most other cabins are rentals. I've been here many years without problems. Though close to action of Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, it's so quiet & secluded you'll feel like the only people in the world.
- Free outdoor parking for up to 4 cars (depending on size) onsite.
- Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge have cheap trolley system so you can save a bundle on parking fees & the hassle of heavy traffic.
- When in Gatlinburg or Newport be conscious of speed limits. They *mean* it!
- Should you decided to hike a trail that is not a loop to get to your car, my friends shuttles provided by A Walk in the Woods.
Other Things to Note
- Dont get yourself lost by using your own directions! Print mine & follow to the letter. They may be longer in distance but they're much faster & will keep you off dangerous dark roads.
** PLEASE READ QUIRKS/RULES OF MANUAL IN KITCHEN** Some seem strict or weird but follow this equation & it'll all make sense: Cabin + Rainforest + Stream + Wildlife = LOTS of weird.
THINGS TO DO:
1) Have fun w/out even leaving FG! Splash in the water, play board games, read a book by the fire, watch Hi-def TV, dine by candlelight or just hang out & listen to the sounds of nature.
2) Neighborhood has partially forested loop exactly 1 mile from gate to gate. Great for walkers keeping track of distance.
3) I offer personal tours of Elkmont. $40 for entire group, tips greatly appreciated.
4) Our side of Park is a hiker's paradise, w/ more trails than anywhere else. Never need to go to G'burg!
5) A Walk in the Woods has something for all interests & fitness levels. Featured on Travel Channel, voted Top Guide by REI, listed as one of the top experiences in the area. 5 ☆s on Trip Advisor. Call for reservations or to tag along on another trip if available.
6) Mountain picnics, local crafts & pioneer celebrations year-round.
7) Climbworks, #1 zipline in the country & just a 5 minute walk from FG. A 2 HR guided tour over the treetops. See the forest from a whole new perspective. They also have a mtn bike roller coaster!
8) Greenbriar in the Park just 5 minutes away. So lovely it's a top wedding spot. Picnic, swim, stroll or hike. Breathtaking views!
9) Cosby Campground only 10 minutes away has the most trail-heads in Park.
9) Countless things to do year-round in the Park! Hikes for all fitness levels, beautiful vistas to see by car & many programs. Celebrate pioneer heritage w/ food, music & demonstrations. The Wildflower Pilgrimage in April proves why we're called "The Wildflower National Park." In Summer, see one of the rarest occurrences in nature; synchronous fireflies. Colonies exist only in Elkmont & Malaysia. There's swimming, picnics, wildlife, horseback riding, hikes, the pioneer settlement Cades Cove, fishing & more! Fall's display of colors defies description & the Harvest Celebration is fun for all ages! Winter has some of the most beautiful views of mountain ice & snow in the country. I haven't even begun to cover it all!
As for the rest of these attractions, they may not be in the park but they're still blast! Use Trolley system whenever possible.
1) See masterpieces of pottery, glass work, leather work etc, created by local folks in the Artist Colony! Visit the beautiful & historic Buckhorn Inn w/ an unparalleled view of Mt. LeConte, a world renowned labyrinth & a peaceful pond complete w/ swans.
2) Ripley's Aquarium is #1 in the country w/ good reason. It's awesome!
3) Dollywood is one of America's top rated theme parks & it's right here! Ride The Wild Eagle, first & only winged roller coaster! The Mystery Mine is steepest in the country. A must-go for brave (or crazy) roller coast fans! Demonstrations of old-time Appalachian arts. Escape summer heat at Dolly's Splash Country!
4) About an hour & a half away (w/ beautiful mtn views), visit the largest home in the country, Biltmore House & Gardens in Asheville. Spring grounds are breathtaking & holiday decorations are not to be missed! The city is a filled w/ art, music & dining.
Here are a few dining ideas for you:
- After your day at Dollywood, have a wacky, funny & kitsch dinner at Dixie Stampede. I still can't figure out how that guy stands on the backs of two galloping horses while they jump through fire. Holy moly!
- Barely 3 minutes away is Cobbly Nob Pizza Cafe, which delivers during Summer - including uncooked steak dinners for grilling out! Be warned: the pizza is horrible! Still, they've got GREAT burgers & fries!
- Carver's Applehouse has a market w/ apples, jams, ciders local produce & a restaurant w/ *gorgeous* view of orchard & horses. Almost every Spring there are foals flitting. The specialty is complimentary apple fritters w/apple butter.
- The Mountain Lodge is just this side of Gatlinburg. Their biscuits w/ sausage & gravy is highly addictive!
- For something more upscale, the Buckhorn Inn has a great breakfast along w/ that LeConte view along w/ nice porch w/ rocking chairs to rock that "I'm so stuffed" feeling away. Dinner is said to be great. Reservation required.
- If you don't mind waiting in line a bit, The Pancake Pantry in G'burg is one of the 1st eateries in town. It's world famous for breakfast & it deserves its reputation.
Hopefully I've given you at least an idea of all the wonders & thrills we have here & your wanderlust is calling you! If it is, I hope you'll visit me & Zoinks at Fern Gully!
- PLEASE read *before booking* Details in kitchen manual but this gives you the info for first coming in.
- No pets, no exceptions. Please no service animals (allergies).
- Earliest check in is 3 pm, but come late as you want. Checkout by 11 am.
-Airbnb requires full head counts for insurance purposes. For example, if it's you & 1 friend, reserve as TWO guests.
- Unless you have diabetes or balance issues, this is a "no shoes inside" house. Bring comfy house shoes or extra shoes to wear while inside. Don't drag luggage across floors.
- Cabin not child proofed. No kids under 12. Infants not walking accepted.
- Call ETA before arrival AND exiting interstate (cells lose signals in mtns) so I'll have Zoinks (dog) inside. DON'T OPEN GATE IF SHE'S IN YD! Stay in car, honk your horn & I'll come get her. Remember, I don't get texts and nearly all cell phones do not have signals up here.
- I change sheets upon checkout. Don't make beds. It's a big help to strip sheets.
-Cook top & counters are *very* easily scratched. EZ instructions on their care in manual in kitchen.
- Help keep Fern Gully eco friendly by turning off lights when not in use. Especially the front and back floods; they shine in the neighbors' bedrooms.
- In a nutshell, treat FG & Zoinks like they're all you have in the world, bcz it's true for me. :)
Claire (and Zoinks) were amazing hosts! She went out of her way to make our stay warm and welcome. She showed true southern hospitality. She took the time to share interesting local spots with us and their history. The cabin itself was wonderful! It was clean, spacious and had all the amenities you could want. The pictures of the back porch don't do it justice. The sound of the shaded creek and the peaceful setting is a great way to unwind after the day. We look forward to coming back soon!
My wife and I decided to stay at Claire's place for the week and spend some time in the Smokies. We had a great time, and Claire was a great host, even though we never actually got to meet her in person. We were out and about for most of the day while we were there, and just spent evenings at the cabin. It's in a very pretty location, and it wasn't too far to get to Gatlinburg and the park. We loved the screened in porch and grilled some steaks and ate outside one night. Zoinks joined us for a little bit on the porch and she is super friendly! We also sat out there while it was raining one night, and the rain and the stream were so soothing while relaxing in a rocking chair. Claire did spend some time in the house while we were gone doing the dishes and laundry, but that was fine with us since we were gone all day anyway. The bed is so comfy and we got some great sleep while we were there. Everything you need to know is in the folder she made, which was super helpful since she wasn't there when we checked in. We would definitely come back and stay again!
Fern gully is an interesting place to say the least. As soon as you enter it, you can tell that this house has stories to tell and looking at the artifacts all around you, you know that the narration of these stories is going to be pitch-perfect.
This initial impression persisted through your entire stay. At times, we found Fern gully to be a lavish getaway, at others a cozy place to crawl in with your book or laptop. When required a quick ride to one of the busiest vacation spots in US and at other times, a way to cut yourself from everything but the burble of the stream flowing in its backyard.
In essence, Fern gully is a lot of things but as soon as you speak to its host - Claire - you realize Fern gully is nothing more than an embodiment of her. She has the most amazing and heartfelt experiences to talk about. I suggest keeping aside some time in your itinerary to hear about her stories and also to play with her friendly dog, Zoink!
Talking about more practical aspects of the place, I would say Fern gully is perfect for a couple. For larger groups, there are some considerations. The 2nd bedroom which we found more than suffice for our need is not as luxurious as the master bedroom, ditto for the beds (if that matters to you). Then there is a binder full of rules to navigate. But in our experience, the rules were intimidating only on paper and didn’t affect our experience in any way. On a related note, the notes left all over the house to help you identify and specify things were a nice personal touch I thought.
Overall, Fern gully gave us a unique vacation experience and much more than we expected of it, highly recommended!!
You might recommend me highly, but I recommend YOU highly right back! :) I was absolutely delighted to meet you all & certainly look forward to next time! I do so love to hear that people like the specific stories about this little cabin. Too many around here are just log versions of hotel rooms. I'm glad someone came a long like you who really did enjoy the difference!
What a wonderful host Claire was! My wife & I thoroughly enjoyed our Saturday May 30th through Tuesday June 2nd stay at her lovely cabin! The screened in back porch & creek were calm, serene & peaceful. Our bed was so very comfortable. Claire's musical knowledge is absolutely wonderful & one thing out of many that we instantly connected with. We felt right at home because of Claire's easy going spirit & we would most definitely stay with her again & again. Thank you kindly for letting us stay with you!
About the Host, Claire
I was raised in Elkmont, a cabin community within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. My parents also had a home in Knoxville where we spent the most of the year, but I still believe I grew up in Elkmont. It is there that shaped who I am. In fact, it wasn't until years after we were evicted that I learned fireflies (we call them lightnin' bugs) were not all synchronous. I thought that was the norm! I was surprised when I found out there are only two of these populations in the world. One right here in Elkmont, and the other in Malaysia.
Growing up I was an enthusiastic horse lover, and rode professionally as a backcountry guide and horsemanship instructor in Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida and Montana. It was Montana that caused a major shift in my plans.
Before I worked in Montana, I attended FSU as a theatre major. I was positive I would live in "the big city," preferably New York. But after my experience in Montana I realized the mountains still called to me. I returned to East Tennessee, graduating in Wildlife Biology. I then became a zookeeper at the Knoxville Zoological Gardens. But all that changed when I was diagnosed with Late Stage Lyme Disease, a nasty debilitating version of what most people are familiar with. Once I became disabled it was clear I had to be more creative in ways to support myself, and Airbnb was a life saver! My favorite thing about hosting is having the pleasure of meeting new people from all places and all walks of life.
I was blessed with this wonderful cabin by the river left to me by my parents, who purchased it when it became clear the NPS was kicking us out of Elkmont for good. They knew none of us could survive without the mountains and they were right! I live here with my dog and when I sip my coffee looking over Webb Creek I can't imagine living anywhere else. I hope you experience at least a taste of this when you visit Fern Gully.
There is one thing I request from all of my guests. No matter how insignificant or large it is, please do not hesitate to offer suggestions and constructive criticisms at any time! Don't be shy. You can let it all out with me! It is extremely important to me to be the best host possible, for you to get the most value for your hard-earned money and most of all, that you have the most fun and relaxation possible!
At Fern Gully, *everyone* is welcome, regardless of race, color or sexual orientation. This is where you can truly be yourself, regardless of what that means! Be relaxed, refreshed, revived and rejuvenated in your own little cabin in the woods!
Climbworks offers a 2 hour above-canopy zipline tour, where you learn more about the ecosystem and the forests of the Smokies. They also have a mountain bike roller coaster for a truly unique thrill.Branam Hollow Road Gatlinburg TN 37738
And old fashioned county cooking place. Locals hang out here to enjoy the home cooking.Parkway E Cosby TN 37722
Absolutely beautiful, with swimming holes many camera-friendly spots. Weddings often held right on the river on rocks. Many trail-heads of all lengths start here. Great for walking and cycling!Gatlinburg TN 37738
Cosby in the Park is held here, filled with music, old-time arts and crafts along with demonstrations of mountain life.Cosby TN 37722
Need I say more? RIBS! mmm-MMM! It is very close to Fern Gully, so its still warm if youd like to bring it back and enjoy it here. Maybe even on the back porch, when the temperature is right!East Parkway Gatlinburg TN 37738
A very popular and quick hike.Greenbriar Unpaved Rd TN 37738
Not only do they have an awe-inspiring view of Mt. LeConte, but they have a fantastic restaurant (reservations required). The Inn itself is beautiful, and there is a labyrinth on grounds.Tudor Mountain Road Gatlinburg TN 37738
Whenever my friends come to visit I almost always take them here. I have several of her pieces myself. She is truly an artist.Buckhorn Rd Gatlinburg TN 37738
A lovely little place in the artist colony, perfect for a ladys luncheon.Buckhorn Rd Gatlinburg TN 37738
Located in the artist colony, this is one of the most talented watercolor artists around. Ask me for a viewing in the cabin. I have a few pieces.Buckhorn Rd Gatlinburg TN 37738
Their farmers market feature many locally made honey, jams, and hundreds of varieties of apples straight from the orchard. Restaurant offers amazing view.Cosby Highway Cosby TN 37722
Every Fourth of July the local volunteer fire department hosts a really fun fundraising event culminating in a fantastic fireworks show.Cosby Hwy Cosby TN 37722
Home to the Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts community, artisans of the area use skills handed down through generations to create genuine pieces of history. You want local? THIS is IT!Glades Rd Gatlinburg TN
Absolutely the most wonderful scented candles available. Their scents are very strong, and just one is enough to freshen an entire room. I cant remember how long the burn time is, but its VERY long.Glades Rd Gatlinburg TN 37738
Yeah...we got one. To quote Forrest Gump Thats all I have to say about that.E Pkwy Gatlinburg TN 37738
This is the closest (and only) grocery store in the area. Fortunately its close by.E Pkwy Gatlinburg TN 37738
A beautiful drive through the park, with places to pull off and the old Ogle homestead to explore.Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail Gatlinburg TN 37738
With an elevation of 6,593 feet, this mountain offers extraordinary views. You can hike all the way to the top. There is a lodge up top, though reservations are made up to a year in advance.TN 37738
Shhhhh...its mostly a secret. This is where the locals eat. Only open through lunch time. But they have the best sausage and gravy around!E Pkwy Gatlinburg TN 37738
Id say this is a moderate to strenuous hike. But in early Spring/late Fall you are rewarded by a really cool icicle view!Alum Cave Trail Gatlinburg TN 37738
They have one of the best burgers in the area. Additionally they have a Crustless Pizza for those on gluten-free diet. I eat it all the time it is delicious. But trust me on this: AVOID THE PIZZA!E Parkway Gatlinburg TN 37738
By appointment only. Voted #1 guide service in the country by REI. Programs for kids, nature walks, hikes, backpacking and even trips up Mt. LeConte are available by very knowledgeable guides.Gatlinburg TN 37738
I personally have not been there, but my mom loved it. She had a great sense of humor so I take it on her word.Parkway Gatlinburg TN 37738
Voted number 1 in the country, and also AZA accredited. This accreditation concerns animal welfare and is one of the most difficult ones to achieve. This is a great rainy-day activity.River Road Gatlinburg TN 37738
From back in the old days of Gatlinburg, theyve got a wonderful collection of homemade candies. Do NOT go in if you are dieting!Parkway # F13 Gatlinburg TN 37738
One of the highest rated eateries in the country, the Pancake Pantry has been a Gatlinburg tradition since 1960.Parkway Gatlinburg TN 37738
I was fascinated by this place as a kid, because you can see taffy being made right there! Plus the candy is awesome. Dieters, avoid this place like the plague!Parkway Gatlinburg TN 37738
A 402 foot tall steel structure in the heart of Gatlinburg. It has a 360 degree observation deck affording some great views of the mountains.Historic Nature Trail Gatlinburg TN 37738
Though I can promise it isnt the real McCoy, its as close as youll get without getting in trouble with them dern revenuers!Parkway Gatlinburg TN 37738
Two Words: YUM. EEParkway Gatlinburg TN 37738
Often there are arts and crafts shows held here. Call ahead to see what they have going on.Parkway Gatlinburg TN 37738
Very good food, lovely ambiance.Parkway Gatlinburg TN 37738
Voted friendliest park in the country, and known for its awesome roller coasters.Dollywood Parks Blvd Pigeon Forge TN 37863
This is such a great way to stay cool in the summer, play with your kids and be a kid yourself!Dollywood Parks Blvd Pigeon Forge TN 37863
This brand new and spectacular facility holds all kinds of educational programs, often lasting for days at a time. Call to find out whats going on during your stay.Parkway Pigeon Forge TN 37863
OK I admit it. This is a bit cheesy, but in a fun way. There is no vegetarian menu available. You must be okay with the natural odor of horses (though it is very faint).Parkway Pigeon Forge TN 37863
Oddly enough, Wally World didnt have its own Newport entry so I settled for the Subway which is inside. If traveling through Newport to get here, this is your last available stop for groceries.Cosby Hwy Newport TN 37821
Home of the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel! Food, shopping, entertainment, rides, EVERYTHING!Island Dr Pigeon Forge TN 37863
If you are a lover of all things Christmas, this is a great place to find not only traditional style items, but some really unique and unusual items to make your neighbors jealous!Parkway Pigeon Forge TN 37868
This trail is paved, making it easy for beginning and intermediate hikers to enjoy themselves and view a beautiful waterfall at the trails end. The paved trail allows for wheelchairs with assistance.Old State Highway 73 Scenic TN 37862
Beyond the campground is the small neighborhood of cabins (where I grew up). Its also home of one of the planets greatest phenomenons, synchronous fireflies. Only 2 colonies exist in the world.Elkmont Road TN 37738
This is the second oldest mountain chain on the planet, and the oldest (in Canada) is no longer recognizable as mountains. Not only is the park beautiful, but it is truly unique.Abrams Creek Tallassee Tennessee 37878
The highest point in the park, it offers extraordinary views. It is paved all the way to the observation tower.NC 28713
It is here that the Womens Work Festival is held yearly. Check the web for specific dates.Cherokee NC 28719
Largest knife store in the world (who knew there were so many types of knives??), it also has tons of kitchen gadgets, souvenirs and more mounted animal heads than Ive ever seen in my life!Winfield Dunn Pkwy Sevierville TN 37876
Not very far away, and one of the most beautiful places Ive ever seen. People are struck speechless when they get to the top. Not a strenuous hike.NC 28743
Environmental education center with in-depth experiences through education programs celebrating ecological cultural diversity, foster stewardship nurture appreciation of Great Smoky Mountains.Tremont TN 37882
Old farming community excellent place to spot wildlife. The buildings still stand are safe to enter. Home of the only cantilever barns in the country, an architectural totally unique.Cades Cove Loop Rd Townsend TN 37882
Worth the drive for a great zoo. I was a zookeeper there for years and I can vouch for the kindness and thoroughness of the animal welfare program. The exhibits are great and its a lovely walk.Knoxville Zoo Drive Knoxville TN 37914
A little bit out of the way, but oh so worth the drive.Lodge St Asheville NC 28803