Little River Trading Company

Little River Trading CompanyIf you’re looking for outdoor gear just outside the national park, one place that should definitely be on your list is Little River Trading Company (LRTC) in Maryville, TN. The right gear is a must if you’re visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a number of reasons.

Many people come to the Smokies to camp, backpack, and hike. Before setting out on your adventure in the national park you look at your gear to make sure that you have everything you need on your excursion. Looking over your check list, you notice that you’ve left a jacket or maybe some long underwear at home… 10 hours away. You can’t drive back so what do you do?

Take a short drive down East Lamar Alexander Parkway and stop at Little River Trading Company in Maryville, TN. The outdoor store is literally right down the road from Townsend just outside of Walland, TN and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  They have everything you need for a stay in the great outdoors. They also know everything there is to know about the gear they sell and what the types you will need during that particular season.

Little River Trading Company has gear and supplies for any outdoor adventure that you can think of.  From kayaking to camping, mountain biking to hiking and climbing, they have gear and clothing for anything you have planned. There’s even a bike shop at the store. Though you can’t mountain bike in the Smokies, Little River Trading Company can certainly get you ready and  set on the right path to finding trails to bike on.

A few of the Brands that you’ll find at Little River Trading Company:

  • Asolo
  • Birkenstock
  • Camelback
  • Chaco
  • Columbia River Knife and Tool
  • Kavu
  • Kelty
  • Life is Good
  • Marmot
  • Merrell
  • Mountain Hardwear
  • National Geographic
  • Ocean Kayak
  • Patagonia
  • Teva
  • The North Face
  • Vasque
The staff is another reason to stop by Little River Trading Company on your way to the Smokies. All the staffers have used the gear that they sale. They know the outdoors, especially the local outdoors. They hike, climb, mountain bike, camp, and repel, among other things. This isn’t some big outdoor superstore trying to get you to commit to a North Pole exploration. They’re here because they love spending time in the Great Smoky Mountains. They are experts and they can tell you what you actually need when you are backcountry camping or climbing because they have already been there and done that.

Little River Trading Company
2408 E Lamar Alexander Parkway
Maryville, TN

Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock is one of North Carolina’s most majestic state parks offering spectacular views of the North Carolina Mountains as well as Lake Lure. Chimney Rock’s 75-mile views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure attract visitors the world over seeking that perfect picture in the mountains.

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock’s numerous hiking trails and natural attractions offer the best of the mountains in one place. Hickory Nut Falls trail offers one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern half of the United States with its 404 foot falls. Hickory Nut Falls was so thought of that filmmakers from the movie The Last of the Mohicans staring Daniel Day-Lewis filmed the movie’s epic fight scene at the falls.

The park also offers a number of amenities including rock climbing instruction, a gift shop and numerous events including bird walks, dulcimer workshops, homeschool programs, and much more. In more recent years they’ve even helped provide the setting for a number of outdoor weddings at the Hickory Nut Falls and atop Chimney Rock.

Chimney RockPlan on getting to the top of Chimney Rock? It’s a three-mile drive up a winding road to a large parking area and an elevator ride to the top. Or just do what most choose to do and climb 500 steps to Chimney Rock.

Want to throw your boots on and give it your all on some of the park’s hiking trails? Check out these three great hikes:

Hickory Nut Falls Trail: An “easy” trail, hike the path to the bottom of the 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls waterfall. It’s a 1.5-mile roundtrip in a forest setting with a handful of inclined hikes. Good for hikers seeking wildflower opportunities, birding and rhododendron. A great summer hike that leads to a cool falls.

The Outcroppings: Follow this network of stairs from the parking area to the Chimney. Along the way, check out the views from Vista Point. Strenuous with 500 steps, but all ages and fitness levels can enjoy the challenge with many places to stop along the way.
Skyline Trail: At the staircase leading up to the Chimney, find the beginning of the Skyline Trail. After climbing quite a few stairs, the trail levels out as you walk along the cliff with dramatic views. Stop at the Opera Box for great views of the Chimney and Lake Lure and continue up to see the Devil’s Head and end at Exclamation Point, the highest elevation at Chimney Rock, for breathtaking views.

Four Seasons Trail: Get your heart pumping on this short trail with a 400-foot elevation gain. The trail winds through hardwood forest, rhododendron and mountain laurel thickets and abundant wildflowers as well as rare and indigenous plants, some species not found along the Park’s other trails.

Great Woodland Adventure: This whimsical trail is perfect for kids and kids-at-heart. Twelve discovery stations along the ½ mile loop give a peak into the lives of the many animals that call the Park home. All sculptures were handcrafted by Western North Carolina artisans.