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Attention coin collectors and Smoky Mountain lovers: America’s most visited national park will adorn a new U.S. quarter representing Tennessee.

Next year, the U.S. Mint will begin issuing quarters that honor national sites. The Smoky Mountain coin, to be released in 2014, will be one of 56 new quarters to be rolled out starting in 2010.

More information can be found in this article by USA TODAY

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My friends at Go Smokies have great tips for hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. With hundreds upon hundreds of miles of marked trails, where do you begin to learn the best trails? Hands down, the locals strongly recommend the “bible” of Smoky Mountain hiking – The Third Edition of Hiking Trails of the Smokies includes new trail profile charts, expanded and updated trail narratives, and revised, more-accurate trail mileages.

Hiking Trails of the SmokiesThe guidebook covers all 150 official trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with in-depth narratives and invaluable profile charts that show mileage, elevation change, and major stream crossings at a glance. Includes information on all backcountry campsites, shelters, regulations and permit/reservation information. New edition includes Mountains-to-Sea Trail and handy pocket in the back cover to hold park map. Printed on special lightweight paper. Pocket-sized. 584 pages at the Great Smoky Mountains Association’s Bookstore

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Welcome to Mountain Moose, a blog for mountain lovers from across the Southeast U.S., including the Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, and Appalachian Mountains. We share the best tips, opportunities, hiking trails, places and secrets throughout these mountain regions. Visit the websites we recommend (in the sidebar) for more information about connecting with mountain people, finding lodging and real estate and other cool websites to help you learn more about the beautiful Smoky and Blue Ridge mountain regions in the states of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, West Virginia, Alabama, and Kentucky.

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Greenville, South Carolina was named one of the best places to live the simple life by AARP Magazine due to its rich culture, great food, and low stress.
Dubbed as family-friendly fun, from “penny candy” to goat-cheese pizza, Greenville’s median housing price is just $151,080. When the most relaxing way to spend an afternoon is hiking the pristine mountain woodlands of Jones Gap State Park, just 25 miles outside Greenville and simple fun for less than $10 means grabbing a cup of coffee or an ice-cream cone at Spill the Beans, how could you go wrong?

Read the full article by Sarah Mahoney

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If the summer heat has you frazzled, consider a trip to the mountains and lake regions of the Southeast U.S. The lake breezes and higher mountain elevations ensure a cool down to soothe your stress.

If quiet ambiance is your dream vacation, consider a cabin rental through a vacation rental agency. Quaint small towns are filled with shops, diners, and local artisans and crafters.

But if adventure is your escape, consider whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, or a more rigorous mountain trail in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN offer a plethora of adventures such as horseback riding, Dollywood, Ober Gatlinburg, shopping, dining, the Gatlinburg Aquarium and so much more.

Visit http://www.floridahalfbacks.com/ to connect with lodging and adventure options throughout the mountains and lakes of the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, and more.

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Cherokee, North Carolina is so close, but yet 11,000 years away. Nestled quietly at the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the southern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, this ancient home of the Cherokee people combines a beautiful natural setting with thousands of years of Indian tradition, history, art and ceremony.

Now, you can win a family trip for four to this culturally rich homeland in the NC Mountains. The winner will receive:

  • Four nights for a family of four at the Comfort Suites Cherokee
  • Passes for four to various attractions including the “Unto These Hills” outdoor drama, the Oconaluftee Indian Village, The Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and a guided tour at the Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual
  • Passes for a ½ day guided fishing tour, a whitewater rafting/tubing trip, and a horseback ride
  • Four $50 dinner vouchers at four local restaurants
  • Four vouchers for a traditional Indian meal/lunch that explores the Cherokee language with a Warrior of AniKituhwa
  • $20 gift certificate for ice cream at a local shop
  • $20 gift certificate at Tribal Grounds Coffee
  • Various gifts, including an autographed Chief’s book, a copy of Cherokee Heritage Trails, and gifts from the Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual
  • $100 voucher for the Oconaluftee Indian Village Gift Shop
  • $100 voucher for the Museum of the Cherokee Indian Gift Shop
  • $500 travel voucher

Enter today! The sweepstakes ends July 31, 2009.
Enter To Win!

Taxes and gratuities not included. See complete listing of Official Rules.

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Lots to do this July 4th weekend in the north Georgia mountains: http://ping.fm/aASos

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