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February 19, 2018

Swans Make Frequent Appearances in Literature

One of the most famous stories in children’s literature is “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen.  The story is about a cygnet who thinks he is an unattractive duckling, but grows into a beautiful and graceful swan.  Andersen also wrote “The Wild Swans”.  This tale features an evil stepmother who turned her stepsons into swans.  They carry away their sister to save her.  The sister is mute, but spends her days knitting shirts from nettles.  She is about to be burned at the stake as a witch when her brothers descend from the sky and save her.  They don the magic nettle shirts and turn into human form.  Their sister regains her speech and all live happily ever after.  

Perhaps the Buckhorn Inn swans will be the subject of children's literature.

The graceful swans at the Buckhorn Inn could star in their own story.

Greek mythology shares the story of Leda and the swan.  This story recounts the conception of Helen of Troy by the Queen of Sparta and Zeus, disguised as a swan.  This myth was expressed powerfully by W.B. Yeats in his poem “Leda and the Swan”.  Yeats also wrote “The Wild Swans at Coole” which expressed his search for lasting beauty in a changing world where beauty was temporary.

In Norse mythology, two swans drink from the Well of Urd.  The water is so pure that the swans turn white, as do all their descendants.  

The Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario used the swan as inspiration.  His most famous poem perhaps is “Coat of Arms”.  His use of the swan made it the symbol of the Modernismo poetic movement.

Works of classical literature reference the myth that otherwise mute swans sing beautifully at the moment of their death.  This idea gave birth to the phrase “swan song”.

Because of their lifelong, monogamous pairing, swans are often a symbol of never ending love.  Swans were a favorite bird Shakespeare.  Many of his works feature them, including this passage from “As You Like It”:

And wheresoever we went, like Juno’s swans, still we went coupled and unseparable.  

Buckhorn Inn Swans to be Named in Mid-March, Literature Provides Inspiration

Our two brother swans arrived at the Inn on February 14.  Innkeeper John is contemplating the many clever names submitted by our guests.  Please refer to our earlier blog listing potential names.  Please let us know your ideas if you have not yet done so!

 

February 12, 2018

Love is in the Air at Buckhorn Inn

February 14, St. Valentine’s Day, is a day for celebrating love.  In addition to the United States, the holiday also is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Italy and Japan.

The One you Love would be delighted by a stay at the Buckhorhn Inn!

A night in one of our Premier Room’s is a great way to celebrate your love!

According to a survey done by Hallmark, more than 141 million cards are sent each Valentine’s Day.  http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/valentines-day-facts  This number excludes the packaged Valentines that children exchange in the classroom.  This same research shows that more than half of these cards are purchased in the week leading up to the holiday.  

Origins of February 14 as a Day of Love

The medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer may have inspired Valentine’s Day as a day for lovers with his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules”.  The poem refers to February 14 as the day when birds (and humans) search for a mate.  His work links traditions of courtly love with the feast of St. Valentine. 

Charles, Duke of Orleans, is credited with writing the oldest known Valentine.  He wrote a poem to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415.  This poem currently is part of the collection of the British Library in London.

While Richard Cadbury did not patent the heart-shaped box of chocolate, experts agree he likely was the first to produce it in England in 1840.  In a stroke of marketing genius, he promoted the boxes as having a dual purpose.  They were so beautiful that after the chocolates were eaten they could be used to store love letters and other trinkets.  The boxes grew increasingly detailed and elaborate.  That is until World War II.  Sugar was rationed, so the candy-giving aspect of the holiday was scaled down.

If you have not yet found the perfect token of affection for your Valentine, we can help!  Our Valentine’s package includes a night in a cozy cottage or a luxurious premier room, both with fireplace.  You and your sweetie will enjoy a delicious four-course dinner.  The next morning you will enjoy a hearty breakfast in the dining room, or delivered to your accommodation.  This $265 package is available through the end of February.  Just let us know if you would like to add wine and a dozen roses to your experience. 

Wishing you a special Valentine’s Day!

January 29, 2018

Nature Trail Trees Provide Year-Round Beauty

Have you stopped to notice the many different trees on the Buckhorn Inn Nature Trail?  If you are here in the spring, you will be sure to notice our redbud trees with their striking magenta flowers.  They contrast beautifully with the white-flowered dogwoods.  

You also will find several specimens of American hornbeam, also know as ironwood or blue beech.  It is called “ironwood because of the strong appearance of the bark.  The saw-toothed leaves are very distinctive and turn orange to red in the fall.

Our trail features a southern red oak–an important contributor to our fall parade of colors.  Nearby you will find an eastern hemlock.  It has long horizontal branches, very small cones, and graceful foliage that nearly touches the ground.  Hemlock was once extensively logged, and the bark was used to make tannic acid for tanning animal hides.  We treat our hemlocks to prevent the wooly adelgid.  This pest has decimated hemlocks in many other areas.

Perhaps no other tree is a s beautiful as the red maple.  In the fall ours turns brilliant shades of red, yellow and orange–spectacular against the blue sky!

We have only one native pine on our property.  It is an eastern white pine with five needles to a bundle.

While you are walking the trail, do not miss our two fragrant cloud dogwoods.  Douglas Bebb discovered these trees on the Buckhorn property and patented them.  You can see documents relating to this on display in our library.  This rare mutation produces scented blossoms.  Like the many types of dogwood found in the Smokies, the fragrant cloud is noted for its showy blossoms and scarlet berries.  In the fall, these berries become an important source of food for wildlife.  Native Americans used the rough bark to obtain red dye.  

Trees are not the only highlight of the trail

If you have never walked our nature trail, we highly recommend you do so.  The walk takes about an hour and covers about a mile.  If you decide to only walk part of the trail, there are several points which make for an easy return.  Be sure to wear proper footwear and to watch your step.  Please stop by the Buckhorn Inn office to pick up a map that shows the route and the locations of numbered informational stakes.

A variety of trees provide visual interest year-round at the Buckhorn Inn.

The Nature Trail features many blooming trees.

January 22, 2018

Wine Weekend will be a Fine Weekend!

The wine weekend will showcase products from many Tennessee wineries.

Gatlinburg offers many events and festivals for every interest, including wine!

Are you a wine aficionado or someone who would like to know more about wine?  Are you interested in exploring local Tennessee products?  If so, we recommend you plan to visit Gatlinburg April 13 & 14, 2018.

Two events will be taking place:  the Gatlinburg Wine Tour and the Smoky Mountain Wine Fest.  The Tour begins at 6:00 pm on April 13 and will visit local wineries and sipping establishments.

The Fest will be held from 1:00 to 6:00 pm on April 14 at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.  The $25 advance purchase tickets include a branded glass for tasting.  Organizers expect more than 18 Tennessee wineries to participate.  Some of the best restaurants in the Smoky Mountains will provide small plate tastings of their best dishes.  Tickets and more information may be found at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/gatlinburg-wine-weekend-2018-tickets.

Tennessee Wine

Tennessee has a long history of wine-making, with as many as 90,000 gallons being produced annually in the 1880’s.  The industry was introduced in this area by immigrants from Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.  Prohibition hit the industry hard.  However, in the 1970’s a resurgence of winemaking in the state was led by home vintners.  

The industry in Tennessee focuses on French hybrid and native grape varieties.  The grapes used in Eastern and Central Tennessee include cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, cayuga, chardonnay, chenin blanc, merlot, Riesling and viognier.  

The industry has grown and matured in the state.  Over the past few years Tennessee wines have earned gold, silver, and bronze medals in regional and international competitions.  Today’s Tennessee wineries have a wine for every taste, from sparkling to fruity, from dry to dessert wines.  

If you plan to attend the weekend, be sure to reserve your accommodation at the Buckhorn Inn soon!

 

January 9, 2018

Latest Reviews from Trip Advisor

These reviews below were posted on Facebook about Buckhorn Inn in the last six months!   

ELEGANT PROPERTY
We arrived in the early evening and checked into a Cottage. We immediately recognized the quality of the furnishings, the cleanliness, and especially enjoyed the fireplace and view of the Smoky Mountains! The next morning we had breakfast in the main dining room of the Inn and were thoroughly impressed with the elegant surroundings, decorated for the holidays, the professional and friendly staff, and the great food. The Inn exudes a feeling of history and charm throughout its design and surroundings. We are already planning a return! Mike H.

FIRST CLASS ALL THE WAY…WE’LL BE BACK!
We reserved only one night in a private cottage here for a special occasion and after only a few hours we decided to spend another night. This Inn has incredible charm and first-class service! Our cottage was clean, spacious, convenient, and the view was superb. The Inn itself is just absolutely dreamy and we spent a lot of time enjoying the Inn along with our cottage. The food and service were impeccable—everything about the place made us want to go back, especially the incredible people! Jeff L.

GEM OF THE SMOKIES
The Buckhorn is a gem of a B&B in the Smokies. We loved our short stay and cannot wait to return. Lee is a gracious host and the staff is wonderful. We arrived just in time to grab a few late-night snack brownies, which were awesome. Our guest house was incredible and we did not want to leave. Comfortable bed, fireplace, and private screened-in porches for each bedroom with separate bathrooms. Great view from floor to ceiling living room windows, updated interior furnishings with wonderful art, and a full kitchen for use. We highly recommend dinner reservations as the service, presentation, and good quality is 5 star. Breakfast was included in our stay and it was over-the-top scrumptious. After breakfast we walked the property which is very well maintained and easy to wander. You cannot find another place to stay in this area that is so inviting and quiet. T42long

GREAT FIRM SUMMIT
Partners held a summit to plan our upcoming merger. Great comfortable rooms. The Inn is 80 years old so it is comfortable and warm, but a rare antique. Some stayed in the little cottages, some stayed at the Inn. Great meals. Provided a meeting space with living room, fireside atmosphere. Douglas W

ANOTHER WONDERFULLY MEMORABLE VISIT
We visit Buckhorn every Fall and look forward to our visit all year long. We feel pampered from the moment we make our reservations until we return home after our stay. The inn is beautiful and immaculate and every one of the staff is friendly and helpful. We are surrounded by the magnificent Smoky Mountains and enjoy walking the paths that surround the inn. The breakfast is the best I have had anywhere and beautifully presented. There are not enough superlatives to describe Buckhorn adequately. Lfmonroe2

ELEGANT COUNTRY INN
We have been going to the Buckhorn for about 30 years. It is quaint and elegant, has excellent hospitality and excellent food. It is a short drive from the Greenbrier entrance to the Great Smokies National Park, which can be reached without going through the touristy areas of Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. Overall a wonderful vacation or weekend getaway. Howard K

DELIGHTFUL
Our first stay at a B&B and it was great! The Tower Room was a fun change to cookie cutter hotel rooms, and the grounds were great for an evening stroll. Breakfast was delicious. John and his staff were so pleasant and welcoming. Mic553

CHARM AND NATURAL BEAUTY
Buckhorn Inn is full of charm in a beautiful setting a short distance outside the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg. We couldn’t have asked for more from the staff, the room accommodations, and meals served. The breakfast menu and baked goods were wonderful. Our compliments to the chef and staff! Innkeeper John came around to all the tables our first morning there to personally greet us and chat a bit. Coffee on the terrace early morning and a drink on the terrace3 in the evening provided us with a grand view of Mount LeConte and other mountains across the lawn. The décor of all the inn’s rooms is elegant and artistic. An intimate inn with great charm! We were able to arrange box lunches from the kitchen one day to take with us for a day of hiking and touring the Great Smoky Mountains. We look forward to returning! PegAlbert

BEAUTIFUL LOCATION!
The staff at the Buckhorn Inn made us so welcome and fed us so so well. The Inn has a magnificent view of the Great Smoky Mountains from the dining room and patio lined with chairs. Our room was clean, comfortable and attractively decorated. We had use of a large library and sitting room too. The Inn was located outside of busy, touristy Gatlinburg but still very convenient to the national park entrance. I would definitely come back to Buckhorn Inn. Segal2017

5 STAR FOOD AND SERVICE
This restaurant is worth a visit even if you are not staying at the wonderful inn or cottages. The service is 5 star and the food is amazing. The night we dined, we were served a trout dish which was perfect. We also had breakfast the next morning and left stuffed and happy! T42long

LOVE THE BUCKHORN INN
We have been going to the Buckhorn Inn for over 30 years and it just keeps getting better and better! There are wonderful day hikes within a few miles or you can just sit and rock on the porch, taking in the incredible view of the mountains. Excellent dining experience every time!
Nmh45th

MY COMPLIMENTS TO THE CHEFS!
A culinary delight! Seriously the best food in all of Gatlinburg—and we have eaten at many places! If you do not stay here, at least get reservations for dinner there one night. You will love it!
julescw

January 8, 2018

Buckhorn Inn Pond Enhancements Continue

If you have been following the Buckhorn Inn on social media, you know we have been devoting much time and energy to being good caretakers of the pond on our nature trail.  This past summer we released grass carp into the pond to help us optimize the plant growth.  We also added a foundation.  The fountain not only is beautiful and provides soothing noise for visitors, but it also helps us maintain the good health of the water.  

A more recent project has been the removal of fallen trees around the pond.  Kevin Howard with Rex Howard’s Landscaping came up with a clever way to manage this work.  In Buckhorn Inn’s 80 years there have been few days when it was cold enough to freeze Buckhorn Pond enough to support about a dozen large men, but this winter was one for the records.  We had contracted with the firm to clear dead trees and debris on the side of the pond next to busy Buckhorn Road.  Rather than trying to clear this area from the roadside, Kevin had his men pile logs and debris on a heavy tarp and pull it across the frozen ice to the other side where it could be more easily loaded on trucks.  One of the fellows was assigned to sweep up all the debris from the ice–we expect him to go out for the U.S. curling team for the next Winter Olympics after all that practice!

The pond supported about a dozen men and equipment.

Our pond rarely freezes solid, but Mother Nature picked a perfect time for this cold snap!

We are so pleased with the work thus far.  The next step will be installing some beautiful plantings that will provide  screening from busy Buckhorn Road and add to the natural beauty of this space.  We will be adding native trees, bushes, and plants that will be at home in this environment.  Our spring-fed pond will become an even more special place to enjoy your sack lunch, read a book, and enjoy the quiet beauty of nature.  

Swans to Return to Buckhorn Pond

We know that many of you have expressed how much you miss the swans that used to grace Buckhorn Pond.  We have good news!  Innkeeper Lee presented John with two swans for Christmas!  The swans are coming from North Barrington, Illinois.  They cannot safely be shipped by plane until the weather warms up, so we look forward to their arrival this spring.  We are working on setting up our “swan cam” so that you can monitor the activities of this pair from anywhere!  In our January newsletter we will provide additional information on this pair and how we are preparing for them.  Be sure to read the article for additional information!

December 18, 2017

Rachael Young: Second Mistress of Buckhorn Inn

As second mistress of the Buckhorn, Rachael Young left a lasting impression.

Rachael Young brought grace and charm to the Buckhorn Inn.

The second mistress of the Inn was my dear friend, Rachael Young.  Rachael passed away at age 98 on December 8, 2017.  Her love of  Buckhorn and her keen decorating eye are very much in evidence today.

Knoxvillians Rachael, Robert and Lindsay Young bought the Inn from Douglas Bebb in 1978.  Rachael explained to me that their key motivation was preserving the Inn as an important part of regional history and to protect it from commercialization.  Many of the pieces of antique furniture currently at Buckhorn came from the Young family.  Her background as an art professor at the University of Tennessee stood her in good stead as she guided the inn’s revitalization, including updating all the furniture and soft furnishings in the bedrooms and dining room and modernizing the kitchen.    It was Rachael who introduced air conditioning to Buckhorn and converted the water tower to a bedroom–still one of our most special places.  She brought a timeless, unstudied charm to this little mountain retreat. 

Second Mistress of the Buckhorn Lived a Life of Accomplishment

Rachael Young was a highly accomplished woman.  Intellectually gifted, she left Knoxville to attend Columbia University, a daring step for a young woman at that time, and went on in her lifetime to earn four academic degrees. During World War II, she worked for the Red Cross in England, France and Germany.  After marriage and two children, she became a beloved and respected art professor at the University of Tennessee.  A cancer survivor, she was anxious to begin a wellness community in order to provide cancer patients and their families the opportunity to be active participants in their healing.  Now called the Cancer Support Network, the organization plays a vital role in regional cancer care.  She was very interested in holistic medicine and she inspired the creation of our annual Mindfulness Meditation Retreat.    We created Rachael’s Labyrinth in her honor.   She was a woman full of effortless grace and full of laughter.  As I began my time at Buckhorn, we had Sunday morning phone calls about the goings-on up here in the mountains and, bless her, she never gave me a bit of advice but one:  “Don’t start your renovations in the kitchen as I did.  It will use up all your resources and you won’t have enough to do the fun things.”

Rachael passed on her love of Buckhorn to me, and every day, in every way, she inspires me still.  

 

 

November 28, 2017

Winter Fun in the Smokies

If you’ve visited the Smoky Mountains National Park area in the summer, spring or fall, then you know it can get a little crowded here. That’s why you should consider a getaway during the wintertime. You’ll find fewer visitors and traffic, enjoy clearer views of the landscape, and even enjoy some sunny days in the crisp winter air.   You can also enjoy our Great Winter Escape at a great price. Take advantage of this great 25% discount package– two nights of lodging, breakfasts on two mornings, and dinners on two nights. All for $320 for a traditional room or $385 for a cottage or premier room. 

Great Winter Hiking on Amazing Trails  Alum Cave is the most popular winter hiking trail in the Smokies.  At the bluff you can see beautiful frozen icicles and breathtaking mountain views.  Other great winter hiking trails include Charlies Bunion, Andrews Bald and the Little River Trail.  And our own Porter’s Creek—just a stone’s throw from Buckhorn—offers easy walking along the river or a more challenging climb to Ramsey Cascades.

Take a Drive through the Mountains  In the winter, the mountaintops are covered in a beautiful white dusting of snow.  There’s nothing prettier than the view from Cades Cove Loop in the winter with its snowy landscapes across wide open fields.   If you are lucky, you might see a few white-tailed deer.  But you may also glimpse otter, bob-cat, red fox, mink, red squirrel.

Moonshine, Whiskey and Wine  Take a stroll down Gatlinburg’s main street and get a free taste of the locally made moonshine, whiskey and wine.  One of the best places to visit is Ole Smoky Moonshine because it offers great rocking chairs and live bluegrass music.

Go Skiing at Ober Gatlinburg  Gatlinburg is home to a favorite attraction – Ober Gatlinburg. Along with indoor ice skating, an alpine slide, restaurants, and an arcade, it also offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing! Kids can learn at the ski school, and there is even a terrain park for the more adventurous boarders!

Shop ‘Til You Drop  Avoid the crowds and shop the great Five Oaks Shopping Mall this winter with its more than 100 stores. Explore the beloved Christmas Place with its over-the-top supply of everything Christmas and enjoy its January sales.  Check out the Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Loop at our front door.

Explore History  Glenn Cardwell Heritage Museum celebrates the heritage and culture of the people of the small mountain town of Pittman Center.  Find out about the area’s first settler, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War, who arrived in 1784, and the migration of people who were forced to leave their homes when the National Park was established in the 1930s.

Waddle with the Penguins  Take a stroll through Ripley’s Aquarium in downtown Gatlinburg where you can splash with rays, sleep with the sharks and take a ride in a glass-bottom boat.  The latest exciting exhibit focuses on Pearl Harbor.

Renew Your Spirit in the Serenity of Buckhorn Inn  For many of us life can be a rush.  Slow down with a quiet dinner for two in our dining room overlooking the Smokies, read a book in front of a fire, enjoy a massage, take a nap in the afternoon, or reflect on life with your partner.

 

September 25, 2017

Fall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fall is a great time to be in eastern Tennessee!  The experts are predicting a magnificent display of colors this year and the Buckhorn Inn is so convenient to the Park.  The Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers have planned many free activities to help you enjoy the park.  Here are some of our favorites!

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park explodes with color in the fall.

Fall is a beautiful time of year in eastern Tennessee.

Evening Campfire

A ranger is available to tell stories and histories around the campfire from 7:30 to 8:30 pm in the Elkmont Campground.  The campfire program runs on Friday and Saturday evenings from September 16 through October 28.

The “Good Ol’ Days”

Walk the Mountain Farm Museum with a ranger and learn about the early settlers in this area.  The Museum is located by the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.  This event is available every Saturday at 10:30 am from September 16 through October 28.

Porters Creek Hike

Join a ranger in “our own backyard” to engage in an eye-opening exploration of how much, and how little, things have changed over the years in the Greenbrier Cove area.  The hike is conducted on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Hikers should meet at the Porters Creek trailhead.

Fall Amble

This is one of our favorite ways to take in all the beautiful colors of fall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Locations for this hike vary as the ranger will take you to the elevation where the leaves currently are at their peak.  The hikes begin at 10:30 and are classified as moderately difficult.  This hike is available on Sundays and Wednesdays from September 17 through October 25.

School Days at Little Greenbrier

Discover what it was like to live in a mountain community and to attend a one-room school house.  This trip back in time happens every Tuesday through October 24 at 11 am and 2 pm.  Meet at the Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse near the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area.

All of these events, and many more, are detailed at the National Park Service website.  Please visit http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/calendar.  We look forward to seeing you this fall!

 

July 31, 2017

Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Many of our guests spend quite a few of the hours they have here hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  One of our favorite trails for hikes is the one which leads to the Grotto Falls.  The Grotto Falls are the only falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which you can walk behind!

Hikes to Grotto Falls are beautiful, especially in the morning.

The hike to Grotto Falls is very popular with Buckhorn Inn guests.

The Trillium Gap Trail leads to, and behind, the Grotto Falls.  The trail winds through old-growth forests and many large eastern hemlocks.  The path is wide and well-worn, but be careful of the rocks and exposed roots!  Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring water.  The Buckhorn Inn has hearty and delicious sack lunches available if you choose to take one on your hike.  The trail is a moderate climb.  The roundtrip to the Falls and back takes about 2-3 hours.   During the hike you will cross four small streams.  In the springtime watch for the blooms of white and yellow trillium, white violets, and Dutchman’s breeches.  The Dutchman’s breeches are so called because the flowers resemble men’s trousers hanging by the cuffs on a clothesline.

Hikes on the  Grotto Falls trail feature many spring wild flowers.

White trillium are plentiful in the spring on the hike to Grotto Falls.

The Grotto Falls cascade down 25 feet.  The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has all the elements for beautiful waterfalls–ample rainfall and an elevation gradient.  In an average year, the mountains receive more than 85 inches of rain.  The rain trickles, then rushes down the mountainsides, cascading beautifully onto the large boulders below.  

Directions to Grotto Falls for Hikes

From the Parkway in Gatlinburg, turn at light number 8.  Follow the Historic Nature Trail into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Take the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail to the large parking area near stop number 5.  You will see a sign for the trailhead.  For more information on planning your hike, visit http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/grotto-falls.htm  Happy hiking!