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Christmas in Blue Ridge/Copperhill

New Port Richey...
Level Contributor
20 posts
11 reviews
Christmas in Blue Ridge/Copperhill

We're renting a cabin for the first time in Copperhill, TN for a few days after Christmas. I have already planned on riding the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, horseback riding, hopefully snow tubing, antiqueing and going to Helen... Any other activities around that time that I shouldn't miss doing?

I am an amateur photographer and have sort of a "bucket list" of pictures I would like to take. One being the Milky Way. I have seen pictures taken from the Blue Ridge area and I looked at the moonrise times and I seem to have 4-5 hours each night I'm there to get this shot, if the weather cooperates. Now I just need to find the perfect spot! Where can I go, close to Copperhill, where it's dark (no light pollution), and where I won't get attacked by bears at night, LOL.

Also, I've been down the Blue Ridge Parkway in September and got a bunch of wonderful pictures. Are there good spots in the winter that are nice for pictures? I know most of the trees will probably be bare, but maybe snow-capped mountains, iced over water areas, etc.

4 replies to this topic
Georgia
Level Contributor
3 185 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: Christmas in Blue Ridge/Copperhill

I like Dahlonega and Blue Ridge over Helen, both are more authentic.

If you've never been to Great Smokey Mtn NP, then that should be worthwhile. Especially Cades Cove.

The Cherohala Skyway is about 1/2 the distance as GSMNP and that stretch of road is about as nice as any stretch on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's route 165/143 running from Tellico Plains TN to Robbinsville NC.

As for looking at the night sky, I don't know the road well about Copperhill. One look at the map tells me that there is almost nothing but Nat'l Forest to the north and west. I would think you could catch route 74 west just to the north of town. Nice road, not much civilization, so I'll guess there would be plenty of places to pull over. Lots of turn offs. Even better might be to find a small backroad off of 74 or somewhere west of Copperhill. Perhaps you could get a recommendation locally.

As for the bears, I wouldn't worry, they are all black bear, fairly timid and probably thinking about hibernating.

New Port Richey...
Level Contributor
20 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: Christmas in Blue Ridge/Copperhill

Thank you Kevin.

I'll keep those recommendations handy!

Fernandina Beach FL
Destination Expert
for Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach
Level Contributor
1 951 posts
225 reviews
3. Re: Christmas in Blue Ridge/Copperhill

Good recommendations from Kevin. US74 west out of Ducktown is heavily forested for most part with a number of trail parking pullouts. Might be good to drive the road during the day to find such spots at the higher elevations since many of them are down in the valleys where creeks run.

The reforestation that has taken place in Copperhill over the last 40 years is really amazing. I remember first visiting the area in the mid-60s when it looked like a barren moonscape around the mines and processing plants.

Enjoy your visit.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
52 857 posts
1 775 reviews
4. Re: Christmas in Blue Ridge/Copperhill

Dlwinger,

Great point about Copperhill. We recall it from the late 60’s, early 70’s, then drove through two years ago, and did not recognize anything.

Once, with a full Moon, in probably 1972, I thought I had left Planet Earth. Eerie, to the max.

As for astral photos, that stretch of Highway, should be ideal, though depending on atmospherics on a particular night.

BTW - lovely drive, even if I did not recognize as much, as anticipated.

Best of luck to the OP,

Hunt

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