Take A Spiritual Retreat in the Great Smoky Mountains

No matter your specific religious beliefs, spirituality is a practice anyone can do to reconnect with the unconditional love that exists everywhere and at all times. If you have been feeling stressed out and overwhelmed with life, spending time with your higher power can be grounding and comforting. If you feel lost and directionless, it can evoke gratitude and genuine contentment for what you have in the present. If you feel like you could use some time and space from your everyday life in order to gain clarity and reconnect to what truly matters, spiritual practice can even include traveling for a retreat.

If travel sounds like the best medicine for you right now, consider marking your map for the Great Smoky Mountains. You’ll find your temple in the serene forests, the secluded peaks, and the natural wilderness. You’ll be welcomed with warm Southern hospitality into the Christian churches in Pigeon Forge. You might even find new ways to connect with God through yoga and meditation. Read on to discover a few of the most exciting ways the Smokies can help you to tune into your spiritual practice.


Find A Community of Believers

If you follow the Christian faith, you’ll find plenty of fellow believers in the Smokies ready to welcome you with open arms. The churches in Pigeon Forge should be the first places to look for your spiritual home-away-from-home.

  • The Great Smoky Mountains Church of Christ holds Sunday services, plus youth groups and Bible studies both in person and virtually.
  • You’ll always find singing and music at the First Baptist Church of Pigeon Forge, and their livestreams are available anytime on their Facebook page.
  • Hope Pavilion invites people of all backgrounds and denominations to their free live music events with evangelical gospel speakers held on select weekends throughout the year.


Take A Prayer Break at Dollywood

A Dolly Parton-themed amusement park with over 40 unique rides, Dollywood is the most popular attraction in the Smokies. Take a break from the adrenaline and excitement to visit the Robert F. Thomas Chapel at Dollywood. This single-room country-style church was named for the doctor who delivered the famous country singer-philanthropist, Dolly Parton. Visitors are welcome to sit on the wooden pews for prayer or participate in Sunday worship services at 4:00 p.m during Christmastime or 11:30 a.m. during the rest of the year.

Wears Valley Ranch

Support A Faith-Based Cause

Wears Valley Ranch is a 120-acre ranch that serves children in crisis through education, counseling, recreation, and a Christ-centered home. The ranch welcomes visitors to enjoy their scenic ranch and gardens, participate in the equine program, and see the adorable farm animals. You can also spend as much time as you like in prayerful reflection in the art gallery and chapel before grabbing a scoop of their homemade ice cream. Whether through financial gifts or volunteered time, your support for Wears Valley Ranch directly goes to help children without strong family support.


Reconnect in Nature

The Great Smoky Mountains are one of the oldest ranges in the world. With ancient energy, hazy morning fog, and a vast and secluded wilderness, you’re bound to feel a strong sense of sacredness when you venture out into the mountains.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open all year round to hikers, campers, and anglers. Take a scenic drive through Cades Cove to find numerous hiking trails leading to waterfalls, elevated panoramas, picnic areas, and wildlife sightings. Fishing is allowed in the thousands of miles of creeks scattered throughout the park as long as you have a Tennessee or North Carolina license. Backcountry, front-country, and group campsites are available with running water and restrooms. No matter your preferred activity, the embrace of the forested peaks and freshwater streams will help you reconnect to yourself and your higher power.

Alternatively, you don’t even have to exert yourself to treat yourself to a personal getaway. Instead, you could find stillness in the solitude of a rustic cabin rental tucked away on a scenic hillside or riverfront. Hearthside Cabin Rentals is sure to have exactly what you want among their 1- to 21-bedroom cabins across Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Many of their cabins come with private pools or pool access, theater rooms, hot tubs, and stunning views from the porch or balcony. When in the Smokies for spiritual health, a stay in a quaint mountainside cabin is a must.


Take A Well-Being Yoga Retreat

One of the best ways to tune into your spiritual side is to cultivate awareness of your mind and body through yoga and meditation. If you don’t know how to start, consider signing up for a well-being retreat like Seven Springs Yoga & Holistic Retreats. You’ll live in a cozy yurt village for several days to breathe in the fresh mountain air and practice meditating in the open-air pavilion. Lie down for a massage, gather with like-minded folks around the fire circle, or spend some alone time in the walking meditation labyrinth. This unique wellness retreat takes you out of the stressors of daily life for a weekend or longer and provides you with a variety of other tools to support your healing.


In Conclusion

Happiness is not a salary or a sales goal. It is not found in a perfect partner or a dream home. It doesn’t take any kind of physical form, like some buried treasure chest that only needs to be earned or discovered. Instead, happiness is like a bird, a fleeting state of being. You can’t control it, but you can create an ideal internal environment to invite it to appear.

Spiritual practice is the best way to take care of your inner world and prime yourself for the happiness that God has in store for you. Whether you feel called to attend a new church, volunteer your time, or immerse yourself in nature, the Great Smoky Mountains can provide you with that much-needed spiritual retreat.

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