The Eco-Village: Take a Vacation in the Smokey Mountains

article image
You can combine a two-day camping "discovery" of the Eco-Village (and its Show-Hows) with a tour, by chartered bus, to any one of the vacation destinations in our incredibly lovely mountain region.

Visit MOTHER’s Eco-Village in summer 1983 and take a vacation in the Smokey Mountains.

In 1983, from June through September, we’ll once again open MOTHER’s Eco-Village for your enjoyment and education. This lovely piece of mountain property offers–in addition to mini-seminars on energy, food, transportation, and housing–shady, level campsites . . . which are ideal places to pitch a tent or park a camper. And though we don’t provide hookups, we’ve been told by local inspectors that our shower facilities (with their plentiful supplies of hot water) are “the best in the county”. You’ll also find other amenities and, of course, enough do-it-yourself information to get your whole family jumping with enthusiasm when you take a vacation in the Smokey Mountains.


For instance, by the summer of 1983–besides providing wading pools for the youngsters–we’ll offer a “Children’s Energy Park”, whose pedal-powered machines will demonstrate alternative-energy techniques. Bring along your fishing pole, too, because–for the first time–one of our lakes will be open to anglers. You’ll also find an array of lovely local handiwork at our Log Cabin Craft Shop, and you can watch woodworkers demonstrate their skills with waterwheel-powered tools.

Leisure hours can also be spent browsing at MOTHER’s Bookshelf ®, which is always loaded with bargain how-to volumes, while our Exhibit Hall contains displays of many of the do-more-with-less projects you’ve read about in the pages of this magazine.

And those, of course, don’t include our Show-How display projects, which grow and evolve as research progresses . . . just as the mini-seminars, and the free hands-on learning programs we’ll offer in the evenings, continually improve and expand.


Besides giving their regular Show-How seminar presentations, our Eco-Village researchers will be on hand for personal consultations, on back-to-the-land techniques. (In fact, there’s nothing they like to talk about more!) Then, too, past visitors have found our free Show-How Fact Sheets, available at each of our demonstration projects, particularly helpful.

In addition to all that, you can combine a two-day camping “discovery” of the Eco-Village (and its Show-Hows) with a tour, by chartered bus, to any one of the following vacation destinations in our incredibly lovely mountain region:

Cades Cove/ Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

On this jaunt, you’ll enjoy a drive to the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There, in a lovely waterfall-bedecked valley, you’ll find pioneer homesteads and churches at a site where 100 families lived in isolation for a century . . . and where the old-fashioned homestead techniques and crafts they developed are still demonstrated each summer. And after lunch there’ll be time for a short trip to the area’s most famous resort city–Gatlinburg, Tennessee–for sightseeing and shopping.

Biltmore House/Chimney Rock.

As a young man, George Vanderbilt–the railroad heir–decided to build a mansion in the region he called “the most beautiful place in the world” . . . and in 1883 his project was begun near Asheville, North Carolina. Today, the stately and imposing chateau–situated on 12,000 acres–is the world’s largest private home . . . comprising 255 rooms, a number of which are open to the public, furnished with antiques and art treasures. Surrounding this incredible structure are 17 acres of formal gardens containing (among other plantings) more than 5,000 roses, which bloom from May through October. After your visit to this awe-inspiring mansion, you’ll continue to Chimney Rock . . . an area of spectacular vistas, nature trails, unique rock formations, caves, and one of the highest waterfalls in eastern America.

Grandfather Mountain/Linville Caverns.

The region’s native Americans believed that this peak (whose rock formations date back a billion years and are some of the oldest in the world) resembled the profile of an old man lying on his back. At its top, a mile-high swinging bridge connects it to its mate, Grandmother Mountain, and offers a 100-mile view to those who cross it.

After exploring the mountain’s forests and its carefully created wildlife habitats, you’ll travel on to Linville Caverns under Humpback Mountain, where deserters from the Civil War once lived with their families. These caves, which extend about a mile into the mountain, contain fantasy forests of icicle-shaped stalactites (measuring up to 10 feet and ranging in color from white to red to dark brown) and flat or dome-shaped stalagmites. Here, too, are clear pools and blind trout, which live in the dark caverns’ underground stream.

Cherokee/ Clingmans Dome.

You’ll find the drive from Hendersonville to Cherokee–located at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park–to be a spectacular one, but even more so when you go on to Clingmans Dome, the tallest peak in the Smokies and the third highest in eastern America. From there, you’ll have a view (on clear days) of five states: North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia.

In Cherokee itself, which is situated in the largest organized Indian reservation east of Wisconsin, you’ll be able to visit a museum containing the world’s biggest collection of Cherokee Nation artifacts . . . and Oconaluftee Village, a meticulously recreated example of what life was like among these people 250 years ago, featuring demonstrations of many traditional crafts. In addition, our travelers will take in the noted outdoor drama Unto These Hills, a poignant tale of this nation’s history.

The Ruby Mines of Franklin.

With more than 300 varieties of gems and minerals found in the state, North Carolina is a rockhound’s paradise. And the town of Franklin, where New York’s Tiffany & Co. once mined rare stones, is dotted with sites that allow visitors–for a small fee–to do some prospecting of their own . . . and to keep what they find! Though the search itself is half the fun, rubies worth hundreds of dollars–as well as sapphires, garnets, and other gems–are frequently discovered here. Who knows, you may get lucky!

The Nantahala River

People come from all over the world to raft, kayak, or canoe the many waterways of “The Land of the Sky” . . . and the Nantahala is one of the most popular. Cutting through the Nantahala Gorge, it offers an enjoyable combination of mountain beauty and white water excitement that ends with a thrilling ride through the Class III Nantahala Falls, Ideal for families or inexperienced paddlers, this adventure will provide a thorough introduction to the thrills of white-water rafting . . . and while you drift on the quieter sections of the river, you’ll be surrounded by lush groves of rhododendron, mountain laurel, and the unusual princess trees.


Of course, both our camping space and the number of people we can take on each trip are limited . . . and some 20,000 people visited us this year! But planning ahead can assure that you’ll have the perfect Eco-Village vacation, so contact us now for further information.

Need Help? Call 1-800-234-3368