When we were coming up with a name for our sports campus in Gatlinburg, there was one phrase we knew we wanted associated with our brand: Rocky Top. This legendary mountain in East Tennessee holds a special place in the hearts of both visitors and locals alike. Read on to learn everything you need to know about hiking Rocky Top and how the most famous mountain in the Smokies inspired our name.
Hiking Rocky Top
Rocky Top is one of the most famous mountains in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers visitors some tremendous hiking opportunities. Although the mountain spans along the border with North Carolina, it is located completely in the state of Tennessee. Rocky Top sits at 5,441 feet above sea level, which is only 86 feet less than its neighbor, Thunderhead Mountain. The peak of Rocky Top Mountain provides spectacular views of Cades Cove, Fontana Lake, and the surrounding region.
Hikers begin their trek to Rocky Top’s peak at the Cades Cove picnic area, where they travel 3.5 miles to the Bote Mountain Trail. After 1.7 miles, this trail leads to a left turn onto the Appalachian Trail. From that point, it’s an approximate 1.5 mile up to the peak. The 14 mile round trip journey to Rocky Top’s peak is considered a strenuous hike with a total elevation gain of 3,665 feet. However, hikers are rewarded with some of the best views in all of the Smokies!
For additional information about hiking Rocky Top, check out this article from the Knoxville News Sentinel: http://archive.knoxnews.com/news/hike-of-the-month-smokies-famous-mountain-makes-for-a-tough-day-hike-ep-403883804-357706421.html/
Inspiration for Rocky Top Sports World
It is easy to see why Rocky Top was selected as the namesake and inspiration for our sports complex in Gatlinburg! After all, we are situated within close proximity to Rocky Top, providing our tournament players and guests the unique opportunity to visit this beautiful mountain.
Our sports campus also shares important traits associated with the demanding trek up Rocky Top Mountain. Although the journey is difficult, hikers push themselves to keep moving until they reach the mountain’s peak. If getting to Rocky Top’s summit were easy, the view wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying. It is the challenge that makes hiking Rocky Top so special.
Whether it’s hiking, basketball, or football, sports are all about challenging yourself. When we named our sports campus after Rocky Top, we wanted to capture the spirit of perseverance and determination that the mountain represents. Every day at Rocky Top Sports World, we see athletes of every age and ability push themselves to the limit in pursuit of a goal. At their best, sports demonstrate the triumph of the human spirit over great adversity, and we are truly honored to be a part of this incredible experience.
To learn about all of the great amenities at our state-of-the-art 80 acre sports complex in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, visit the Rocky Top Sports World Facilities page!