The design of Anakeesta™ is the vision of a unique team of people who have created a special place to celebrate the great outdoors and the Appalachian lifestyle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our team is focused on creating an attraction which combines the very best dynamic uses for the city center of Gatlinburg and a 70 acre mountain forest playground in the heart of the Smoky Mountains.
Anakeesta Mountain is linked to the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg by a one of a kind Chondola aerial lift that offers quad chairlift seating and enclosed gondola cabins. Anakeesta an outdoor family attraction located on 70 acres of pristine forested mountain. At the summit of Anakeesta Mountain guests can shop at Firefly Village discovering magical treehouse themed retail stores, featuring handmade candies, jewelry, local crafts, clothing and unique gifts. Enjoy spectacular views of Mt. LeConte and the sparkling lights of downtown Gatlinburg. Zip side by side with friends and family through the treetops on Gatlinburg’s fastest dual-racing zip line. Fly on a high-speed mountain coaster with twists and turns through the forest then enjoy the ride back to the summit. Stroll through the trees 60’ above ground on our treetop canopy walk. Play, climb and discover together at a treehouse playground designed for children of all ages. Dine with friends and family while relaxing at shaded picnic pavilions while enjoying sunset at the summit of this natural forested playground right in downtown Gatlinburg!
Our story is quite different from most developments that recycle older properties that have lost their relevance. The opportunity for Anakeesta™ to be created came from a legacy that began in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when a determined group of women from the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity decided to develop a settlement school in Gatlinburg for the mission of promoting literacy in the remote mountain area of the Smokies. During the last one hundred years, the Fraternity built an Elementary School, a clinic, a cottage industry for local handicrafts and a school of Arts and Crafts that continues to flourish today.
Over the years, Pi Beta Phi purchased the 77 acres of land in Gatlinburg that is now the heart and soul of the community. After the decision that they had completed the mission of literacy in Gatlinburg, the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity turned to the Bentz family and Atlantic Land Companies for the sale of the property and the creation of Anakeesta. We have kept our commitment to the Fraternity to continue the tradition of celebrating the creation of local arts and crafts in a village setting which tells the unique story of our mountain heritage.