Frequently Asked Questions

We have assembled these from actual guest questions both before and during stays at our cabin. If you have other questions that aren't answered here, call, text, or drop us a note

Is Wireless Internet Available?
Yes, each cabin is equipped with free high speed WiFi. You'll find the password in the Guest Information book at the cabin.

Are there minimum night stay requirements?
We have a 2-night minimum requirement for staying in our cabins. Some holidays may have a 3-night or 4-night requirement for booking a reservation.

Is there a minimum age to rent your cabins?

You must be at least 25 years of age to rent our cabins. The person who initiates the reservation and signs the rental agreement must have proof of age and must reside in the cabin for the entire length of stay

Where do I go to pick up a key to the cabin?
Our cabins have electronic locks. A couple of weeks before your arrival date, we will email the cabin address, driving directions, and your personalized door code for the cabin. When you come into town, you do not have to check in with us, just go straight to the cabin!

May we bring our pet to your cabin?
No, we do not allow pets of any kind. This restriction is strictly enforced. See the rental agreement for more details.

Is there a nearby kennel?
There are a few places in the area including Pigeon Forge, Seviervile, and Gatlinburg pretty close to the cabins:

   -- Just fer Paws Kennels -, 865-430-3383, 

   -- Barks and Recreation - 865-325-8245

   -- Smoky Dog Lodge -, 865-774-3140,

   -- Smoky Mountain K-9 Cottages -, 865-428-7311,

Is your online booking safe/secure?
(See also Reservation Process FAQ)

Yes, our website is SSL secured which establishes an encrypted connection between our hosted site and you. The back-end vacation rental management service powering our online calendar and online booking is OwnerRez. As you move through the booking process your session is encrypted on their secure site. Their service integrates with many credit card processors to securely process the booking transaction. Since we are small, we selected PayPal as the processor to leverage for online bookings, which allows you to use any major credit card or your PayPal account in a secure, encrypted way.

Where is Moonshine Cabins in Gatlinburg, TN located?
Both cabins are located in Gatlinburg city limits - in Mountain Shadows Resort, a neighborhood style resort with all cabins independently owned. Owners can choose to list on their own or with a rental/management company. We are a just off of East Parkway near the historic Arts & Crafts district. The cabins are 3 miles from the heart of downtown Gatlinburg and a short drive to Pigeon Forge (about 6 miles). Thanks to modern mapping programs, you can navigate to both places without having to get on the Parkway, which can help you avoid the traffic during busy season! We are also less than 10 minutes from the Greenbriar entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park!

​How treacherous are the roads? What should I do if it snows and I can't access my cabin?
The main road into the resort is a moderate incline leading up to the cabins – it may appear intimidating at first, but we find that most drivers quickly become comfortable as it is wide enough for cars to pass each other, with no hair-raising turns or drop offs. The resort roads are maintained by our HOA and are in great shape! We plow our roads during bouts of snow, as with all mountain driving, four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended during heavy snow.
Road surface conditions are not guaranteed at any time - there are no refunds given due to weather and we do not provide transportation or take responsibility for towing service.

How "tricky" is parking?
The parking in front of Fireflies & Moonshine Cabin is flat and sufficient for 2 cars. The parking in front of Mudpuppies & Moonshine Cabin is angled on a hill and has room for 3 cars.

Do the cabins have a mountain view?

We have a view of Mt. LeConte from the front porch of both cabins​, but we don't have what could be described as a "rolling mountain view." There are cabins at higher altitudes with better views - the roads to those cabins also tend to be more winding and steep. Those areas sometimes have well water, and limited internet. A rolling mountain view will have a higher nightly rate, so there are trade-offs either way.

Do you have surveillance cameras at the property?

There are cameras at the resort entrance, adjacent cabins, and on the front porch of the cabin only showing the front porch, cabin entrance, and parking in front of the cabin. There are no cameras inside the cabin or any that intrude on private space.

What do we need to bring on our Gatlinburg vacation?
Very little, as our cabins are well stocked with all the cooking appliances including natural gas grills, linens, utensils, entertainment, and laundry facilities you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. We also provide starter supplies of toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent and dish soap, so depending on consumption you may need to bring or buy extra supply of these items during your stay. You will want to bring your own bath soap and shampoo along with beach towels for the hot tub and pool - other than that staying at one of our cabins is turnkey easy!

Do we need to bring linens, towels, or pillows?

We provide all the basic necessities. All the beds will be made with fresh linens and bath towels will be provided. Bath towels and washcloths are provided to match the occupancy of the cabin.

We recommend you bring beach towels for hot tub and pool use.

Can we do laundry at the cabins?
You bet! Both cabins have washer and dryer units!

Is the kitchen fully equipped?
Yes, the kitchens at each cabin vary slightly, but in general we work to ensure you have everything you need to whip up a gourmet meal. From updated appliances, to dishware, glassware, bakeware, utensils, pots/pans, a crock pot, blender, hand-mixer, toaster and coffee maker (filter, not K-cup). Both cabins had granite countertops installed in 2018.

Why no certain utensil / small appliance?
Rest assured we had it stocked. However, utensils get broken or misplaced. If no one reports it missing, and cleaning crew does not realize that it is not there, it is not replaced. If you find something missing, please let us know - we've been known to drop off toasters and tea kettles in the middle of guest stays! We stock common utensils and small appliances. Mixer, blender, toaster, can opener, coffee maker, iron, crock pot, are standard. Other small appliances are optional and we may or may not have stocked those.

What common items are not included in the kitchens?
We do not guarantee spices, aluminum foil, plastic wrap and condiments. However, we stock them when we are at the cabin and previous guests often leave them behind so you may find these in the drawers and cabinets.

Coffee Maker .... is it K-Cup or filter type?
The coffee makers in both cabins are are traditional filter types and and make 12 cups. Mudpuppies & Moonshine cabin has 2 coffee makers for our larger groups who need a morning jumpstart!

Why sometimes not all dishes / drinkware match?
We started out with matched sets. However, items do get broken, and as much as we try to replenish with exact same ones, sometimes they are no longer being sold.

Do you provide daily housekeeping service?
We schedule housekeeping service in between guests, however, each cabin is equipped with a washer/dryer and dishwasher as well as a starter supply of dish soap, and dishwasher detergent. We can accommodate cleaning of the cabin during your stay at your request for an extra fee. If your stay is longer than 4 nights, we will schedule a mid-stay trash pickup at no charge to you.

Is there a grocery store nearby?
Absolutely! There is a Food City grocery store located on Highway 321 (East Parkway) approximately 5 minutes from the cabins. It offers a pharmacy, bakery, deli and video rentals. This is where we do all our grocery shopping when we are at the cabin.

There are also Walmart and Kroger in the area if you'd prefer those.

Are hair dryers included?
Hair dryers are included and located in each bathroom, if you can’t find one, please let us know as they have been known to disappear.

Where can we go swimming?
Both cabins are located in Mountain Shadows Resort. We have an outdoor pool within walking distance of the cabins - open May 1st thru September 30th, weather permitting. Additionally, there are many indoor and outdoor water parks located in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. There is also the Gatlinburg Community Center located just down the road which offers a reasonably priced year-round indoor pool as well as other recreation options. If you dare, you can also go swimming in the cool streams of the national park, which are just right down the road.

Where can we go fishing?
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has about 2,900 miles of streams within its boundaries, and protects one of the last wild trout habitats in the eastern United States. The park offers a wide variety of angling experiences from remote, headwater trout streams to large, coolwater smallmouth bass streams. Fishing is permitted in all streams year-round in the park, from 30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset.

Follow these links to find out more about the fishing and license requirements: 

Is the hot tub cleaned between guests?
Of course, this is also a regulatory requirement for vacation rentals in Gatlinburg. After each guest departs, our cleaning crew drains the hot tub water, cleans the hot tub, installs a chemically sanitized filter, refills the hot tub, and chemically sanitizes the new water with bromine shock. A bromine floater helps the water stay clear and sanitized during your stay. 

I need a crib, high chairs, scooter or wheelchair
We may be able to provide a limited number of baby items (pack-n-play, high chair and baby gate) upon request. These items are on a first come first served basis. Any of those items can be rented from the following:
 -- Hey Baby Rentals -, 828-342-3072,
 -- Baby Gear Smoky Mountains -,  865-325-3070, 

  -- Scooter Rentals and Sales -, 865-259-2255

What if we find a problem at the cabin upon check-in?
Please walk through the cabin upon check-in. Should you notice any problem at the cabin just call us. We will make every attempt to rectify the issue in a timely manner. We want to ensure that your vacation is to your liking – from beginning to end.

What should I do if there is an issue with the cabin during my stay?
Issues can occur during your stay that can tend to be a nuisance. In the event there is something with your cabin that is less than satisfactory please call us right away. We will be more than happy to fix the issue for you in a timely manner so you can go back to enjoying your vacation.

Are there certain times of the year that I cannot use the fireplace?
During the warmer months (April-October), most gas fireplaces are disabled as operation of gas fireplaces during these times could cause an A/C failure.

Do you decorate for the holidays?
Yes, we decorate in mid-November with some winter decor and a Christmas tree.

Why are some of the pictures screwed to the wall?
If they are not, it often happens that guests accidentally knock a picture down. It falls down, nicks the floor, gets damaged or the frame gets broken, etc. In past experiences, guests would not report it and would just dispose of the damaged picture. It is a safety measure too – we do not want anyone to get hurt by a falling object. We have a few wall items at the cabin that are original, or one of a kind and we want them to remain in good condition.

Dust / cobwebs
We are not sure why, but dust is very prevalent in log homes. The cabin may have been cleaned mere hours ago, and yet there is dust again. Cobwebs are common and they appear very fast – after all, the cabin is in the middle of woods and there are a lot of insects trying to make their home inside the cabin. You'll find our cabin is cleaned to meticulous standards, it's cleanliness is often mentioned in our reviews.

Bugs / ladybugs
Our cabins are proactively treated monthly by a professional pest control service. Insects just find their way inside no matter what we do. Even after the cabin is cleaned, it takes only a few hours for bugs/ladybugs to appear. Of course they get trapped and die inside. This is especially prevalent in spring as they emerge and then again in fall when it gets colder outside. An expectation of completely insect-free environment is probably reasonable in a high-rise beachfront condo, but not in a cabin in the middle of the woods. Ladybugs (actually, Asian Lady Beetle) are harmless if not touched.

Wasps / carpenter bees
Wasps try to make their nests, usually under the roof overhangs and eaves, and some may get inside and die. We try to keep up as much as we can but they are often much faster than us. Carpenter bees (big loud black bees) are harmless to humans – they make a lot of noise and may hover around humans, but they do not have stingers. They do however damage wood by boring holes in it. They rarely get inside the cabin.
In addition to regular professional pest control, we also spray the cabins in early spring to deter the carpenter bees.

Is there a fire pit at the cabin or in the resort?
No, we do not have a fire pit at the cabin or within the resort.

What type of cell phone reception should I expect?
It depends on the provider. Our cabins are equipped with home phone (free local and domestic long distance). Also many providers and devices now offer voice over WiFi. The internet/WiFi speeds at each cabin support this without issue.

May we smoke/vape inside at the cabin?
No. Our cabins are smoke-free and vape-free. This restriction is strictly enforced. You may, however, smoke and vape outside of the cabins. We ask that you dispose of the waste prior to your departure.

What is there to do in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area?
Well, there is just way too much to list here - as a starting point, check out our Out & About page, along with our Pinterest page. You may also find the 2019 Gatlinburg Visitor Guide to be helpful. All have lots of links for different activities and interests. We love to help our guests find things to do based on their specific interests, whether it be shopping, hiking, scenic drives, or amusements, please just ask us, we love talking about the area!

What are the check-in/check-out times and may I check-in early/check-out late?
The check-in and check-out times vary by cabin. They are listed in the rental agreement and provided to you with your welcome letter. We may be able to accommodate an early check-in if there is not a guest checking out the morning of your arrival. If we can accommodate this request, we will – these are rarely available during the busy summer months.
Late checkouts are not possible as our cleaning crew takes care of more than just our cabins and they need to get started right away.

Are the pictures of the cabin on your website accurate?
What you see is what you get - there should be no surprises when you walk in the door of your cabin! Our website has a combination of both professional and amateur photos. We also have a collection of pictures taken during cabin updates/upgrades posted in photo albums on our facebook site:  There is a photo album for each cabin

Do we need to clean the cabin before we leave?
Checkout is pretty easy and there are a few simple requests outlined in the Guest Information Booklet located at your cabin. The few things that we ask that you do prior to your departure help expedite the cleaning of the cabin in preparation for our next guests such as ensuring the refrigerator is emptied, your trash is all placed in the proper location, load the dishwasher and start the cycle - Other than that, no housekeeping is needed.

What if we leave something behind at the cabin?
Contact us immediately. We will work with our cleaning team to see if they can locate the item. If found, we will happily mail the item back to you! We've sent back wallets, tablets, even teddy bears!

Do the TV's have cable / Can I watch a DVD we brought with us?
All TV’s in the cabins are LED TVs and are connected to cable. Mudpuppies cabin has Blu-ray players which will also play DVD’s in both master bedroom suites, the living room, as well as the “bunk room”. Fireflies cabin has DVD players in the living room and the loft.

What updates have you done at the cabin?

Timeline below and we've taken pictures along the way, check out the cabin photo albums on facebook.

Fireflies & Moonshine Cabin Updates (purchased in 2016)
​This cabin was in excellent condition when we took possession. The couple who owned it previously used it as a second home and were very diligent with maintenance and updates. They replaced the roof, HVAC and mechanicals. They also enclosed the original rear deck to create a sunroom. 

  • 2019
    • Updates - New 32" TV's in both bedrooms and the loft. Replaced old VHS/DVD players with new Blu-Ray players in Living room, Loft, and 1st fl Bedroom
  • 2018
    • Updates - All new kitchen appliances; new washer/dryer; granite counter tops; new cookware; new dishes; new leather living room furniture; new ceiling fan; better lighting in the loft
    • Maintenance - Furnace blower motor/fan replaced
  • 2017
    • Updates -  decor changes/updates and added a shuffleboard table in the loft!
  • 2016
    • Updates - When we took possession, our first big project was to build a new deck and install a hot tub! Of course, we had to make sure the cabin was ready for guests so we had to stock additional kitchen appliances and cookware, install WiFi, keyless entry, and change some decor. We also replaced all linens and towels as well as both beds with very comfortable queen beds.

Mudpuppies & Moonshine Cabin Updates (purchased in 2014)

This cabin had been on a rental program for many years with a rental agency and was on the market for about a year. When we took possession the cabin was "guest ready" but overdue for updates and needed TLC. 

  • 2019
    • Updates - we removed the aging air hockey table in the loft and added 2 arcades -  60 game 'multicades'. We replaced the aging washer and dryer. Other minor decor changes
  • 2018
    • Updates - we have updated some of the decor, replaced the counter tops in kitchen and 1st floor bathroom with granite and new faucets. Added a shuffleboard table in the loft! MAJOR BATHROOM REMODEL (check it out here) - we removed an old Jacuzzi tub and installed a large walk-in shower, and provided some privacy for the water closet.
    • Maintenance - Replaced the hot tub cover. The roof probably hadn't been touched since the cabin was built - we silicone sealed the peak caps and valleys, repaired/replaced trim where needed, and replaced every single screw and washer on the entire roof. When we remodeled the bathroom we also installed a new larger hot water heater.
  • 2017
    • Updates - we continued to focus on the guest experience, before the summer season we replaced the old worn sofa and loveseat with a new leather sofa and loveseat; replaced the old bunk beds with new "log" bunk beds (the kids love 'em)! To round out the year in early November we replaced the last of the aging beds - 2 king beds, and 1 queen bed with brand new 12" mattresses to ensure a good night's sleep.
    • Maintenance -  stained entire cabin and decks and re-felted the pool table
  • 2016 
    • Updates - more comfort updates for our guests, we remodeled 2nd level suite bathroom and basement bathroom giving them both double sinks! We replaced one of the lower level queen beds with a king bed! In the kitchen, we added more lighting, some new cookware, a crockpot, and natural gas grill on the deck; new dining table; new refrigerator; and new stove. Near the end of the year, we painted the entire lower level; and replaced the last of the tube TV's with new LED TVs in each of the lower level bedrooms!
  • 2015
    • Updates - we replaced ceiling fans in the living area and loft; replaced a few light fixtures; put up new curtains; added some kitchen cookware; and replaced the tube TV in the loft with a new LED TV. 
    • Maintenance - Replaced the furnace and AC units, and added a 3rd AC unit (mini-split) to service the 2nd floor bedroom; and did an overhaul of hot tub mechanicals and electrical spa pack. Lastly we replaced the carpeting in 1st floor master suite, 2nd floor master suite and both staircases. 
  • 2014
    • Updates - During our first year with the cabin, we added a keyless entry system; replaced all bedding and towels; added flatware/dishes & cookware; replaced the dishwasher and then started the process of replacing all the old tube TVs with new LED TV’s and Blu-Ray players - we did that first in master bedroom suites and living room.