Millions and millions of people from all over the world visit East Tennessee and Western North Carolina each year. And there are lots of reasons for that. The communities that occupy these respective regions are a vacationer's paradise, offering virtually anything a family or a couple or even an individual could ask for in a getaway, whether it's just for the weekend or an ambitious week-long trip. This region is home to dozens of attractions and hundreds of shops and restaurants – enough options to fill 100 vacations.
Peaceful. Exciting. Quiet. Enlightening. There's hardly any other vacation spot in the country that is as diverse as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.That's why planning a vacation to this landmark destination may take some time.With so much to choose from, making decisions about what to do during your stay and what to leave for your next visit may require a good bit of thought.
No matter the season, one of the best ways to spend your time in the Smoky Mountains is by going for a hike. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to more than 800 miles of trails, with some for every skill level. When you visit the area with your family, you will have plenty of options for easy and family-friendly hikes! Here are just 5 of the best Smoky Mountain hiking trails for families:
It's home to the largest old-growth forest east of the Mississippi... the densest Black Bear population in the Eastern U.S…. and the widest variety of salamanders outside of the tropics.
If you've ever visited the Smoky Mountains National Park, you know all about the beautiful scenery. But even veteran visitors may not be fully aware of all the fascinating lore surrounding this world-famous park. Here are 10 fun facts that may surprise (and delight) you.
Encompassing 816 square miles and occupying parts of two states, Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers a lot of territory – typically way more than most folks can take on in a lifetime, much less a single visit. As a result, visitors (more than 9 million annually) tend to focus on the more popular destinations within the park – sites like Cades Cove or Clingmans Dome or the visitor centers located on either side of the park (one for TN, one for NC).
Few hiking experiences compare with the Great Smoky Mountains. As a hiker, you'll be treated to scenic views, wildlife, waterfalls, diverse plant life, pristine forests, and historical sites such as the remains of settler villages. The Smokies have a variety of options for all levels of hikers. You can enjoy an easy morning or afternoon trek, a day excursion that takes you in a convenient loop, or overnight backpacking trips that are truly an adventure.
The Great Smoky Mountains have the two ingredients necessary for waterfalls: plenty of rain, from 85 inches to over 8 feet some years, and elevation gradient. Water trickles down the mountains and builds rushing rivers that drop up to a mile off the mountain face. Hiking the Smokies to see stunning waterfalls is one of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's most breathtaking activities. Here are some of the most popular waterfalls you'll find.
One of the most thrilling experiences of a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wildlife sighting. The park is among the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the United States, and is home to 65 species of animals, including bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, raccoons, chipmunks, wild boars, woodchucks, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, opossums and more. A good field guide will help you determine the natural habitats of the animals you most want to see, and will help you identify animals and birds you've never seen before.
Stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and absolute tranquility make hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains an unforgettable experience. You can hike the Smokies year-round, with each season offering its own surprises, delights, and adventures. Whether you're looking for an easy, fun hike for the whole family or one that will challenge your skills and endurance, the Smokies have something for everyone.
If you're craving the kind of peace and quiet that seems to have existed only in the previous century, camping in the tranquil Smoky Mountains Backcountry may be exactly what you're looking for. Here, backpackers can wander more than 800 miles of trails that lead past breathtaking mountain vistas, quiet old-growth forest and clear, cold, rushing rivers and waterfalls. You'll see wildlife you've never seen before and may go days without seeing another human or hearing a cell phone ring. The Backcountry is not your average camping adventure, so it's important to know a few things before you go.
If you're looking for a fun hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on your next visit, consider exploring Porters Creek Trail. Located in the Greenbrier section of the park, this hike is not too strenuous and features wildflowers, historic homesteads and even a waterfall.
Whether your next trip to the Smokies involves staying in a hotel, motel, condo or cabin in the mountains, we hope that you find time to make an excursion into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, you can make your travels safe and avoid unnecessary headaches by following these five suggestions from the National Park Service.
Some people call it “Fireworks In The Smokies!” or “Leaves are Changing!” Others call it, “Look at All The Cars!” Whatever you call it, people flock to The Great Smoky Mountains by the thousands the for great beauty of fall leaves in The Great Smoky Mountains: breathtaking indeed.
You can see mountains for miles, as ridge after ridge of forest bridges the interstate boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world renowned for its 520,000 acres of diverse plant and animal life, its preservation of the Southern Appalachian mountain culture, and the ever-changing beauty of its timeless mountains. With more than ten million people visiting annually, this is America's most visited national park.