ROAD ADVENTURES HOT SPOT: GREAT SMOKY NATIONAL FOREST/PARK - TENNESSEE
This month, we are spotlighting the breathtaking landscape of the Great Smoky Mountains at Great Smoky National Forest/Park along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina!
Beautiful waterfalls, wild black bears, and views that stretch over 500,000 acres are only a couple of things that make Great Smoky National Park the most visited national park in the U.S. With multiple hiking options and trails, scenic driving paths, tourist opportunities in neighboring cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, you will find it’s hard to fit everything you want to do into one trip!
Read below to gather inspiration and start planning your next local Road Adventures getaway!
Hiking and Waterfalls
The best way to experience the Smoky Mountains is to do what the original settlers and explorers did: hit the trails. From the original Appalachian Trail to breathtaking wildflower walks, there are 150 Smoky Mountain trails covering 800 miles of pristine backcountry. Waterfalls, wildlife, valleys and vistas are everywhere.
Thousands of species of plant and animal life have been documented in the Smokies, and more are being discovered every year. When you venture into one of the world’s few International Biosphere Reserves, black bears and wildflower blooms are only the beginning. Bring your binoculars, and enjoy the show!
There are three entrances to Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Gatlinburg, and every one takes you into a section of the 800 square miles of unspoiled Appalachia. Every trip to the Smokies begins with a drive on the Newfound Gap Road, so pack a picnic and see highlights along the way.
Within just a short walk, you can explore the depths of the ocean at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies or get a hole-in-one at Gatlin’s Mini Golf. Thrill seekers will love Anakeesta’s Rail Runner Mountain Coaster, gazing through the glass bottom of the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, or riding the Aerial Tramway to Ober Gatlinburg. From museums and arcades to white water rafting and guided hikes, Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for a family-friendly trip to a couples retreat.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park maintains developed frontcountry campgrounds at 10 locations in the park. Each campground has restrooms with cold running water and flush toilets. For more information and campground website, click HERE.