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Great Smoky Mountains NP
One of the most visited National Parks in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains is the quintessential region for outdoor lovers.
Covering more than 520,000 acres in eastern Tennesseeand western North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the crown jewels of the National Park Service. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, GSMNP hosts and enthralls nearly 10 million annual visitors.
Dedicated in 1940 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the park consists of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and many trails, waterfalls, historic sites, and critters in between.
While the parkland itself never closes, visitor centers and access roads do operate by season. Travelers can find maps, bookstores, information, and exhibits at four stops throughout the park. Check out the Cades Cove Visitor Center, the Sugarlands Visitor Center, and Historic Grist Mills.
Attractions & Activities
With over 500,000 acres to explore, it’s hard to know where to begin in the Great Smoky Mountains. Adventurers can try fishing, cycling, auto touring, and wildlife viewing. One thing we can recommend: be sure to explore by foot.
The park features hundreds of miles of trail, many of which offer different rewards, and can be experienced throughout the year. We recommend a couple of the many waterfall hikes, including Grotto Falls, Laurel Falls, and Rainbow Falls. Trek the 2.5-mile mountainous trail to the base of Abrams Falls in Cades Cove for swimming and photo ops.
Horseback riding is popular in GSMNP, with guided tours available at Smokemont Riding Stable, and the Sugarlands Riding Stables. Cades Cove Riding Stables offers hay, carriage, and wagon rides, as well as guided trail excursions. Say hi to Stickers and Skye for us.
Historic structures are found throughout the Great Smoky Mountains as well. Take a trip to Cades Cove, or trek the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail for a look at the Ogle Farmstead.