Located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses 522,419 acres.
As one of the largest protected areas in the eastern half of the United States, visitors to this national park are never hurting for things to do.
While you’ll never have enough time on one trip to see everything that Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer, here are a few things you don’t want to overlook the next time you’re visiting:
1. Climbing to the Top of Clingmans Dome
If you’re the hiking and climbing type, you’ll enjoy every last step you take to reach the summit of Clingmans Dome. With an elevation of 6,643 feet, it’s the highest point in the park.
2. Visit one of the Visitors’ Centers
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to two visitors’ centers:
- Oconaluftee Visitor Center (located near Cherokee, North Carolina)
- Sugarlands Visitors’ Center (located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee)
It doesn’t matter which one you visit, you’re able to secure a variety of information related to the park and the things you want to do. Best yet, there are exhibits on display, giving you a closer look at the geology and wildlife that make the area so special.
Tip: if you want to buy souvenirs, this is the place to do it.
3. Hit the Hiking Trails
Did you know there is approximately 850 miles of trails and unpaved roads throughout the park?
If that doesn’t excite you, get this: 70 of these miles are part of the famous Appalachian Trail.
So, if you enjoy hiking, you’ll always have somewhere to go when you show up here.4
Just the same as hiking, there is no shortage of fishing opportunities at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here’s why: it’s home to approximately 2,900 miles of streams.
While trout fishing is most popular within the park, there is a large population of smallmouth bass in many of the streams.
5. See the Waterfalls
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
Every year, it’s estimated that approximately 200,000 visitors hike the trails that crisscross the park to reach Abrams, Grotto, Laurel, Rainbow, and a variety of other waterfalls.
Tip: although the largest and most popular waterfalls attract the biggest crowds, there are many smaller ones throughout the park that are just as exciting to visit.
Do you have the desire to travel to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the near future? If so, don’t hesitate to book your trip. Greeting visitors 365 days a year, there’s always something to do here.
With the help of the internet (for planning) and a travel rewards credit card, you can take a trip that you will remember forever.