When you visit the Smoky Mountains, you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty on all sides! And there’s nowhere better to take it all in than at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With all the incredible activities and natural sights at the park, it’s no surprise that it’s the most visited national park in America! If you’re planning a trip to the Smokies, then you’ll definitely want to learn about some of the best things to do at Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Here are some of our top suggestions:
1. Go for a Hike
With more than 850 miles of trails located throughout the park, going hiking is one of the best things to do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can choose from all sorts of trails that vary in level of difficulty and sights available. If you’re looking for a family-friendly hike, the Gatlinburg Trail offers a relatively easy outing that should be fun for all ages. Alternatively, you can embark on a more challenging hike such as the Chimney Tops Trail, where you’ll be rewarded with incredible views.
2. Take a Scenic Drive
Another great way to take in the beauty of the park is by going for a scenic drive along one of the many roads that wind through the Smokies. The Cades Cove Loop Road is a popular destination for those looking to take a drive while making stops along the way for small excursions, like hikes and photo opportunities. Newfound Gap Road is another great choice, as you’ll be able to see the spot where the park was first dedicated!
3. Spot Wildlife
The Smoky Mountains are home to a variety of amazing animals, such as white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and the famous black bears. It’s no surprise then that another of the best things to do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park is to spot some of the animals that call the park home! Cades Cove is a particularly popular spot to look for animals, as the wide-open valley helps with visibility. Just make sure to follow all park rules and regulations, such as staying at least 50 yards away from the animals and leaving their habitat undisturbed.
4. Explore Historic Buildings
If you are interested in the history of the Smoky Mountains, there are plenty of interesting historical sites that you can visit to learn about the past settlers of the area and their way of life. Cades Cove offers a variety of opportunities to explore the history of the Smokies, with structures like the John Oliver Cabin and several churches having been preserved in the area. Anyone who is interested in history will find that exploring historic buildings is one of the best things to do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
5. Go Fishing
The park is a dream come true for anyone who enjoys fishing, as it is permitted in all streams throughout the park from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. All you need is a Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license and your gear to have an awesome time fishing here at the park! Just make sure to follow all daily catch limits to ensure that everyone can enjoy this great activity.
With so many amazing things to do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will have no shortage of fun when you come to visit! And if you’re looking for accommodations near the park, make sure to check out our incredible selection of cabins for the best lodging in the Smokies. We look forward to welcoming you!