When you visit the Smoky Mountains, there are so many ways to take in the beauty of this incredible region. Among the best ways to appreciate the Smokies is by visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the entire United States! There are lots of awesome activities you can partake in here, from hiking to fishing and more! Here are some of the top things to do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
1. Explore Hiking Trails
With over 850 miles of hiking trails available, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the natural beauty of the Smokies. From family-friendly trails like the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail to more challenging outings like Chimney Tops, there are great options for all ages and levels of experience. Don’t miss out on the chance to take in the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains when you explore the hiking trails of the park.
2. Spot Wildlife
There are plenty of interesting animals to spot at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, from white-tailed deer to black bears! Some of the best spots to see wildlife are located at Cades Cove and in Cataloochee Valley, as they both contain open areas with long sight lines. Just remember that it’s extremely important to stay at least 50 yards away from wild animals at all times, which is why it can be helpful to bring along a pair of binoculars to see the wildlife better. Also, keep in mind that feeding animals in the park is strictly prohibited! When you follow these safety rules, you’ll be able to have a great time spotting animals here at the park.
3. Go Fishing
Another fun activity at Great Smoky Mountains National Park is to go fishing in one of the park’s many streams! Fishing is permitted in all of the park’s streams from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Just remember you need to have a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license in order to fish within the park, as well as abide by daily catch limits. As long as you follow these simple rules, you can have a blast spending the afternoon fishing at the park!
4. Take a Scenic Drive
There are several beautiful places to take a drive within the park, offering fantastic opportunities to take in the sights of the Smokies from the comfort of your vehicle! Newfound Gap Road is one popular drive in the park, as it takes visitors past gorgeous overlooks as well as the spot where FDR first dedicated Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It also offers access to Clingmans Dome Road, another scenic drive that leads to the highest observation point in the park! If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the mountain views in comfort, you’ll love going for a scenic drive!
5. Discover Historic Buildings
For those interested in history, there are lots of opportunities in the park to learn about the settlers of the Smokies and the towns they built. Check out the John Oliver Cabin in Cades Cove or head over to the Palmer Chapel in Cataloochee — no matter what you pick, you’re sure to love discovering the history of the Smoky Mountains when you visit historic buildings in the park.
With all these awesome choices of what to do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll have no shortage of incredible adventures when you visit! So what are you waiting for? Find your perfect cabin in the Smokies today and start planning your next getaway!