Are you planning on coming to East Tennessee but aren’t sure if you should visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? The national park is one of the major draws of the area, so you should definitely experience it while you’re in town! Here are the top 6 reasons to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
1. No Entrance Fee
The Great Smoky Mountains are one of the most popular national parks to visit, probably because there’s not an entrance fee. Many other national parks in the country have an entrance fee to get into the national park. The Smokies mostly rely on donations from visitors. You can donate online or use the donation boxes found throughout the park.
2. Full of History
If you love history, that’s definitely a reason to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are quite a few historic buildings you can walk through in the park. The oldest cabin in Gatlinburg is still standing at one of the visitor centers. Cades Cove is full of historic buildings, from churches to a still operational grist mill. There are also plenty of historic places along hiking trails and scenic drives.
3. Might See Wildlife
One of the most popular animals in the Smokies is a black bear. Everyone wants to see a black bear! While it’s not promised you’ll see any animals when you visit, there is always a possibility. There are hundreds of animals you could possibly see, such as white tailed deer, owls, eagles, and fish. Cades Cove is one of the top spots to look for wildlife in the park.
4. Wildflowers in the Spring
The Smokies are definitely known for a wide variety of wildflowers, especially in the spring. There’s even a pilgrimage every year where you can walk with other people to spot these beautiful plants. Popular flowers include mountain laurel, rhododendron, and azaleas. You’ll mostly find these flowers along hiking trails.
5. Plenty of Hiking Trails
A major pastime of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hiking. There are over 800 miles of hiking trails in the national park. You can hike to waterfalls, see mountain views, climb to the top of a mountain, and more. They range from easy to moderate to difficult, making it ideal for newbies and avid hikers alike.
6. Scenic Drives
If you aren’t into hiking, you can always explore the national park by taking a scenic drive. Cades Cove is one of the most popular drives in the park. The Roaring Fork Motor trail is another popular drive, with historic buildings and wildlife sighting being a possibility. Foothills Parkway provides incredible mountain views, and Newfound Gap will take you from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Cherokee, North Carolina.
You have plenty of reasons why you should visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you want to stay near the national park, there’s no better place than one of our cabins! Start planning your next trip by booking a Smoky Mountain cabin with us!