Great Smoky Mountain Vacations

The National Park

Ridges of endless forest straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina comprise Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the largest national park east of the Mississippi. The park encompasses over one-half million acres of panoramic views, uninterrupted forest and pristine mountain streams, and provides an important link to the history of the Southern Appalachian area.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park greets over nine million visitors each year, Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited park in the country. It offers over 850 miles of hiking trails, including 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail which runs along the park’s top ridge. For those who prefer to do their exploring by motor vehicle, the park also has 270 miles of road.

The Great Smoky Mountains are home to a wide diversity of life. Over 10,000 species of plants and animals have been documented in the park, and scientists estimate an additional 90,000 may also live here. In addition, one of the largest collections of preserved historic log buildings exists in the park and provides a glimpse into the lives of the mountain people who settled this area.

In addition to hiking and motor trails, Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides many other recreational opportunities. Waterfalls are very common in the Smokies. Meighs Falls can be seen from the road. All others require some amount of hiking to reach. Bicycles, although not suitable for some of the park’s busier roads, can provide a safe and enjoyable activity if limited to specified areas such as Cades Cove Loop. There are several commercial horseback riding stables in the park. Picnic areas abound; most with pavilions that can be reserved in advance.

So again, welcome to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is your park. Enjoy it. Preserve it. Your children and their children should also have the opportunity enjoy nature like is presented nowhere else on Earth!

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