Location: Tennessee & North Carolina
Park Tally: 17/59
Positioning: Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies within heaven Ridge Mountains of eastern Tennessee and also western North Carolina. These famous mountains and connected beautiful parkway belong to the Appalachian Mountains. The artistic community of Gatlinburg can be discovered nearby the Sugarlands entry of the park, and the hipster community of Asheville is within an hr drive from the Oconaluftee entrance.
The globe popular Appalachian Path runs straight with the Great Smoky Mountains for 72 miles, with numerous choices to thru-hike or area hike the beautiful route. The park offers nature lovers an abundance of exterior tasks, tracks, chances as well as camping areas to check out wild animals. We invested 3 evenings checking out the park and loved the surroundings within mins of getting here.
The majority of iconic sight: Located roughly in the center of the park, Clingmans Dome is the highest point (6643ft) as well as perhaps one of the most well-known attributes of the Great Smoky Mountains. Visitors can access the dome via a high 1-mile roundtrip hike from the parking lot (not suitable for mobile devices or the majority of infant strollers).
At the top, walkers are treated to 360 level views of the park and beyond. There is also a Visitor Center on the path that goes to those wanting to ask ranger concerns or acquisition souvenirs. Note— the roadway to Clingmans Dome is closed from December 1 through March 31 because of winter months weather.
Accessible task: Cade’s Cove is a genuine treasure and should be visited by all who travel to the Smokies. The one-way 11-mile road takes visitors on a wonderful journey through rich fields, by historical structures, under canopied trees and in the darkness of beautiful mountain landscapes. We saw countless black bears, whitetail deer and also coyotes during our time exploring the location. There are numerous pull-outs that permit visitors to check out the historical buildings (mills, churches, stables, houses) and hike different trails.
For the daring: As mentioned above, the Appalachian Route is a popular 2,180-mile walk that runs through the Smokies. Many individuals choose to section-hike the 72-miles that run through the National Park. It generally takes section-hikers around 7 days to pass through the Smoky Mountains area of the Appalachian Trail.
Ideal photo opportunities: Great Smoky Mountains National Forest is extremely photogenic. A few of our favorite spots were ‘golden hour’ as well as the sunset at Clingmans Dome, sunrise at Oconaluftee Overlook as well as morning light around Cade’s Cove.