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10 Of The Best Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains

Nestled along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains offer a breathtaking natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With its diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, the Smokies beckon visitors to explore and discover a wealth of unforgettable experiences. Here are ten of the best things to do in this iconic mountain range.

1. Hiking

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts a vast network of hiking trails, catering to all skill levels. From leisurely strolls to challenging treks, there’s a trail for everyone. Explore the park’s lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic vistas while immersing yourself in the beauty of nature.

2. Scenic Drives

Embark on a scenic drive along the Newfound Gap Road or the Cades Cove Loop Road to marvel at the stunning landscapes of the Smokies. Admire rolling mountains, verdant valleys, and meandering streams as you traverse these picturesque routes.

3. Wildlife Viewing

Keep your eyes peeled for the diverse wildlife that calls the Smoky Mountains home. Spot black bears, white-tailed deer, elk, and a myriad of bird species as you venture through the park’s trails and scenic areas.

4. Waterfall Chasing

Discover the enchanting waterfalls scattered throughout the Smokies. From the iconic Laurel Falls to the majestic Abrams Falls and the picturesque Grotto Falls, each waterfall offers a captivating setting for picnics, photography, and quiet contemplation.

5. Cades Cove

Immerse yourself in the rich history and natural beauty of Cades Cove, a historic valley renowned for its scenic vistas and well-preserved buildings. Explore historic churches, log cabins, and a working grist mill as you wander through this picturesque landscape.

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6. Wildflower Viewing

Visit the Smokies in the spring or summer to witness the vibrant display of wildflowers that blanket the mountainsides. From delicate trilliums to cheerful mountain laurels, the park’s diverse flora offers a feast for the eyes.

7. Picnicking

Take advantage of the park’s designated picnic areas and enjoy a leisurely meal surrounded by nature. Situated amidst stunning mountain backdrops, these scenic spots provide the perfect setting for a relaxing outdoor dining experience.

8. Fishing

Cast your line into one of the park’s pristine streams or rivers and try your hand at trout fishing. Whether you prefer fly fishing or spin fishing, the Smokies offer abundant opportunities for anglers of all skill levels.

9. Visitor Centers

Stop by one of the park’s visitor centers to learn about the area’s natural and cultural history. Pick up trail maps and guides, participate in ranger-led programs, and gain insight into the wonders of the Smoky Mountains.

10. Camping

Experience the magic of the Smokies under the stars by camping in one of the park’s campgrounds. Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, the park offers a range of options to suit every camping style.