The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited National Park in the United States. It has more than 12 million visitors every year. Many major tourism platforms rank it as one of the best places to visit in the world.
Visiting it is a no-brainer. Nothing compares to being surrounded by southern charm, rich history, and beautiful wildlife. You’ll unwind and feel your dopamine and serotonin levels going up just by looking at all the park offers.
Here are some reasons why you should visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park on your next vacation. So, without further ado, let us get straight to the topic.
1. Great For Some Family Time
If you want to spend some quality time with your family and connect with them on a much deeper scale, a visit to the Smokys is all that you need. The park offers various fun activities to families and ensures that everyone there, whether an adventurist or a history geek, has a great time.
Make sure you choose the right lodging option for you and your family. We recommend that you go for cabins as they are spacious and ensure that everyone has their own space. Moreover, you can have fun with your family without compromising your privacy. Hence, look for cabin rentals for large groups so you and your children can enjoy the country’s charm in all its glory.
You can go for a hike or rafting in the rivers. You can also go camping, fishing, or horseback riding. These are just some of the few things you can do with your family there. All these activities ensure you spend memorable moments with each other, those you’d never forget.
2. Diverse Wildlife
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is said to be one of the most biodiverse parks in the National Park System. It has 65 species of mammals, 200 different birds, 80 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 67 fish species.
With such a diversity of wildlife, it isn’t surprising that people come from far and wide to visit the park.
The most common animal in the Smokys is the Black Bears. They are also home to raccoons, white-tailed deer, birds, and many more. However, you need to ensure that you stay safe. Hence, follow all the guidelines by the park management and rangers for your safety.
You’ll feel exhilarated when you spot them. If you love animals, the Smoky Mountains are the safest place to see them in their natural habitat.
3. The Park Is Free
Believe it or not, the Great Smoky Mountain Park is completely free. If you want to save money but want a lot of fun, this is the best place. There is no entrance fee for entering the park.
This comes as a surprise to a lot of people because every other National Park in the world charges a specific fee for entrance. The park receives donations and funds from different organizations that ensure that the park stays in top shape. There is a brilliant backstory behind this.
When the government acquired the Newfound Gap Road in the 1930s for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the primary condition on the deed was that there would never be a toll. This is even true today.
4. Gorgeous Hiking Trails
The park has 800 to 850 hiking trails for its visitors to explore. You’ll see stunning waterfalls, beautiful wildflowers, and wild animals roaming the park. There are over 150 trails in the park that you can explore with friends and family. It would be best if you took a guide with you for a better experience.
Some popular destination hikes are the Alum Cave Bluffs, Rainbow Falls, Chimney Tops, and Andrew Bald with the Park. People enjoy these the most. You’ll see that everyone can opt for one trail or more depending on their expertise in hiking. There are hiking trails for kids as well as for professional hikers.
5. Rich History and Culture
The Great Smoky Mountains are a significant part of Tennessee’s history. The park is home to approximately 90 historical structures that are preserved. They are renovated and rehabilitated every now and then.
The park was inhabited by different agriculturists and was a county in which hundreds of people resided.
Today, you can see these buildings in all their glory; churches, houses, barns, and even mills and schools have been rehabilitated in a way that adds essence to their rustic charm.
A drive down Cades Cove will show you several abandoned buildings and trails that had been in use back in the day.
6. Stunning Scenery
The park is filled with stunning scenery and a breathtaking view of the mountains. It has lush greenery for as far as the eyes can see. Whether spring or fall, it is a spectacular sight for everyone.
You’ll see various flowers, especially Flame Azaleas, Mountain Laurels, and Rhododendrons. You can hike up the trails or even drive through Cades Cove to see the Great Smokys in all their glory.
7. Create Everlasting Memories
You and your loved ones will most definitely make a lot of beautiful new memories. The various trails, bustling southern life, and stunning scenery make it hard for you to leave.
You can capture them in the form of photographs or videos so you can reflect on them and reminisce. We recommend carrying your camera instead of your phone to avoid distractions. You can also hire a professional photographer to capture your special moments and fully enjoy the trip.
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a wonder in itself. It helps you unwind from all the commitments of your urban life. Its stunning scenery and bustling wildlife remain ingrained in your brain forever.
You and your family will have a fantastic time there. Be sure to visit Cades Cove and various historical landmarks in the park for a better experience. Don’t forget hiking and taking candid photographs to live these moments again.