You’ll get a magical feeling in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’re in the presence of something fresh and, yet, ancient. The oldest mountains in the world. A preserve of wildflowers, old-growth forests and rushing mountain streams. The Smokies. It’s the ultimate getaway.
Bring your camera. The park has panoramic vistas with cascading rivers and majestic forests. Venture out on horseback at Sugarlands, and then cool off by rafting the Pigeon River. Cycle the 11-mile Cades Cove loop for some of the park’s best wildlife viewing. Learn about cantilevered barns and that mysterious blue haze over the mountains. Take the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage to see 1,600 kinds of flowering plants. Study the wildlife. In addition to the 1,500 bears in the park, the Smokies has more salamanders than anywhere else on earth!
Hike Abrams Falls and Mt. LeConte. Find a waterfall. The Smokies is a hiker’s paradise with more than 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short walks to strenuous treks that call for backcountry camping. The Appalachian Trail gives you a unique perspective with 70 miles of crestline trail. Cosby, with great campgrounds and a spacious picnic area, is a favorite among locals for the popular day hike to Sutton Ridge Overlook’s spectacular panorama.
Visit the charming mountain town of Gatlinburg, filled with shops and places to play. Be sure to stop in Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and other attractions. Try skiing or the luge at Ober Gatlinburg. Travel the talent-rich, eight-mile loop of Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, the largest group of independent artisans in North America. Take time to appreciate the lost arts here, and take home a treasure.
In Pigeon Forge, Dolly Parton’s Splash Country is a guaranteed good time with waves of fun. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at the Island gives a bird’s-eye view of the area. Go upside down at WonderWorks or get lost in the stories of the Titanic. Play the day away at arcades and games centers. Try zip lining or whitewater rafting.
Savor the Smokies at Blackberry Farm, a luxury hotel and resort on a 4,200-acre estate. You’ll experience a gracious taste of genteel hospitality and a feast of farm-to-table Southern cuisine. Visit the less-traveled Townsend, on “the peaceful side of the Smokies.” A lifetime of adventure is here in the Smokies.