Exploring the National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, its beautiful ancient mountains and the quality of its rem ants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, it is no wonder this is America's most visited national park.  The national park offers a wide variety of activities for children and adults of all ages.

The national park encompasses more than 800 miles of rustic mountain ranges.  An automobile tour of the park offers a variety of experiences from scenic views and flowing mountain streams to weathered historic buildings and hardwood forests stretching to the horizon.  There are 384 miles of road to choose from in the Smokies.  Cades Cove and Roaring Fork Motor Trail are two auto tours that offer both beauty and a tour of the history of the Great Smoky Mountains.

If you are not looking for a relaxing day in the car and would rather work up a sweat, then the 11-mile Cades Cove Loop is a popular bicycling area.  It provides bicyclists with excellent up close views of wildlife and touring 19th century home sites.  During the summer and fall months, bikes may be rented at the Cades Cove Campground Store.

Fishing is permitted year round in the park, from 30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after.  The national park has about 2115 miles of streams within its boundaries and protects one the last wild trout habitats in the eastern United States.  The Smokies offer a wide variety of fishing experiences from remote, trout streams to large, cool water small mouth bass streams.  Most streams offer a great opportunity to catch these species throughout the year.  For a complete list of regulations and a map of fishable park waters you can visit any visitor center or ranger station.

Hiking is one of the most popular ways to explore the Smokies.  Hikers can enjoy the beautiful mountains all months of the year.  The winter offers more views of vistas along trails because of the absence of the leaves.  Spring brings out the wildflowers and flowering trees.  During the summer, hikers can hike along streams and waterfalls and take a dip in the mountain streams.  The fall is probably the prettiest of them all.  Fall is filled with crisp dry air and a wide range of fall colors to enjoy.

How do you like to explore the Smoky Mountains National Park?  Please share your adventures with us.


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