The reasons to see anything and everything in Smoky Mountain National Park are extensive. That's why it's America's most visited national park!
The beauty of its age-old mountains, the diversity of plant and animal life, the wonder to be found in the remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture so unique to this place could keep you busy for weeks.
Likely, you won't have that kind of time, so pick from the list of your favorites below and enjoy as much as you can when you come to visit.
1. Camping - Whether you are up for an extended stay after a backpacking trip or an easier adventure in one of the park's developed campgrounds, there are plenty of beautiful places to camp.
2. Hiking - With more than 800 miles of trail - you have hiking options as well. Some are short walkways and other trails are for the hard core hiker who comes prepared for a day or two of fun!
3. Wildlife - Although birds, salamanders and smaller mammals are everywhere, with just a little effort you might see an elk (reintroduced into the park in 2001), white-tailed deer, or black bear.
4. Horses - Literally hundreds of miles of horse trails fill the park and, in addition to that are five drive-in horse camps. Four rental stables provide you with mounts and guides.
5. Picnicking - Picknicking is a quick and gorgeous way to spend an afternoon. Choose from eleven picnic areas and even reserve on in advance!
6. Waterfalls - Cascading waterfalls can be found on nearly every river and stream in the park. Don't miss the perfect photo opportunity on your trip.
7. Wildflowers - Great Smoky Mountains National park is known as "wildflower national park." Spring and summer are renown for spectacular displays of wildflowers along roads and trails.
Don't miss the 63rd Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in late April!
8. Fishing - Fishermen can test their skill with the many varieties here including wily brook, brown, and rainbow trout on the over 700 miles of streams in the park.
9. History - The park has one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Nearly 80 historic structures-homes, barns, churches, schools, and grist mills-have been preserved in the park.
Kids ages 5-12 can earn a Junior Ranger badge by exploring the park.
10. Just Driving Through - An driving tour of the park allows you to see panoramic vistas, cascading mountain rivers, weathered historic buildings, and majestic forests right from your car.
A must for those who are just passing through!
Camping and hiking in the Smoky Mountains requires comfortable and nature-friendly clothing, such as this extra-long V-Neck Top.
Other Camo clothing options here!
Images from the National Park Service