horse in a pasture surrounded by mountains

6 Awesome Things to Do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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August 2, 2023

When you come to stay in the Smokies, one of the best things to do nearby is to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park! With an abundance of outdoor activities, it’s no wonder it’s the most visited national park in the United States! If you’re wondering what you should do when you visit the park, check out these suggestions for awesome things to do at Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

1. See the Wildlife

bear in woods

There are lots of animals that call Great Smoky Mountains National Park home, including black bears and white-tailed deer. When you visit the park, you can take advantage of opportunities to spot these amazing creatures in their natural habitat! One of the most popular spots in the park to see the animals is at Cades Cove, where the wide open fields provide excellent sighting opportunities. Just make sure to bring binoculars or a telescope and don’t approach the animals!

2. Go Hiking

With over 850 miles of hiking trails to explore, Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers no shortage of amazing opportunities to immerse yourself in the natural environment of the Smokies. Admire a magnificent waterfall when you hike Laurel Falls Trail, or bring the whole family to the moderate Sugarland Valley Nature Trail! There are hikes that vary in difficulty and length, ensuring that everyone can find a trail that suits them. Whether you’re interested in exploring old growth forests or magnificent waterfalls, there is a trail for you at Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

3. Take a Scenic Drive

newfound gap road

If you want to explore the beauty of the park without leaving the comfort of your vehicle, there are some amazing scenic drives to enjoy at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the most popular drives is the Newfound Gap Road, which offers fantastic mountain views. Another popular drive is Clingmans Dome Road, offering access to the highest observation point in the park! No matter which scenic drive you choose to embark on, you’re sure to love admiring the gorgeous Smoky Mountains.

4. Go Fishing

Fishing is allowed year-round in all streams of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, making it a perfect activity to enjoy when you visit! You are allowed to fish from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, just make sure to abide by daily catch limits and remember that a valid Tennessee or North Carolina license is required to fish in the park.

5. Discover Historic Buildings

palmer chapel

There are several historic buildings located within Great Smoky Mountains National Park that offer a glimpse into the lives of the settlers that lived here long ago. Stop by Cataloochee and check out the Messer Barn and Palmer Chapel while learning about the lives of those who once lived there. Another spot that’s great for exploring historic buildings is Cades Cove, where several churches have been preserved as well as an old schoolhouse! History buffs will love discovering these well-preserved historic structures here at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

6. Ride on Horseback

If you’re looking for a new way to explore the Smoky Mountains, consider taking a ride on horseback ! There are several riding stables located throughout the park including at Cades Cove, Smokemont, and Sugarland. You’ll love exploring the park on a guided horseback ride, or you can even bring your own horse with you at designated access points!

With these great activities, you’re sure to have a blast discovering Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Whether you choose to explore the trails, take a scenic drive, go for a horseback ride, or decide to do something else entirely, you’re sure to have an amazing time discovering this natural wonderland. Plus, when you stay at one of our cabin rentals, you can be located right near the park where you’ll enjoy convenient access! Browse our selection of cabins today and start planning your next trip to the beautiful Smoky Mountains!

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