The Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Our Most Visited National Park
By Alan LeStourgeon
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in southeastern Tennessee and borders North Carolina on its western side. The parked was so named because of the perpetual haze that lingers over the valleys and peaks that make up this part of the Appalachian Mountains.
Smoky Mountain National Park covers more than half a million acres and is home to a large diversity of wildlife and more than four thousand species of plants. Black bears can be seen on many of the trails in the park and quite frequently in Cades Cove and some campgrounds. Despite their rather cute appearance, they are not to be messed with.
Once a part of the Cherokee Indian homeland, the Smokies today are a hiker's paradise with over 800 miles of trails within the borders of the park. There are all classes of hiking trails for those that are just out for a nature walk to those that are serious hikers and climbers. You can even get backcountry permits to hike some of the more obscure trails not open to the general public.
The park is the most visited National Park in the entire United States with more than nine million visitors each year. You will want to plan out your adventure through the park as traffic can get quite congested in some of the more popular areas of the park, especially during the more popular summer months.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is serviced by the towns of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Townsend on the Tennessee side and by Maggie Valley and Cherokee on the North Carolina side. Each town offers a diverse mixture of activities, shopping, dining, lodging and of course, great southern hospitality.
Smoky Mountain National Park is also home to Cades Cove, one of the most serene and picturesque locations in the eastern United States. Cades Cove is a must see if you are anywhere near the Smoky Mountains on your vacation. The highlight of Cades Cove is the 11 mile loop that encircles the valley. To catch a glimpse of some of the Smokies wildlife, plan your trip around the loop road early in the morning or at dusk.
You will be able step back in history and enjoy the pioneer spirit for a few hours or a full day when you visit Cades Cove. Don't miss it.
There are an endless amount of activities to enjoy while visiting the Smoky Mountain National Park such as hiking as I mentioned earlier, biking, camping, wildlife watching, tubing and white water rafting and much more.
Come to the Smokies and experience the reason more than 9 million people vacation in this serene mountain paradise each and every year.
Alan LeStourgeon operates a vacation rental web site where you can find comfortable cabin rentals, recreational and hiking vacation information and information on Cades Cove TN.
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