Things To Do When You’re In The Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains is a dream come true for adventure seekers. The breathtaking beauty entices everyone to detach themselves from their monotonous routine and surrounds them with nature. The Smokys are constantly re-inventing themselves as the soil erosion, water, and wind continue to shape these timeless mountains.
Called the Smokys because of the ever-present morning fog, this mountain range is famous for its diverse flora and fauna and the beauty of its olden mountains. More than 1500 flowering plants can be spotted in this region, including delicate spring beauties, wild geranium, several types of trillium, orchids, and trout lilies. Inhaling these flowers’ spell-bounding scent is one of the many things travelers enjoy doing when in Smokys.
But this is not all about spending time in the Great Smoky Mountains—care to know more? Continue reading!
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Choose Your Activities Wisely
The Great Smoky Mountain is home to some great outdoor and indoor activities. You can choose any fun-filled activity according to your taste to spend quality time with family. The cherry on the top; you will not regret exploring this town with your kids or grandparents as it has something in store for everyone.
Visitors to the Great Smokys should plan their activities to enjoy the trip. When you’re on vacation, how do you like to have fun? There are many fun-filled and exhilarating things to do in the Smoky Mountains, such as visiting mountain adventure parks, The Island, Elkmont, Cataloochee, and many more. These attractions make holidays more fun.
Below we have mentioned some amazing destinations that you must visit.
1. Climb Clingmans Dome
If you are not petrified of heights, this is for you. Climb this 6,643-foot round-top peak which sits atop the part. Due to the crazy height where it is located, the observation tower offers an expensive view of the surroundings. Smoky mountains’ beauty is breathtaking, making this climb worth the effort.
The best time to visit this peak is early in the morning. As the day progresses, crowds gather. They cannot diminish its beauty; however, the fewer people, the better when it comes to spending time with nature. You can climb Clingmans Dome in spring as well as in winter. During the winter, snowshoers and cross-country skiers also hit these heights to find moments of solitude.
2. Sugarlands visitor center
The Sugarlands visitor center must be one of the stops when visiting the Smokys. The visitor center features animal exhibits, knowledgeable rangers, and an informative museum. You also learn about the park’s natural history; the visitor center screens a 20-minute film about the park. You can stop here during your trip, stretch your legs, and talk to the experts about your itinerary.
Apart from the various ranger-led programs offered in the center, there are gift shops, bookstores, and various other places. The staff at the gift shops is helpful, and the restrooms are clean. However, parking can be an issue if you go during peak season when it is swamped with visitors. So, if you want less crowd, plan your visit accordingly.
3. Visit Cades Cove
It is among the most visited places in the Smokys, roughly 31 miles from Pigeon Forge. This 6,800-acre valley is famous for its spectacular landscapes, jaw-dropping trails, and waterfalls. Cades Cove has the largest variety of historical buildings in the whole park because European settlers settled here in the early 1800s.
As you gradually progress through the area, you will find historic structures such as reinstated churches, pioneer log cabins, and old grist mills. The history of this area is so potent that it has left its marks, and the presence of the past is still felt today through mesmerizing structures and eye-catching details.
Cades Cove is also a hub of the wildlife of the park. If you keep an eye out, you might see a diverse array of animals, from whitetail deer to raccoons to black beers. But if you spot one, don’t approach them. Remember, they are not tamed, and it is their place that you are currently standing on, so maintain some distance for safety.
4. Hiking & Backpacking
The Great Smoky Mountains have 800 miles of trails for hiking lovers, such as the Alum Cave Trail, Andrews Bald Trail, Charlies Bunion Trail, Appalachian Trail, etc. With them, the Smokys have something to offer to everyone. There are old structures and old-growth forests.
Breathtaking mountaintops surround the trails. You will have ample opportunities to sightsee and explore throughout the hiking trip. The journey along one of the picturesque trails is enough to make your trip worthwhile.
Hiking through the Smokys can be very challenging. Therefore, don’t choose any trail that is beyond your fitness level. Feeling overly tired during the trip won’t make it the best experience of your life. Therefore, choose the trail you can hike while keeping the fun element intact.
5. Trek the waterfalls
Hiking the Great Smoky Mountains is a wonderful and enchanting experience as sceneries and sounds of nature encircle you. But the cooing of the birds is not the only sound you will hear. You will hear the sound of waterfalls too. The sound of water falling nearby during the hiking trip sends chills of excitement through your body.
You can select one of the many falls such as Abrams Falls, Baskins Creek Falls, Grotto Falls, and many others. The best time to trek the waterfalls is through summer. The shade from the trees will keep you cool, and a light spritz of water falls over you from the mountain springs during the hike.
As you reach the falls, you will be encompassed by spectacular geological formations. Also, carry your camera and grab a few snapshots behind the falls.
6. Go whitewater rafting
If you are a swashbuckler looking for a pulse-pounding experience, a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains has covered that too with whitewater rafting. Whitewater rafting is like a dream for people looking for adrenaline-pumping activities.
Anyone can enjoy Rafting if they abide by the international Scale of River Difficulty. There are six categories of river difficulty; each category is called a grade. These grades reflect the technical difficulty and the challenge of passing through a particular section of the river. The higher the grade, the more skills you require to pass through that area.
Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains is the decision for enjoying outdoor beauty. The mountain area combines natural beauty, historical heritage, and buildings with contemporary fun. You can hike, sightsee, have picnics, rest, treat your taste buds, and enjoy the best experience of your life in the Smoky Mountains.