Great Smoky Mountain National Park
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in all of America, and for good reason too! This gorgeous and mountainous park straddles the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee, a sprawling landscape filled with lush forests, wildflowers, streams, rivers, waterfalls, and abundant scenic hiking trails. The entire park encompasses an impressive 815 square miles, most of those miles filled with the absolutely breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Great Smoky Mountains also contains a significant segment of the Appalachian Trail, with a culture-filled history and local impact you will honestly have to see to believe. While here learn all about the park’s history of prehistoric Paleo-Indians, melting glaciers, and early European settlers, as well as loggers and NPS protection and conservation. There are several historic homes and structures that will help shed light on such things, as well as several information kiosks and a visitor center. In fact, if you have time you may want to stop at Sugarlands Visitor Center before you set off on a hike or tour to get some quick facts, park maps and brochures, and learn all about the beautiful land surrounding the mountains!
There are several different activities you and your group can do while visiting the national park, such as informative and scenic auto tours, biking, hiking, horseback riding, sightseeing in general, and even various daily offered workshops and classes. This is a truly educational opportunity as the entire park is steeped in cultural and ecological information that serves as an excellent Tennessee resource for learning. See for yourself why this place is world-renowned for the diversity of local flora and fauna, an unmatched temperate climate setting with over 17,000 documented species to date, with several more undiscovered or undocumented. See the well-preserved remnants of the southern Appalachian culture, the historic homes of Cades Cove, or even the amazing and unbeatable scenic vistas from the top of the observation tower on Clingmans Dome, the highest peak within the misty mountains. You may even see one of the park's many local residents, the wild black bear! Bring your best boots, a camera to capture it all, and maybe even a picnic to enjoy at the Chimneys!