Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in America. Incredible scenic views & sunsets, forests & mountains, streams, waterfalls and hiking trails. Wildlife in abundance, and black bears in the wild. Synchronous fireflies. Wildflowers. And the amazing fall colors.

Driving in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Taking a scenic drive is one of the easiest and most rewarding things you can do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With almost 400 miles of roadway in the park and the surrounding scenic area, you can drive to specific locations to enjoy, as well as tour through steadily changing vistas of great beauty…. Read more »

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail – Just Outside of Gatlinburg

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a remarkable accomplishment by the National Park Service, a slow and easy drive through nature that’s as richly rewarding as a hike or nature ramble, with beautiful scenic views, along a mountain river and through lush forest teeming with wildlife, but in the comfort of your car. Situated just… Read more »

Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

great smoky mountains national park map

The park has over 150 maintained hiking trails, offering more than 850 miles of hiking. Here’s our definitive guide to hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including a trail map of the national park, links and resources, most popular trails – AND the hidden gems, easy strolls, nature trails and best hikes…Read more »

The Nature Trails of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Nature Trails of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are short and fairly easy trails developed by park rangers with the non-hiker in mind. They’re self-guiding, and some even have brochures that point out the many things to notice. Even though many of them are quite easy, and suitable for families with small children and… Read more »

Waterfalls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has over 2,000 miles of running water, and its folded topography allows for rocky slopes at every elevation and almost literally around every corner. Water plus sloping rock equals waterfall – and the park has them in abundance. Gatlinburg is the center for visiting these falls…Read more »

The Quiet Walkways of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Quiet Walkways of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are short and relatively easy trails that lead directly from the road and plunge quickly into selected areas of natural beauty. They offer a peaceful and rewarding experience, and some of them are easy enough for any non-hiker to take a walk in the woods…Read more »

Chimneys Picnic Area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Chimneys Picnic Area is a popular section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park with parking, picnic tables, grills and bathrooms. On Hwy 441 between Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC, easily accessible from both sides of the park, it has 68 picnic sites, some directly on the riverside, and shady spots to relax in…Read more »

Little River Trail – An Easy and Fun Walk

Little River Trail is perfect for people with no hiking experience. We recommend it for families, and all ages, although not suitable for baby strollers or wheelchairs. There’s no need for hiking boots or any gear beyond a small backpack, some water bottles, and maybe some snacks. Sneakers and shorts is fine…Read more »

Cataract Falls – Super Easy Waterfall and Super Fun

Cataract Falls is one of several natural waterfalls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that can be accessed via a hiking trail. This particular trail is a short and easy walk, which means it’s a great option for all the family, including small children who may tire easily, and inexperienced hikers. The Smoky Mountains teems… Read more »

Little River Road: Filled With Scenic Wonders

Little River Road is best known as the road to Cades Cove from Gatlinburg. It starts at Sugarlands Visitor Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just a very short drive south from Gatlinburg and meanders along the Little River, offering spectacular scenery, overlooks, waterfalls and other natural attractions…Read more »

Fall Colors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Autumn leaf color changes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is for many people the event of the year. The rolling mountain landscape forested with more than 100 varieties of trees provides a display of changing colors that lasts for almost 7 weeks. (For tips on where to go to view the colors, see our… Read more »

Laurel Falls: Easy, Awesome (and VERY Popular)

Laurel Falls Trail is one of the most well known hiking trails in the national park, and it leads to the beautiful 80-foot titular falls that are on many visitors’ must-see lists. This is a fairly easy trail – possibly the easiest one leading to a great waterfall. It’s a paved path that features relatively… Read more »

Meigs Creek Trail: Leading to Meigs Falls and Beyond

From one of the most popular swimming holes in the Smokies to a majestic waterfall and more, Meigs Creek Trail has plenty to offer in terms of diverse scenery and unique experiences. Find out more about what awaits you throughout this lovely hike and learn how you can make the most of your time around… Read more »

Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is allowed year-round, every day, from 30 minutes before until 30 minutes after official sunrise and sunset respectively. The park is one of the last habitats in the eastern US for wild trout.   The park doesn’t stock fish, but with almost 3,000 miles of running water throughout… Read more »

Camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Camping is abundant in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the options range from rugged to luxurious. Full information on the variety of options and campsites can be found at the park’s website. Here’s our quick guide to all your options. Backcountry camping involves hiking to a camp site located deep in the park away… Read more »

Mount LeConte and Its Many Trails and Attractions

In a region defined by its rolling peaks and captivating scenery, Mount LeConte holds a special place for many visitors to the Smoky Mountains. While its summit is not quite the tallest point in the range, Mount LeConte is enjoyed for the numerous hiking opportunities that surround it. The trails offer a plethora of excellent… Read more »

Fern Branch Falls and Porters Creek Trail: Great Trail, Great Waterfall

Fern Branch Falls is a beautiful 50-foot waterfall that lies along Porters Creek Trail, which is a moderately difficult 4-mile round-trip (2 miles each way) hike in the eastern part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This trail features some wonderful natural scenery and is one of the less traveled trails that you can drive… Read more »

Rich Mountain Road: A Secluded Drive Through The Smokies

Rich Mountain Road offers an alternative way to leave Cades Cove if you want to take a break from the traffic. It’s a one-way, 7-mile journey on a twisting gravel road that leads to Townsend. The road winds through quiet forest that often features excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature photography…Read more »

Spruce Flats Falls: Beauty Worth Hiking For

Waterfalls are one of the most popular sights to visit in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you’re in the mood for discovery, one of the hidden gems of the park requires a short – but tricky – hike with some beautiful views, on a less well known trail that leads to a stunningly beautiful waterfall. This is Spruce Flats Falls trail…Read more »

Abrams Falls – One of the Park’s Most Photogenic Waterfalls

Abrams Falls is a beautiful natural water feature in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located near the popular Cades Cove area. Getting there requires a moderately difficult hike, but the path covers some tranquil wilderness in the park that gives you a true sense of the Smokies. And the reward is one of the most… Read more »

Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area and Trail

From the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area you can access the Metcalf Bottoms trail, which is an easy-to-moderate hike that goes 1.5 miles out and back (3 miles round trip) and should be passable for almost all members of the family. The trail meanders along the river and provides views of some of the classic rolling… Read more »

Ramsey Cascades – Spectacular Falls, Tough Trail, Scenic Area

Even in an area known for its abundance of beautiful waterfalls, Ramsey Cascades stands out as one of the premier attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains. Not only are the falls themselves the tallest in the park and among the most beautiful, but the hiking trail that takes you there is a worthy experience all… Read more »

Alum Cave Bluffs and Trail

One of the premier hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Alum Cave Trail. This popular trail features dramatic views and unique natural features, and culminates in a vista at Alum Cave Bluffs that will give you memories for life, and will leave you wanting to return. Enjoy a challenging and rewarding hike… Read more »

Mouse Creek Falls: Easy Trail, Good Swimming Hole

Mouse Creek Falls stands at 45-feet high, and showcases gentle cascades of mountain water coming down an impressive rock face. It features an easy trail and a nice swimming hole along the way. You’ll be treated to some spectacular views of this natural beauty, so be sure to bring a camera to get some memorable… Read more »

Chimney Tops Trail: Views Worth Working Hard For

The twin peaks of Chimney Tops present some of the finest panoramic views in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Chimney Tops trail is one of the most popular trails in the park, and yet it’s not exactly easy. Although fairly short, the trail is very steep and quite challenging, but the rewards are what people… Read more »

Curry Mountain Trail: Close to Metcalf Bottoms

Curry Mountain Trail is a moderate, 3.3-mile (6.6 mi round trip) hiking trail near the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This trail is known for its solitude and copious wildflowers, and it is worth checking out if you are looking for a quiet hike in the wilderness. Embark on a… Read more »

Hen Wallow Falls

Hen Wallow Falls and the Gabes Mountain Trail that lead out to it are located near Cosby, TN, a beautiful section of the northeastern area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the main benefits of this area is that it is generally a little less crowded than some of the more popular spots… Read more »

Exploring the Tremont Area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Tremont area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beautiful place to drive, hike, fish, swim and simply enjoy the outstanding natural scenery and the quiet. There are many destinations and points of interest within the area, each one in itself enough to make memories to take away from your visit. Tremont Road… Read more »

Elkmont Campground Area – the Hub of Many Scenic Attractions

Elkmont Campground is the largest tent and RV campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and also the closest to Gatlinburg, 8 miles away. The campground is also beautiful, in a gorgeous setting. With the Little River and Jakes Creek running through it, Elkmont offers some riverfront camp sites out of its 220 pads for… Read more »

Exploring the Greenbrier Area: Close Yet Deep in Nature

The Greenbrier area is a less visited part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park that offers captivatingly beautiful views, and water to play in or simply gaze at, all in a peaceful and heavily forested setting. Greenbrier Road is an easy access from central Gatlinburg, but rapidly plunges deep into the forest silence broken only… Read more »

The Cosby Area – Beautiful, Peaceful and Almost Magical

The Cosby area on the eastern side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park doesn’t get as much attention as some of the park’s more world-famous landmarks, but people who explore this scenic wonderland like it that way. Many of the star attractions of Cosby, such as the Cosby Picnic Area and various hiking trails, see… Read more »

Indian Flats Falls in the Tremont Area

Indian Flats Falls is a captivating destination, with a fairly easy hike alongside a creek, cascades and bridges along the way, and a beautiful, four-tier cascading waterfall that drops modestly a total of 60 feet across all the tiers. Indian Flats Falls has a distinctive beauty that makes it a destination worth visiting. This is… Read more »

Baskins Creek Falls: A Less Visited Waterfall

Baskins Creek Falls is a less visited waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, at the end of a 1.5-mile one-way, moderate hiking trail. It’s a great waterfall to visit if you prefer avoiding crowds and are willing to do some hiking, but the trip itself requires some planning. Hike to one of the lesser… Read more »

Black Bears & Wildlife in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to over 1,500 black bears in the wild. With ten million human visitors each year, the park pulls off a remarkable feat keeping the wildlife wild, and the humans tame – so we guests in the park don’t damage the animals, their well being or their habitat. Everyone… Read more »