4 Fun Things to Do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The crown jewel of the Smokies is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The most-visited national park in the United States attracts millions of visitors each year thanks to its picturesque mountain views, spectacular wildlife and scenes pulled straight from a nature documentary on Netflix! Located just a short drive from The Park Grill, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park should be at the top of your shortlist of things to explore when you visit. Here are 4 fun things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
1. A Hike Amongst the Beauty
Plenty of adventure for families and folks of all ages awaits inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The national park is home to more than 850 miles of hiking trails that twist and turn through the thick forests, offering plenty of unique things to see along the way including wildlife, wildflowers and even waterfalls! Historical buildings on several hiking trails provide a chance to learn more about the incredible history of the earliest settlers in these parts. These trails range from short and easy for first-timers to long and arduous for the most experienced adventure seekers out there!
2. Scenic Drives
Scenic drives allow visitors to experience much of the same incredible views that exist on a hike through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Scenic drives allow you to stay put in your car while you take it all in, making it a perfect option for people with mobility concerns or for those who just don’t want to get hot and sweaty. The Cades Cove Loop Road is an 11-mile one-way loop offering a beloved combination of views, wildlife and historical structures. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail includes a spectacular waterfall and stream, a cluster of ancient hemlock trees and a historic “tub mill.”
3. Savor the Views From Clingmans Dome
The highest point in the national park is Clingmans Dome at 6,643 feet in elevation. The trail to the Clingmans Dome observation tower is fully paved, unlike the majority of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but is rather steep. Pace yourself along the way so you can savor the views from the top! From the observation tower you can expect incredible views of the national park and the surrounding area. In fact, on an extremely clear day you can look out for as many as 100 miles away!
4. Explore Cades Cove
Chances are you’ve heard about Cades Cove. Everyone loves it! People find that they never run out of fun things to do in Cades Cove, so they keep coming back for more. Rent or bring a bike and cycle through Cades Cove as you spot wildlife such as black bears while enjoying views that bring you the ultimate peace. Historical structures are scattered throughout the Cove and offer a glimpse into life for the earliest settlers. In the spring, wildflowers bloom creating a peaceful paradise full of color. In the fall, the leaves change colors, offering a warm and inviting backdrop for your adventures.
Following a day of exploration in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park you’ll want to refresh and refuel. Stop by The Park Grill where the whole family can kick back and savor a delicious meal! Explore our menu to decide on what Smoky Mountain specialty you’ll enjoy!