You have so many fun things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains! You may have a hard time deciding which one you want to do first, but you can definitely do all of them during your trip! From hiking to fishing, there are plenty of ways to get outside and enjoy the mountains! Check out these top 4 things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains:
1. Go Hiking
The most popular activity in the national park is hiking. There are over 800 miles of hiking trails. If you’ve never been hiking before, there are plenty of easy trails you can go on. You’ll also find moderate and difficult trails for more experienced hikers. Not only can you choose trails based on their difficulty level, you can also choose based on what you want to see. There are trails with waterfalls, mountain views, and wildflowers. You can even choose what trail you want to explore based on an area in the national park. There are several hiking trails in Cades Cove, near Gatlinburg, or close to the North Carolina border. Your whole family will have a blast exploring the Smokies by going on a hike!
2. Have a Picnic
A great thing to do in the Great Smoky Mountains with your family is to have a picnic! In the spring, summer, and fall, you will see so many families eating together in picnic areas throughout the park. One of the most popular places to have a picnic in the park is the Cades Cove picnic area. There are 81 sites with picnic tables and charcoal grills. You can use the grills, but you have to bring your own charcoal and cleaning supplies. Some other popular picnic areas in the Great Smoky Mountains include Greenbrier, Chimney Tops, and Metcalf Bottoms.
3. Take a Drive
Another great way to explore the Smokies is to go for a drive. Many people who can’t or don’t want to go hiking enjoy driving through the Smoky Mountains. There are several popular drives in the national park. The most popular is Cades Cove Loop, which is 11 miles long and goes through a valley surrounded by the mountains. Newfound Gap Road runs from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Cherokee, North Carolina. There are several popular spots along this road and several beautiful overlooks where you can enjoy the mountain views. Foothills Parkway is another popular drive in the Smokies. It’s pretty unique because it’s been under construction for about 75 years, and it still has 33.5 miles left to be finished.
4. Go Fishing
Another fun thing to do in the Great Smoky Mountains is fishing. There are so many different kinds of fish you could catch all throughout the area, such as trout and smallmouth bass. You are allowed to fish in creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes in the national park. It is allowed 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. If you stop along the main roads that follow along a creek, you will see a ton of people wading in the water or standing beside the water with fishing poles. The only requirement is you must have a valid fishing license from Tennessee or North Carolina.
These are just a few of the fun things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains. You can do a different activity every day and have a blast. Want to know what else you can do when you stay with us? Check out these attractions in Gatlinburg for some ideas!