Top 5 Things to Do at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
When you stay at The Appy Lodge, you’ll be just 2 miles away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! This is the best place to visit during your vacation. Not only will you be able to experience the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains, but there are so many activities for you to enjoy. Here are the top 5 things to do at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
1. Explore the Appalachian Trail
Of course one of the best things to do in the park is explore the Appalachian Trail! The Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, and crosses through 14 different states! Seventy-one of its 2,190 miles runs through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Though the portion of the trail that runs through the national park takes about 7 days to complete, you can still explore parts of the trail during your stay with us! One of the most visited points along the trail is Clingman’s Dome, which is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From the Clingman’s Dome observation tower, you can see 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains.
2. Hike to Waterfalls
Another great way to enjoy the Smoky Mountains is to go for a hike! The national park has more than 850 miles of hiking trails. Some of the most popular trails in the park have gorgeous, cascading waterfalls for you to admire. To see the highest waterfall in the park, hike the Ramsey Cascades Trail, which leads to a beautiful sight of water dropping 100 feet over rocks and collecting in a small pool at the bottom. You can also hike to Grotto Falls, which is a 25-foot-high waterfall that you can walk behind, and Laurel Falls, which is an 80-foot-high waterfall with both an upper and lower section that is divided by a walkway.
3. Enjoy a Picnic
You’re bound to work up quite the appetite after all your exploring in the park! Pack some snacks or a meal to enjoy in one of the many designated picnic areas. Picnic sites have a picnic table for you to sit at and a raised grill for cooking some hot dogs or hamburgers! If you’re visiting with a group, you can even reserve a picnic pavilion!
4. Keep an Eye Out for Wildlife
One of the most popular things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is wildlife viewing! The Smoky Mountains are home to a variety of animals, including about 65 species of mammals, more than 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians. You have a chance to spot wildlife wherever you are in the park, but one of the best places to see them are in Cades Cove. When you drive along the Cades Cove Loop Road, you can spot black bears, white-tailed deer, turkeys, skunks and more, all from the comfort of your car!
5. Go Fishing
With about 2,900 miles of streams, the national park is also a great place to go fishing! It is home to one of the last wild trout habitats in the eastern United States, and about 20 percent of the park’s streams are big enough to support trout populations! You can fish in any of the park’s streams year-round, from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. There are a wide variety of angling experiences, from remote, headwater trout streams, to large, coolwater smallmouth bass streams!
Where to Stay
The best place to stay to try all of these amazing things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is The Appy Lodge! We have rooms available for every occasion, from a romantic getaway to a family vacation. Not only will you love our comfortable guest rooms, but you’ll love all our amazing amenities! You can enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast, an indoor and outdoor pool, free parking and being within walking distance to popular attractions.
Browse our rooms at our Gatlinburg hotel and book your vacation to try these top things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!