3 Ways to Explore the Great Smoky Mountains
The Appy Lodge sits in the heart of Gatlinburg, TN. We are within minutes of an unlimited amount of restaurants, shops and attractions that will make your trip unforgettable and filled with lifelong memories. Some of those memories, however, can only be made in America’s most loved national park. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located just 10 minutes from our hotel. To help you make the most of your time at the park, we’ve made a list of the top ways you can explore the Smoky Mountains while being a guest at our hotel in Gatlinburg.
1. Explore the Trails
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is made up of over 500,000 acres with close to 900 miles of trails. During your stay our hotel, take time to find a trail that’s perfect for you! You’ll find trails for all fitness levels and with features from waterfalls to views. Laurel Falls Trail is a popular trail. The trail is paved and is 2.3 miles round-trip to Laurel Falls and back. If you’re looking for a more challenging trail, Alum Cave Trail is packed full of views, geological features and can be hiked just to the Alum Cave Bluffs and back or to Mount LeConte. Our hotel in downtown Gatlinburg is minutes from numerous trails. However, during your stay, it would only be fit for you to explore the Appalachian Trail. Roam our hallways and learn the story of the AT, then explore a section of the Appalachian Trail yourself. Do you need info on the trail or hiking gear before you head out for your adventure? Visit our friends at NOC Gatlinburg. When you’re finished with your hike, come back to your room, get cleaned up in our walk-in showers and then get a good night’s rest before moving on to your next adventure!
2. Explore the Streams
With over 2,000 miles of streams running through the Smokies, it’s clearly a destination for those that seek adventure in or on the water. Cast your worries away in 1,000 miles of trout-filled water or load up the kayak with a few friends for a ride down the river. In the warmer months, you’ll find a spot for wading and swimming around every curve. If you’re not up for getting wet, simply find a tranquil spot and just enjoy your time in the park. You may even get to see a few the residents playing. Once almost gone from the park, the North American River Otter was reintroduced to the park in the 1990s and has been thriving since. Keep your eyes open along the streams and you just might get to see a family of them playing and enjoying their day.
3. Explore the Roads
The park is absolutely stunning even if you just choose to take a drive. Drive up Newfound Gap Road to soak up the views from higher elevations. In the warmer months, cruise the Roaring Fork Motor Trail or take a drive around Cades Cove. The Cades Cove Loop is open year round from sunrise to sunset and after 10 a.m on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting in May and running through September. The Foothills Parkway is also an excellent drive with magnificent views! After waiting for over 50 years until completion, in the autumn of 2018, the missing link of the parkway was opened and is now accessible to drivers. You’ll find plenty of areas to pull off, nature trails to explore and quiet walkways to take a break from the drive as well.
Regardless of how you decide to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can’t go wrong! We would love for you to be our guests when you visit and surround yourself with the magic of the hills and valleys that we are blessed to call home. Let our Gatlinburg hotel be your home away from home! Choose the room that’s perfect for you, play in our indoor and outdoor pool, workout in the gym, relax by the fireplace, enjoy your in-room amenities and join us for a complimentary breakfast each morning.
Wondering what you’ll see while you explore? Check out these places to find hidden gems in the Smoky Mountains!
We look forward to seeing you! Browse our Gatlinburg hotel rooms and book your stay.