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The Appalachian Lodge
Stunning view of the Smoky Mountains from Clingmans Dome.

Great Smoky Mountains is one of the most-visited national parks in the country! Its beauty is unmatched and there are so many ways to experience it. The best part is that when you stay with us at The Appy Lodge, you’ll be only a short drive away! To help you make the most of your trip, here are 4 ways to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

1. Hiking

A family hiking in the Smoky MountainsWith around 850 miles of hiking trails, you are sure to find one that’s perfect for you! If you have kids and want to introduce them to hiking for the first time, The Gatlinburg Trail is a great choice! This Smoky Mountain hike is relatively flat and travels 1.9 miles one-way from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, with peaceful views of the surrounding wooded area and the Little Pigeon River. The Laurel Falls Trail is another amazing hike, with an 80-foot waterfall that makes for a picture-perfect backdrop! The roundtrip distance to the falls and back is 2.6 miles and takes about 2 hours to complete. These are just some of the many hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are great for all skill levels!

2. Auto Touring

If you don’t feel like walking, but still want to enjoy the views, auto touring is the way to go! There are 384 miles of road to choose from, and most of them are paved. Even the gravel roads are maintained for standard passenger cars. You can admire the amazing panoramic views, mountain streams, historic buildings, and mature hardwood forests along the way! One of the most popular auto touring destinations is the Cades Cove Loop, an 11-mile, one-way road that circles the cove. There are inexpensive booklets available at the park visitor centers to serve as your personal tour guides!

3. Workshops and Classes

The national park’s partner organizations offer a variety of programs in which you can learn about and explore the park. Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is a year-round residential environmental education center that offers summer and family camps, naturalist workshops, hiking adventures, and more! The Smoky Mountain Field School is another partner that offers workshops, day hikes, and family adventures. Be sure to check out all the other partners to find the best workshops, classes, and experiences for you and your family!

4. Wildlife Viewing

black bear in cades coveThe Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world-renowned for its diversity of animal life. Open areas like Cades Cove are great for spotting white-tailed deer, elk, black bear, raccoon, turkeys, and other native wildlife! It’s a good idea to bring binoculars, and a camera or your phone to take pictures. Before heading out for the national park, familiarize yourself with other wildlife viewing and black bear safety tips. Observing these animals is an amazing experience, just make sure that you are prepared so that you can do so correctly.

After a day of exploring the Smokies, you can come back and relax in one of our guest rooms in Gatlinburg. We offer all the comforts of home and more so that you enjoy a truly memorable trip. We look forward to seeing you at The Appy Lodge!