7 Fun Things To Do In The Smokies

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The Great Smoky Mountains line the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, housing a magnitude of fascinating natural marvels that portray a vision of paradise. Every sunset and sunrise looking toward the horizon is a sight to behold. If you don’t visit this place at least once in your life, although it will be hard to go here just once, what are you even doing with your life? Also known as the Smokes, the mountains offer a lot of diversity in terms of animal and plant life, the scenery of these towering mountains, and a unique history. 

Here are some of the great and fun things you can do in the Smokies:

1. The Clingmans Done

Rising to 6,643 feet, the Clingmans Dome is the highest point there is in the Smoky Mountains. It is even the highest you can go anywhere in the state of Tennessee. Getting to the top requires a demanding hike, but the view from here justifies all the effort. The observation tower you reach when you finally ascend Clingmans Dome is a work marvel. The 360 views you get from here are simply stunning and nothing like it anywhere else. On clear days you can see as far as 100 miles. Imagine sitting at the highest place in the region and getting unparalleled views. It is an experience that is hard to describe in words. Since the hike up and down Clingmans Dome itself is exhilarating, you can also reward yourself with jeep badges as a souvenir and a memory of your feet. 

2. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

The Smoky Mountains are wonders of nature that hide numerous gems within them. From the sensational views for as far as the eye can see from the top of Clingmans Dome to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail with its soothing waterfalls and rocky terrain, there are a lot of adventurous places to visit. The six-mile-long Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail offers views of streams, waterfalls, mountains, mills, and even historic buildings nestled in the midst of it all. Referred to as the “motor” trail because the road is only narrow enough for a car and won’t accommodate RVs. The drive takes you through some twists and turns leading to a moderate 3-mile hike, at the end of which is an 80-foot waterfall that radiates calm and beauty. 

3. Cades Cove

Cades Cove is one of the most visited places in the Great Smoky Mountains, a wide, lush valley encircled by mountains. It provides possibly the most outstanding chances to see wildlife in the park. There are a lot of white-tailed deer around, and it’s common to observe skunks, black bears, raccoons, coyotes, turkeys, groundhogs, and many other rare and common animals along the way. Vehicle-free access to Cades Cove is limited to Wednesdays only starting from early March to Late September. You can enjoy the 11-mile hike by bicycle or on foot during this time which makes the experience even more mesmerizing and worth it. 

4. The Alum Cave Trail

The diversity of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains is almost endless, and the destinations at the end of them are bound to leave you spellbound. The modest 4.4 mile takes up some 1,125 feet to some of the most marvelous cave systems known as Alum Caves. The Anakeesta Ridge makes up most of the sights as you travel up, and roughly 2 miles through the journey, you reach a place called Inspiration Point. The breathtaking view that you get from here puts you in a sense of tranquility and peace. You can view Little Duck Hawk Ridge and Myrtle Point, both sensational, but the Alum Caves at the end are the ultimate prize in natural wonders. 

5. Sugarlands Visitor Center 

Another fascinating attraction in the Great Smoky Mountains is the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg. The beautiful building and its surroundings are a stunning addition to the landscape. They offer an amazing experience for people interested in exploratory activities. You begin the trip of the park at one of the four visitor centers, namely Sugarlands, Clingmans Dome, Cades Cove, or Oconaluftee. Each of these centers is designed to provide all the essentials you’ll need for exploring the park without interruptions. You can pick up maps, use the restroom, have any questions answered by the ranger stationed there, or purchase books as well as guides for the park. 

6. Chimneys Picnic Area

Sitting at an elevation of 2,739 ft., you won’t find a more mesmerizing spot to have a picnic than this spot close to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The area opens depending on the season but remains welcoming to visitors between April and November. From early sunrise to 8 PM, you can pack up your things and head up the route dotted by nearly 68 sites you can visit. The heavily forested area seems like a set out of a Hollywood thriller movie, adding to the charm of exploring it with your friends or family. Be wary not to throw trash along the way because you end up harming the area’s black bear population. 

7. Get a helicopter ride over the Smokies

If you are someone who is more interested in unconventional experiences, you’re in luck. The Great Smoky Mountains and the towns around it offer something for everyone visiting the place. A great example is the helicopter rides that can start from as low as $20 which kids from 2 years old to adults up to the age of 90 are allowed to take a 3-minute scenic flying tour over some stunning attractions like the Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee, and over the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The view you get from the top is truly unparalleled, and at such an affordable price, how could you say no? 

Conclusion

There is a lot you can do on your visit to the Great Smoky Mountains. It is no surprise that nearly 10 million people visit these natural wonders each year. From the most exhilarating hikes to sensational observatories, cafes, Visitor Centers, and a whole lot more, there will never be a dull day, no matter how long your vacation is. Whether you are with a group of friends or traveling with family, there is an activity that suits adults and children, with no one ever being left out. If you haven’t yet, we suggest you plan your next vacation here.

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