Running majority of the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited national park and the home to unbelievable scenes of wildlife as well as beautiful stories of immigrant settlers, thriving mining towns and great explorers. Spanning half a million acres of undulating hillside and forested mountaintops, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is bear and elk country, it’s old Appalachia, it’s wildflowers in bloom, and it’s North American wilderness at its most majestic.
Known by the Native Americans who settled in this region as the mountains with blue ridges, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is famous for its fronts of purple-grey mist that descend upon the mountains each morning and cling to the treetops. These forest areas, referred to now as the Smokies, have survived the Ice Age and centuries of a society’s attempts to tear down every forest in sight. With great strength and human aid, the vast network of waterfalls and thousands of forms of wildlife that make up Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been wonderfully preserved and protected since the park was officially designated is one of the national parks in 1983.
Long before a logging operation destroyed nearly 90 percent of the region’s forest and its subsequent founding as a natural treasure, in the confines of Great Smoky Mountains National Park you’d find hundreds of distinct Native American tribes and countless species of wildlife. Nowadays, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is dissected by Newfound Gap Road, a highway that stretches across some of most scenic portions of the national park, providing unforgettable photo ops and camping locations.
With more than 850 miles of trail available to visitors inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, hikers can take an easy walk for a quiet release or challenge themselves on a steep climb to fully reconnect with the beauty of nature. Take a look around the national park’s informational website to start planning your trip to scenic Appalachia!