Cool streams bordered with rhododendrons and laurel, mountainsides covered in a colorful patchwork of autumn leaves, the sound of an elk’s bugle carrying in the still morning air – this week’s National Park Getaway is world renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains and the quality of its remnants of southern Appalachian mountain culture.
Great Smoky Mountains, America’s most visited national park, includes more than 800 miles of hiking trails, 700 miles of fishable streams and hundreds of miles of equestrian trails. Along the park’s 384 miles of road you’ll find panoramic views, weathered historic buildings and tumbling mountain streams.
The park shares the stories of Southern Appalachian living that spans thousands of years and protects historic structures, landscapes and artifacts that tell the varied stories of those who once called these mountains home. At Great Smoky Mountains you’ll find one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States.
Whether you’re driving the main roads or hiking the backcountry, you could stay a week and not see it all. Start your journey by reading this week’s National Park Getaway article at www.nps.gov/getaways.
Logo courtesy of the National Park Service