Of course, the only reason anything is even here in the first place is because of the Great Smoky Mountains and the National Park that encapsulates and protects it. If you come to the mountains and not explore the mountains, you’re not even really going on vacation here! Definitely consider a hike in the mountains while staying in East Tennessee.
Smoky Mountain National Park Destinations
One of the most famous roads going through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Newfound Gap extends from the Spur in Gatlinburg to Cherokee, North Carolina. This road is an hour-long drive between Gatlinburg to Cherokee and provides access to the Sugarlands Visitor Center, nearly a dozen stops along the road for breathtaking views, and more than a few hiking trails along the way. This is even the site where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt officially dedicated the park to what it is today back in 1940.
Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/j63t7x1EFRx
Little River Road
Another road going straight through the National Park that connects Gatlinburg to Townsend. This road starts at Sugarlands Visitor Center (which is also the East Tennessee National Park Service Headquarters) and drives for 18 miles through gorgeous greenery, waterfalls, and the river alongside it. If you wanted a fun and quiet way to visit Townsend, a fun and quiet destination itself, this is the road you want to drive on!
Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/F2HBgMLqott
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
This road starts up at the top of Airport Road in downtown Gatlinburg. The Motor Nature Trail is a 6 mile, one way loop that offers a multitude of items worth breaking the camera out for. Rushing streams, old-growth forest, well-preserved log cabins, grist mills, and some of the most popular waterfalls in all the Smokies.
Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/oz1WnxAguhx
The crown jewels of the historical Smoky Mountains, enough can’t be said about Cades Cove. To put it simply, you can find incredible views, historical buildings, wildlife sightings of deer, bears, coyote and turkeys, visitor center and much more. This is an 11-mile, one-way loop just outside of Townsend, TN, near Wears Valley. More on Cades Cove can be found here – http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm.
Smoky Mountain Jeep Rentals
Sure, there’s a good chance you’ve driven hundreds or thousands of miles to get to the Smoky Mountains and relax, but before you consider leaving the driver’s seat for the duration of the vacation, you should check out what kind of fantastic Smoky Mountain adventures you can have with a jeep rental from Smoky Mountain Jeep Rentals.
The best way to experience the fresh, crisp, Smoky Mountain air is in a jeep wrangler with the top down and doors off. You get to see the Smoky Mountains in a way you have never seen it before – whether it’s the downtown, parkway attractions your family desires or a quiet getaway in the mountains, the Jeep makes it cool and comfortable for the entire group without sacrificing any of the Southern rugged attitude.
See more on their vehicles and services at: www.smokymountainjeeprentals.com.