National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. Find out what makes it so popular.

black bear with fish

Gatlinburg has been blessed to sit at the entrance to our nation’s most visited national park. Often noted as one of America’s great treasures, it features over a half-million acres of mountain timber in scenic hills and valleys that millions come to visit year after year and view its beauty from hiking trails, picnic areas by mountain streams, hilltops and scenic drive overlooks. Although the mountains offer these lovely natural vistas to sight-seers, the park is also a wonderful place for visitors of all ages to experience a wide range of activities.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was formally dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 but its idea was formulated for the Southern Appalachians in the late 1890s and reached fruition in 1926 when President Calving Coolidge signed a bill that provided for the establishment of both the Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its wonderful biodiversity and natural beauty as well as its central location in the southeastern United States have made it the nation’s most visited National Park.

When you visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will be met with all sorts of wonderful activities that your family can enjoy together. It all starts with over 800 miles of incredible hiking trails. Along the way, you will pass by all sorts of nature and history, including old homesteads, waterfalls, wildflowers, and much more. If you aren’t an avid hiker, you can hop in your car and check out one of the incredible scenic drives throughout the park, such as Newfound Gap Road or the Cades Cove Loop Road. Whether you want to go hiking or simply have a picnic at Metcalf Bottoms, you are sure to love and appreciate the stunning scenery of the Smoky Mountains.

family in Gatlinburg