Great Smoky Mountains National Park Info
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), near Gatlinburg TN, is the most popular park in the Park System. It covers over half a million acres of permanently preserved hiking trails, trout fishing streams, nature trails, wildflowers, waterfalls and wildlife.
Cades Cove, only minutes from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is the most popular part of the National Park. Three million tourists annually go to Cades Cove to see the preserved settler homesteads, the blue-hazed mountains that act as a backdrop to the Cove, and the abundant deer, wild turkey and black bear, which inhabit the area. To help visitors get around, the Park makes available a self-guided tour book at the Cove's entrance. An 11-mile loop road, which takes approximately an hour to complete in your vehicle, encircles the Cove. A closer look at the homesteads, some of which require brief hikes, can take several hours or longer, depending on how much traffic there is. You can also make a complete day of the trip to Cades Cove if you make a point of stopping at the Cable Mill area visitor center and include the 5-mile round-trip trek to Abrams Falls.
Hiking Trails Near Pigeon Forge - The very best part of the Smoky Mountains area is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park itself, which boasts over 800 miles of trails. Trail maps can be purchased from any of the visitor centers in and around the Park and several outfitters or other shops in Pigeon Forge TN.
Trout Fishing - Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park requires a valid Tennessee or North Carolina license. Licenses are not available in the Park, but can be obtained from outfitters in the small towns next to the Park. Fishing is permitted year-round in the Smoky Mountains from one-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset. You should know your fish (particularly trout) before you fish, since there are restrictions for specific fish. Outfitters in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee can assist you.
The Great Smoky Mountains are so enjoyable that several small towns and villages have grown up around the Park to provide lodging, dining and other attractions for annual visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Lodging accommodations in Pigeon Forge, whether a Pigeon Forge Hotel or motel, or even a luxury Pigeon Forge cabin rental, are convenient to the Park.
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