The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located just outside Sevierville Tennessee, is THE most visited park in the nation’s national park system. On an annual basis, over 10 million visitors take in the half-million acre preserve whether it be walking one of the numerous hiking trails, taking a self-guided nature tour, fishing, enjoying the many waterfalls, spring wildflowers, and spotting wildlife.
Several towns including Sevierville TN have grown consistently due to the popularity of the park. Sevierville is known for its wide array lodging opportunities, fine dining and exciting attractions. Lodging accommodations include a number of luxury cabin and chalet rentals that overlook the park.
National park plans originated the 1920s thanks to groups in both Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC who wanted to protect the area’s natural beauty. At that time lumber companies owned most of the land while the rest consisted mainly of small farms. Congress officially established the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1934. The Rockefeller family donated the final $5 million needed to complete the park, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Park in 1940.
To this day, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park operates 3 visitor centers, preserves 77 historic pioneer structures, and maintains 1,100 campsites (including 100 backcountry campsites), 11 picnic grounds, over 800 miles of trails and 700 miles of pristine streams.
Hiking Trails – With over 800 miles of trails, there’s a trail for everyone from beginner to the expert hiker. Park and trail maps can be bought at any of the three visitor centers in the park. In addition, several excellent outfitters are in surrounding towns and villages that can provide them.
Fly Fishing – Trout fishing in the park requires a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license. Trout fishing is a year-round practice in the Great Smoky Mountains—from a half hour before sunrise and up to a half hour following sunset. Know your fish, especially the brook trout, because there are some restrictions.
Cades Cove – Only minutes from Sevierville, Cades Cove is one of the most beautiful, and scenic areas of the park. The Cove’s pioneer homesteads, mountain vistas, deer, wild turkey and American black bear draw millions to area annually looking for that perfect Smoky Mountain photo. The National Park offers a self-guided tour book at the entrance. An 11-mile loop road that takes a little over one hour to complete in your vehicle, and circles the Cove.