Whether you want to race downriver on a raft or sit still waiting for a butterfly to land, you’ll find plenty of ways to engage with nature in the Smoky Mountains! Start with these six reasons why the Smokies are the best place to hear the call of the wild.
1. ABUNDANT ANIMAL AND PLANT LIFE
Great Smoky Mountains National Park teems with nature from its bedrock up to the sky! More than 65 species of mammals, 200 species of birds, and nearly 70 fish species live here. More than 1,600 species of plants, from mosses to towering oaks, create endless variety.
2. BEAUTY IN EVERY SEASON
You can’t go wrong with fall’s dazzling colors, winter’s frosty gleam, spring’s blossoms, or summer’s bubbling streams. Can’t make it here in your favorite season? Try another–you’ll be surprised at how the Smokies wear each season like a perfectly fitted garment.
3. NATURE FOR ALL AGES AND SKILL LEVELS
No matter what your fitness or skill level may be, you can explore the Smokies! Discover the Quiet Walkways, short, uncrowded, easily accessible trails leading you right into mountain woodlands. Seek out the relaxing, paved path to lovely Laurel Falls. Drive the many scenic roadways like Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail or the Foothills Parkway.
4. UNIQUE EVENTS CELEBRATING NATURE
Get close to nature at the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. Experts lead guided hikes and teach you to identify wildflowers. Naturalists unveil the secrets of black bears, bats, birds, lizards, and many more mountain natives.
Plan a visit around one of nature’s greatest shows, the synchronous firefly display. The National Park Service guides you to where fireflies blink in remarkable patterns for just a few weeks each year!
5. PLENTIFUL RAFTING, HIKING, AND FISHING
Nature lovers aren’t content with just looking at sparkling rivers and shady forests from a distance. The area’s many outfitter companies immerse you in nature with whitewater rafting, tubing, fishing excursions, hiking, and ziplining.
Stay in a cabin near a fishing pond and bring your pole. Pick a riverside cabin and watch for dragonflies and otters. Eat outside at one of the park’s picnic areas.
6. CABINS SURROUNDED BY NATURE
Rent a cabin and discover nature out every window. Sit on your quiet deck and watch birds flitting through the trees. Look for deer in your yard, falcons soaring overhead, and maybe a black bear in the distance. Book your private cabin now for a true nature lover’s experience.