Top 17 Things to Do in Smoky Mountains Park North Carolina

Smoky Mountains Park North Carolina: Depending on whom you ask, there is an abundance of things to do in Smoky Mountains Park. 

The park is famous for its abundant natural as well as mountainous sites. 

Located South East of the United States, this park is a priceless treasure. 

The slice of land is home to some of the tallest mountains in North America. 

This park undoubtedly ranks the highest among the most visited parks in the United States. 

Tourists and vacationers are always in awe of the many fun things to do in Smoky Mountains Park. 

Whichever category you fall under, here are some things to do in Smoky Mountains Park.



A Brief History About the Smoky Mountains Park

Long before the European Americans settled in the park, indigenous people occupied the Appalachian Mountains.

Between the 18th and 19th centuries, the Europeans invaded the land and forcefully displaced the indigenous people.

President Andrew Jackson ensured the ejection of Indians from the Eastern Mississippi River to present-day Oklahoma.

By the 20th century, all operators of land and forest exploitation were forced out.

This meant less deforestation and mountain mining, and more land protection and reforestation.

All these measures were promoted by the National Park Service of the United States.

Upon receiving donations from both private and public sponsors, the park was formed.

Structures were built and guards were stationed to ensure the continued protection of the park.

Now, we have this slice of land that gives visitors a full natural treat.

Indeed, there are many beautiful places to see in the Smoky Mountains.


Top 17 Things to Do in Smoky Mountains Park North Carolina


Some Fun Things to Do in Smoky Mountains Park

Unlike many recreational facilities and tourist sites, entrance into Smoky Mountains Park is free.

While there, there are many Smoky Mountains places to visit, including historical and archaeological sites.

Examples are the Cades Cove Historic District, the John Ownby Cabin, e.t.c.

These are some priceless, significant Smoky Mountains National Park attractions.

If you’re ever at the Smoky Mountains, these are some Cades Cove things to do.

Here are some 17 things to do in Smoky Mountains Park:


1. Hiking




In addition to having excellent, picturesque sites, hiking routes are abundant there. 

Whether through the woods or animal habitats, prepare to be amazed. 

Hiking through the trails allows hikers to get an immersive experience with nature.


2. Backpacking




Also, you can enjoy both day and night hikes in the Smoky Mountains. 

Just gather your gear in your backpack and enjoy the best of both worlds.

At the end of the day, you can take advantage of the camping services.


3.  Camping




Whether or not you went backpacking, there are amazing camping services for you. 

There are camping activities for all ages. 

Children can participate in short or long-term camping activities. 

Adults who also want to get the camping experience can join appropriate camps. 

This allows campers to observe nocturnal animals in their natural habitat.

Be sure to not start any unauthorized fires, however. 

This could compromise the habitat and negatively affect local flora and fauna.


4. Fishing




The Great Smoky Mountains have lakes that are home to many species of fish.

Grab your fishing gear and go get some fish fresh from the lakes.

Of course, fishing has to be done in a controlled, supervised manner.

Be sure to stick with the tour guides and ask for pointers.


5. Sightseeing



Whether you’re taking a hike or driving through the park, the sights are breathtaking.

Each hiking trail is rewarded with a view of the mountains and surrounding vegetation.

Feel free to take picture mementos every step of the way.

This is your sign to go Smoky Mountain sightseeing.


6. Fly Fishing


Fly Fishing


Among other outdoor activities, fly fishing is a great way to pass the time in the Smoky Mountains. 

It is one of the most relaxing things to do in Smoky Mountains Park. 

Some streams are located along hiking trails and other serene spots. 

On the other hand, there are many roadside streams and lakes to fish in.


7. Stargazing


Stargazing - Great 17 Things to Do in Smoky Mountains Park North Carolina


Take advantage of the open night sky to observe the constellation. 

There are a plethora of things to do in Smoky Mountains Park. 

However, we can agree that the night has its allure. 

Take a nighttime stroll with your significant other and just bask in the moonlight. 

This should be on your list of Smoky Mountains things to do.


8. Horseback Riding


Horseback Riding


Horseback riding is one of the more fun things to do in Smoky Mountains Park. 

You can either bring your horse or rent one on-site. Go on horseback rides along the more scenic routes at the park. 

If you would like to rent a horse, charges go from $30 upwards per hour. 

There are age and weight restrictions for each ride, however.

In all, finding adventure is one of the best things to do in Smoky Mountains Park. 

What better way than in a grand style and while horseback riding? 

Just get a permit from the visitor center or a ranger station. 

This also applies if you bring your horse to ride on.


9. Watching the Synchronous Fireflies


Watching the Synchronous Fireflies


The Smoky Mountains are famous for synchronous fireflies (the Photinus carolinus). 

It’s breathtaking watching these fireflies synchronize their glow in a one-of-a-kind way. 

This is one of the things to do in Smoky Mountains Park. 

This phenomenon is unique to these fireflies, and they’re found in the Great Smoky Mountains.


10. Go Rock Climbing


Go Rock Climbing - Great 17 Things to Do in Smoky Mountains Park North Carolina


The Smoky Mountains Park has mountains great and small you can climb.

For about $145 -$200, you can tick “rock climbing” off your bucket list. 

The site offers climbing services and training courses for all visitors. 

It’s one of the more adventurous things to do in Smoky Mountains Park.


11. Go on a Guided Tour to the Historical Sites


Go on a Guided Tour to the Historical Sites


The Smoky Mountains Park has many historical, and cultural sites you can visit. 

Several of these sites have been rehabilitated and restored, while many others are untouched. 

Among these historical sites are the Elkmont Ghost Town, the Walker Sisters’ Cabin, e.t.c. 

Learn about what makes these places so valuable, and see how people lived then.


12. Visit the Gift Shops


Visit the Gift Shops


At the Great Smoky Mountains, there are gift and souvenir shops for when you want a memoir of your adventure. 

The gift shops have gift items and souvenirs for people of all ages. 

You can go window shopping before you decide on a gift to buy for yourself and your loved ones.


13. Go on a Scenic Drive via Highway 441


Great 17 Things to Do in Smoky Mountains Park North Carolina


Highway 441 cuts through scenic routes at the park, so it’s a great way to enjoy the view. 

You can drive through the highway or go on automobile tours through it. 

As you drive through, look out the window and take in the view.


14. Go Bird Watching in the Woods


Go Bird Watching in the Woods


One of the things to do in Smoky Mountains Park is bird watching. 

Home to many different species of birds, the Smoky Mountains are rich in exotic birds. 

These colorful, exotic creatures are some of the best Smoky Mountains attractions.


15. Book Accommodation at the Lodges for a Complete Pampering


Book Accommodation at the Lodges for a Complete Pampering


There are a variety of glamorous camping sites for you to choose from. 

Whichever luxury camps you choose, rest assured that you’ll be getting five-star treatment. 

Some things to look forward to are good plumbing, air conditioning, multi-course meals, e.t.c. 

This undoubtedly is one of the best Smoky Mountain vacation ideas for couples and families.


16. Go Swimming in the Lakes


Go Swimming in the Lakes


Swimming in the lakes is always a great way to cool off on a sunny day. 

Thankfully, the Great Smoky Mountains Park has an abundance of such lakes. 


17. Visit and Take Pictures at the Picturesque Waterfalls


Great 17 Things to Do in Smoky Mountains Park North Carolina


Last but not least, visit the many waterfalls and take scenic pictures.

Take quick dips by the waterfalls and relax on a sunny day.

Use the waterfall as an epic backdrop for picture moments.



Whether you need ideas on things to do in Cades Cove or other places, the above are good starting points.

Of course, they are in no way the only fun things to do in Smoky Mountains Park.

Just be prepared for an adventure when next you visit the Great Smoky Mountains.

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