Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, established in 1934, covers 520,408 acres of land with heights ranging from 840 feet at Abrams Creek to 6,643 feet at Clingmans Dome. Although not advertised as highly as the Tennessee side, the North Carolina side offers many great hiking and horseback riding trails at Deep Creek, Round Bottom, Smokemont and at the end of The Road To Nowhere.
Sugarlands Visitor Center, near Gatlinburg, TN, is open year-round and offers an orientation program and natural history exhibits. Oconaluftee Visitor Center, near Cherokee, NC, is also open year-round and its exhibits focus on mountain life of the late 1800s. Adjacent to the visitor center is the Mountain Farm Museum, a collection of historic farm buildings. Cades Cove Visitor Center, near Townsend, TN, (closed in winter), sits among preserved historic buildings representing isolated farming communities of the 1800s.
You can access the park via several major highways lead to the Park. The following routes provide access to the three main entrances. In North Carolina: From I-40, take U.S. Route 19 West through Maggie Valley. Proceed to U.S. 441 North at Cherokee into the Park. In Tennessee: 1)From I-40 take Exit 407 (Sevierville) to TN Route 66 South, and continue to U.S. 441 South. Follow U.S. 441 to Park. 2) From I-40 in Knoxville – Exit 386B U.S. Highway 129 South to Alcoa/Maryville. At Maryville proceed on U.S. 321 North through Townsend. Continue straight on TN Highway 73 into Park.