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Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Sevierville Tennessee, is recognized as the most visited and popular park in our Park System. More than 10 million visitors enjoy the half-million acre preserve of maintained hiking trails, self-guided nature trails, pristine trout fishing streams, waterfalls, spring wildflowers, and wildlife. The popularity of the National Park has fostered the growth and development of several towns and villages including Sevierville TN, which offers full range of lodging choices, fine dining and exciting attractions for visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Sevierville area. Lodging accommodations include hotels or even luxury cabin chalet rentals.

Plans for a national park originated the 1920s and, with the support of groups from both Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC—groups who wanted to protect the natural beauty the area. Most of the land was owned by lumber companies--the rest consisted mainly of small farms. In June 1934, Congress officially established the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Civilian Conservation Corps built most of the hiking trails, stone bridges, and campgrounds that travelers can still enjoy. The wealthy Rockefeller family donated the then princely sum of $5 million needed to complete the Park, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Park in 1940.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserves 3 visitor centers, 77 historic pioneer structures, 1,100 campsites (including 100 backcountry campsites), 11 picnic grounds, over 800 miles of trails and 700 miles of pristine streams. The wildlife protected in the Park include black bear, wild turkey, and whitetail deer.

Hiking Trails – The best part of the area is the National Park itself—with over 800 miles of trails. Park and trail maps can be bought at any of the three visitor centers in the GSMNP. In addition, several excellent outfitters are in surrounding towns and villages that can provide them.
Fly Fishing – Trout fishing in the Park will require a valid Tennessee or North Carolina license. The fishing licenses are not available in the Park itself, however, they can be purchased from the outfitters. Trout fishing is okay all year-round in the Great Smoky Mountains—from 1/2 hour before sunrise and up to 1/2 after evening sunset. You need to know your fish--particularly trout, because there are some restrictions.

Cades Cove, which is only minutes from Sevierville, Tennessee, is without doubt the most popular area of the National Park. Over 2 million tourists each year visit the Cove to enjoy the pioneer homesteads, the mountain vistas that serve as backdrop to Cades Cove, and the deer, wild turkey and American black bear which populate the area. 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. In addition, if you pause to explore each pioneer homestead (some require a short hike), it takes a few hours longer, and also depends on seasonal traffic. We recommend an extra stoop at the Cable Mill visitor center, allowing time for the 5-mile round-trip Abrams Falls hike.

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