My most recent visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in Tennessee, was filled with pouring rain, fog and cool temperatures. Both the fog and cool temperatures were spectacular. The rain made it difficult to hike and go beyond the overlooks and scenic drives.
An excellent reason to make a return fall visit :)
During a previous visit, I made my way to the North Carolina portion of the park. Seeing the elk herds was fantastic!
Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
- Cades Cove – allow two to four hours to explore this area, drive the 11 mile loop and enjoy Thunderhead Mountain.
- Charlies Bunion – an 8 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail, offering breathtaking distant views.
- Highway 441 – countless overlooks with beautiful views.
- Newfound Gap Road – this stunning stretch goes for 40 miles between the Sugarlands and Oconaluftee visitor centers.
- Rainbow Falls – another Appalachian Trail hike, at 5.4 miles in length. On a sunny afternoon you will see a rainbow appear in the mist of the waterfall.
What are some of your favorite hikes and places to explore in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? I plan to head back SOON!