The Most Visited National Park
The national park of Great Smoky Mountains locates on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. It is "American's most visited national park", according to its official website.
- Different Season, Different Scenery
I've been there in spring and summer. Though I've never been there in fall, which is the best season, I still think it's a wonderful place. Different seasons, different sceneries: rivers and waterfalls in springs, green trees and animals in summers, colorful leaves in falls, and enjoying hot tub in winters.
- Colorful Activities
There are multiple choices of activities: camping, hiking, horse riding, bicycling and fishing... You can buy daily necessities in towns at the foot of the mountains and enjoy a colorful holiday life in the park.
Another good thing of travelling there is that you can have a great time there no matter how long your vacation is. If you have enough money and a long holiday, then take your time and enjoy every activity you can possibly take. On the other side, if you only have two or three days, like I do, there are still ways of enjoying yourself. Belowing is my 3-day schedule:
- First Day
We left Gainesville early in the morning. After hours of driving, in the early evening we arrived at Gatlinburg, a small town at the foot of the mountains. Both drivers and passengers felt tired after a whole day road trip, so the first important thing is to settle down. We had reserved a cabin in advance, so there was no need to worry about where to leave. After finding our cabin and leaving our luggage there, we bought enough food and drinks in Gatlinburg. There is no supermarket in national park, and drive from cabin to supermarket in Gatlinburg will take more than half an hour. So be sure you have bought enough food and drinks for the next days. If you have plenty time after settling down, I advise you to drive to visitor center and get a map of the park there.
- Second Day
In day time, hiking and horse riding are good choices. There are several trails in the park with different distances. We chose a 1.5 miles trail. The scenery is amazing: green trees, white waterfalls, and friendly visitors. I think the trail we took is very suitable for ordinary visitors. It is neither too long nor too short; thus on one hand, you can enjoy hiking, on the other hand, you will not get very tired.
In the evening, we just enjoyed a party in our cabin. There are all kinds of facilities. So cook the food you like and enjoy games and hot tub.
- Last Day
Considering everyone staying late last night, we all felt a little bit tired. You might not want to get up very early the last day. As a result, we planned a light travel and got up at nearly 10 o'clock in the morning. On the last day, we drive in the park once again. This time we stopped wherever we wanted, viewing beautiful scenes and taking pictures. For us, it took about four hours. However, it depends on how much time you have.