If you've never visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park, then your visit to Gatlinburg will be especially awesome as you can immerse yourself into an amazing environment that you just won't find anywhere else. Did you know:
1) Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in America.
2) You can download a mobile guide to the park here. Get your trip planning going now with all the information you need to know when visiting the Smokies.
3) There are creatures that inhabit the park that are highly unusual. Take salamanders for example. The park is known as '‘Salamander Capital of the World’. You can see why by reading our post that covers some of the remarkable small creatures you'll see in the park. Definitely take a look at this blog that discusses not only rare salamanders but Cades Cove butterflies, and the variety of turtles, frogs, bats and snakes you'll encounter when you visit the park: http://www.gatlinburg.com/watch-for-amazing-small-wildlife-in-gatlinburg/
4) You'll get to see and even enter several historical buildings that were part of a thriving early Gatlinburg. Your trip to the park wouldn't be complete without a visit to the John Oliver cabin in Cades Cove. Check out our Historic Gatlinburg Mini Guide and see how this cabin (the oldest in Cades Cove) is a gateway to Cades Cove history. We even include a link to some great photos of the cabin, to give you a preview of what you'll see when you visit.
5) The park offers multiple workshops and classes throughout the year. Adults and kids alike can take part in these activities, which range from professional development workshops for teachers, Junior Ranger programs for kids, and even volunteer opportunities.
6) If volunteer activities interest you, a great way to get involved is the Adopt a Trail program. It's a unique way to become more knowledgeable about a trail and also help keep it usable and unspoiled for all park visitors.
7) There's no need for a car to get to the park, if you come from June to October. During that time you may use Gatlinburg's Tan Trolley. For only $2.00 roundtrip you can jump on a trolley and be whisked away to all of the beauty that the park has to offer. Find out more about the trolley here and also see the interactive trolley map which can show you where the trolley is at any given time: http://gatlinburgmasstransit.org/.
8) The park's Facebook page is a great one-stop resource for park news, photos and commentary.
9) If you love waterfalls, you're in luck. The park offers some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. Find out more here: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm.
10) While the park is open 24/7/365, there are some areas closed in the winter. Check this page to get schedule information: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/hours.htm.
The above tips are just a sample of what you can learn and enjoy about the park. Gatlinburg is truly blessed to be located adjacent to such a national treasure. Let us know in the comments about areas in the park that you've visited and your favorite activities.