(My visits: July 2013 – Sept. 2014) There are several entrances into this national treasure of the park, both from Tennessee and North Carolina. However you get into it, there is magic to be found in every corner. I considered myself extremely blessed to have been able to spend an entire year here and was able to see it in all seasons.
It’s not surprising that this is the most visited National Park in the country, with 9.7 million visitors in 2013.
Some interesting facts and stats:
- Established on June 15, 1934.
- Entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is free due to deed restrictions imposed when it was established.
- It occupies 800 square miles in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
- It was the first national park whose land and other costs were paid for in part with federal funds; previous parks were funded wholly with state money or private funds.
Park Headquarters: 865-436-1294
Road and weather information: 865-436-1200
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NPS)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitors Guide
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Camping (NPS) (includes links to site maps)
Park Map (NPS)
Summer in the Park: Great Smoky Mountains (CNN Travel – 5/23/13)
Cades Cove (my favorite area within the park)
Fall Colors (NPS)
GSMNP Tour Bus Guide (clearances, etc.) (NPS)
Beautiful slide show from M&D Hills Photography