Great Smoky Mountains National Park

<< Previous Post | Main Blog Page | Next Post >>

Is Appalachia calling your name? Check it out!

Welcome to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a popular destination for tourists between the states of North Carolina and Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountains are so aptly named after the natives saw the immense amount of smoke-like fog coming from the mountain range, and the name stuck. Many communities had settled with what are today's boundaries, resulting in controversial land purchases around the time of the Great Depression to create the park. Today, visitors are able to drive, hike, and camp within the park as weather permits.

The Great Smoky Mountains, although being a national park, does not honor the National Parks pass used in several other locations across the country. Similar to Mount Rushmore, it is dependent upon parking fees to fund the location while allowing visitors to drive through at no additional cost to them. One can enter along US Highway 441 from either Cherokee, North Carolina to the south, or Gatlinburg, Tennessee to the north. The Newfound Gap at nearly a mile high in elevation serves as the midpoint of the highway through the park, as well as the border between the two states. Stop to experience the wonderful views of the Great Smoky Mountains. While along the route, perhaps make a stop to view the elk from a distance. When at the southern end, you can also find the southern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

One of the features of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the BARK Ranger program, where your pup can become a sworn ambassador of the park. Completing this program is fairly simple, as you'll do a sort of scavenger hunt along one of the two pet-friendly trails near the visitors' centers of the park. Take a number of pictures of your dog along the way, and submit to the ranger on duty. They will help your dog to take the oath of BARK (Bagging waste, Always leashing, Respecting wildlife, and Knowing where to go), and receive a certificate with his or her paw print. As of the writing of this, Miles the Chug Terrier has become an official BARK Ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We are proud of his accomplishment.

So the next time your Internal Compass takes you to the southern Appalachians, be sure to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

WRITTEN May 19, 2024 at 12:10 PM
TAGS: trip 18, north carolina, tennessee, nps, pup
<< Previous Post | Main Blog Page | Next Post >>

Copyright 2021-24 Freedom Rolling.
Logo Image Courtesy
United States Image Courtesy Simple Maps