"One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth" Top 5 Page for this destination Great Smoky Mountains National Park by mrclay2000
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Travel Guide: 226 reviews and 575 photos
This is easily one of the most beautiful places in the United States and probably the world. Every square inch seems to rest beneath the shade of towering hardwoods that are impossibly green in the spring, and vividly explosive in their fall foliage. Unlike the evergreens of the western U.S. where I am more at home, the Tennessee and North Carolina hills are filled with oaks, poplars, rhododendrons, hickories and maples of many varieties that make this place so justly famous and world-renowned in the fall.
On the other hand, the spring is also a remarkable time to visit. The greenness of the park seems common to every tree, and after spring freshets, the colors are even more vibrant.
Once you've stayed a few days however, the magical scenery tends to cloy you with its wealth, and even the rolling mountains seem lethargic and even wearisome. For the most part of my four days here, the first two were incredulous over my experience. I could not fathom the impossible greenness of the trees nor the endless beauty of ridge upon overlapping ridge, especially on the Carolina side. By the third day however, even the charm of the roadside creeks and the greenness of the trees failed to distract me from the lack of variety in the trails and the narrow range of possible activities in the park. One reason I selected Smoky for a destination was its numerous population of black bears, but as always, the bears were as elusive as possible, and their place taken largely by endless fields of white-tailed deer. Between the two species, deer just do not cut it.
- Pros:Cool, temperate, beautiful vistas, mountain streams
- Cons:Few activities other than horseback, kayaking or fishing
- In a nutshell:One of America's most beautiful parks!
If your first ten minutes in the park did not convince you, Great Smoky is dense with hardwood forests. Hiking into the... more travel advice
For much of its length, the park road runs alongside a number of sizeable creeks. When placid, their waters reflect the... more travel advice
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