Encompassing the rugged, forested Southern Appalachian spine along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, Great Smoky Mountains National Park consistently tops the list of America’s most popular national parks.
Its scenic attractions include whitewater flows and falls through cove forests and ridgetop vantages serving highland views. And its human history is fascinating, from native Cherokee heritage and the many-standing ruins of early Euro-American settlement to the park’s conservation origin story.
Whether you’re sticking to scenic drives and visitor centers or taking multiday treks through the sizable backcountry, Great Smoky Mountains National Park remains transfixing. Here are 5 must-dos in this most-visited park in the U.S.