Experience America – National Parks – Great Smoky Mountains

America’s National Parks offer a staggering array of opportunities for epic adventure, breathtaking beauty, and remarkable experiences that you will remember for a lifetime. Covering more than 84 million acres, the National Park System is comprised of 124 historical parks or sites, 78 national monuments, 59 national parks, 25 battlefields or military parks, 18 preserves, 18 recreation areas, 10 seashores, four parkways, four lakeshores, and two reserves. There is something for everyone! This year I want to experience a bit of just a fraction of them, including the nation’s (and world’s) first national Park: Yellowstone. The goal is to sample as many national parks as I can within budgetary and time off from work constraints. If you are interested in joining me, you will be responsible for arranging your own transportation and lodging. Details of each trip will be planned with participants.

Part 3: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This park is located in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park.

For detailed park information, see http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm.

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  • Joseph P.

    Loved it! So beautiful and memorable!

    1 · April 19

  • Rae

    Hi Joseph, just touching base with you =) I will email you my number, so that way we can find each other in TN =)

    April 15

    • Rae

      Joseph, I had to cancel the trip last minute =( please post pics

      April 16

    • Rae

      Joseph, I had to cancel the trip last minute =( please post pics

      April 16

  • Rae

    I'm in!

    March 2

  • Joseph P.

    Flying to Knoxville and arriving around 11:00am. I'm going to be arriving at the Sugarlands Visitor Center around 2:00pm on 4/17. After spending some time at the visitor center, I then want to go hike the Grotto Falls/Trillium Gap Trail that is 3 miles total. The next day I want to hike Laurel Falls 2.6 miles, Rainbow Falls 5.4 miles, plus drive to Clingmans Dome Observation Tower and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. I'll be heading back to Knoxville airport the morning of 4/19 to return to Jax. I'll be staying at Brookside Resort in Gatlinburg for the two nights.

    1 · February 28

  • Rae

    Hi everyone! I just wanted to share some info: I found round trip tickets to Nashville, TN through Orbitz and JetBlue. Also, booking.com had hotels at affordable prices! I found a hotel near the Smokey Mountains in Port Pigeon that offered a trolly to local attractions =) If anyone has suggestions on a better airport or anything, please let me know. Also, I hear it's better to book airline tickets on Tuesdays =) see yall April 17th!

    February 9

    • Joseph P.

      Wow you're on the ball! I haven't started doing any of this yet, but I was hoping to fly into Knoxville because it's so much closer to the park than Nashville. It'll probably be pricier, though. Did you mean the town of "Pigeon Forge"? It does look pretty close to Gatlinburg, which is where I want to enter the park so it will probably be perfect. I'm going to be using google.com/flights to search for airfare and hotels.

      February 10

  • Rae

    Hi Joseph! =) I am interested in going, no plus one's =), just me. How would this work.. carpool? lodging? I guess we can figure that out more once the time comes =)

    January 26

    • Joseph P.

      Transportation and lodging is all up to you to arrange. I can tell you that I haven't begun planning my own arrangements yet. I will probably get started on working out details next month. Once I have an itinerary worked out, I will be glad to share it and see if any of my planned activities interest you.

      1 · January 26

  • James

    My partner and I am interested. Would we stay in a tent, a RV camp, or renting a cabin? Approximate cost?

    January 17, 2014

    • Joseph P.

      That will be up to you. If you go, we could meet up for activities such as hikes, scenic drives, meals, etc. Lodging and transportation is all up to you. Personally, I plan on staying in a hotel.

      January 17, 2014

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