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Best Free Sites in Great Smoky Mountains

By: Cityseeker
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Clingmans Dome

Climbing to the top of Clingmans Dome may be challenging, but the view at the top is well worth the strenuous half-mile (0.8-kilometer) climb. At 6,643 feet (2,024 meters), Clingmans Dome claims the title of both the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the highest point in Tennessee. This spot offers unparalleled views of the Appalachian Mountains, rolling hills, lush forests, and pristine streams that are a treat to the eye. Visitors at the top of the dome can enter the observation tower to witness stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. This spot is a must-visit for those who wish to enjoy breathtaking views of the national park.

107 Park Headquarters Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN, United States, 37738
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the United States' most-visited national park. Sprawled across a luxuriant expanse of 522,419 acres (211,416 hectares), the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is split down the middle by the State Line that demarcates the territories of North Carolina and Tennessee. The park is renowned the world over for its remarkably diverse flora and fauna, sheltered by a series of ridges drenched in the cool spray of cascading waterfalls. Dressed in a blanket of dense forests and wildflower-laden meadows stitched together by babbling streams and gushing rivers, spellbinding vistas lay around every corner amid the ancient Appalachian mountains. The scenery transitions with the seasons from the vivid green of summer and the riotous colors of spring to the warm cast of fall and the white shroud of winter. Amid this vibrant and varied landscape, close to 80 historic buildings preserve the southern Appalachian mountain culture, of which the pioneer homestead at Cades Cove is just one. With ample opportunity for activities like hiking, biking, fishing and more, the ethereal allure of the Great Smoky Mountains is impossible to ignore.

107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN, United States, 37738
Wear Farm City Park

Replacing the old City Park, Wear Farm City Park is now the main park of Pigeon Forge. Spread across 118 acres (47.75 hectares), it features lighted ball fields, playgrounds, pavilions, shelters, walking trails, restrooms and a basketball court. Whether it is for sports, picnics or any other purpose, this versatile facility is a great spot for recreational activities.

623 Wears Valley Road, Pigeon Forge, TN, United States, 37863
Cades Cove

Despite its name, Cades Cove is a stunning valley, not a cove. Located promiscuously on the border of both Tennessee and North Carolina, the valley is known for its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. Visitors to Cades Cove will marvel at the Thunderhead Mountains towering over the valley. Keep a sharp eye on the landscape - bears, white-tailed deer, coyotes, ground hogs, and turkeys have been spotted throughout the area. Visitors can also learn about the Cherokee tribes that used the valley as a hunting ground for hundreds of years and explore the 19th-Century buildings left behind by the area's first European settlers.

Cades Cove Loop Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN, United States, 37738
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