National park located on the border between Tennessee and North Carolina.

The southern Appalachian mountains were heavily logged in the early part of the 1900's and an effort to form a national park came into being. The area that would become the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was around 800 square miles of forested area, with diverse plant and animal life. In 1934, the park was established and is now visited by over 9 million people a year. The "smoky" part of the parks name comes from a natural fog that settles over the mountains in the early mornings, giving the peaks the look of being wreathed in fire.

The park has a number of good campgrounds for those who like both tent and trailer camping. Some of the larger campgrounds include Cades Cove (a former Appalachian community), Elkmont, Smokemont, and Cosby. A more remote campground and a personal favorite is Balsam Mountain, a more remote campsite that lies on a ridge in a fir tree grove.

Over 900 miles worth of hiking trails wind their way through the park, with waterfalls, caves, and other natural wonders to observe. The Appalachian Trail runs through the park and is accessable from a number of points within its confines.

For those who want to enjoy the natural beauty of the area during the day, but prefer a little more distance from nature at night, the local towns of Gatlinburg, TN, Pigeon Forge, TN, and Cherokee, NC offer visitors the farthest thing from natural beauty within minutes of the park.

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