I LOVE to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park whenever I’m near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Each time that I visit, I feel recharged and discover something new.
Stop for a Quick Photo Op
As you enter the National Park, you have plenty of room to pull over to take a picture by the National Park sign. Generations of families have been taking pictures at this sign each time that they visit.
I also recommend checking out the view of the creek on the short trail nearby.
Kids will enjoy skipping stones and climbing on the rocks.
Visit Sugarlands Visitor Center
I highly recommend stopping at Sugarlands Visitor Center as soon as you enter the National Park. Why?
The Visitor Center is located only 2 miles south of downtown Gatlinburg
Sugarlands Discovery Center is located at 1420 Fighting Creek Gap Rd, Gatlinburg, TN.
Don’t Forget to Take a Bathroom Break
The Visitor Center is a great rest stop before you drive to other trailheads that might not have restrooms available within the National Park.
Accessible Park Rangers
The Park Rangers will help you determine the best trails for your time constraints, physical ability, and interests.
Each time that we have stopped at the Visitor Center, a park ranger has been super helpful in assisting us in determining how to maximize our time.
They also give you a map which comes in handy because GPS is not always reliable.
The park rangers can also update you on any road closures that could impact your travels.
Take a Quick Hike to Cataract Falls!
I’m so mad at myself for not discovering this gem sooner!
This EASY (3/4 mile round trip) trail takes you to a waterfall from the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Along the trail, you can walk across a small bridge on the trail or challenge yourself to walk across a giant tree trunk if you are feeling more adventurous.
Learn More About What to Expect in the Park
There are natural history exhibits inside the Visitor Center that explain more about the wildlife you could see in the park.
There is also a free 20-minute film about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which could come in handy on a rainy day.
Sugarlands Visitor will definitely help give you a great start to your adventures in the Great Smoky Mountains.
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