Why do people come out to the mountains anyway? With so many choices of destinations throughout America – beaches, cities, lakes and rivers and such – what is the one thing that visitors who choose the majestic mountains of East Tennessee come for?
One word: adventure. Even those who venture to the Smokies for a relaxing getaway want, on some level at least, the rugged feel of the country all around them and on top. There is a certain magic and comfort to being surrounding by thick forests and huge, rocky ridges, darkened with green, brown and gray colors and amplified by the ambiance of flowing creeks, calling birds, rustling leaves and the very LIFE of the mountains making itself known in waves from the smallest to the largest parts of the environment. The Smokies call out to their visitors, so why not answer back?
We recommend Smoky Mountain Jeep Rentals in Wears Valley as the adventure provider for exploring the hills and National Park. Highly professional and well rated among visitors and locals alike, Smoky Mountain Jeep Rentals offers a variety of different jeep models to satisfy most tastes; including 2-door, 4-door, open-air, 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive models. Special discounts and deals are regularly offered, and even a Jeep wedding package is available!
So what are some of the places you can visit for a Smoky Mountain adventure around here? Let’s look:
* Newfound Gap
One of the most famous roads going through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Newfound Gap extends from the Spur in Gatlinburg to Cherokee, North Carolina. This road is an hour-long drive between Gatlinburg to Cherokee and provides access to the Sugarlands Visitor Center, nearly a dozen stops along the road for breathtaking views, and more than a few hiking trails along the way. This is even the site where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt officially dedicated the park to what it is today back in 1940. See this destination on Google Maps.
* Little River Road
Another road going straight through the National Park that connects Gatlinburg to Townsend. This road starts at Sugarlands Visitor Center (which is also the East Tennessee National Park Service Headquarters) and drives for 18 miles through gorgeous greenery, waterfalls, and the river alongside it. If you wanted a fun and quiet way to visit Townsend, a fun and quiet destination itself, this is the road you want to drive on! See this destination on Google Maps.
* Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
This road starts up at the top of Airport Road in downtown Gatlinburg and is exactly the kind of sightseeing adventure you should take our jeeps on! The Motor Nature Trail is a 6 mile, one way loop that offers a multitude of items worth breaking the camera out for. Rushing streams, old-growth forest, well-preserved log cabins, grist mills, and some of the most popular waterfalls in all the Smokies. See this destination on Google Maps.
* Cades Cove
The crown jewels of the historical Smoky Mountains, enough can’t be said about Cades Cove and no serious road trip through the National Park is complete without a visit. To put it simply, you can find incredible views, historical buildings, wildlife sightings of deer, bears, coyote and turkeys, visitor center and much more. This is an 11-mile, one-way loop just outside of Townsend, TN, near Wears Valley. More on Cades Cove can be found here – http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm. See this destination on Google Maps.
* Metcalf Bottoms
Want to look for a cool little pavilion spot for a picnic in the Smokies? Metcalf Bottoms is your place to go to. It’s surrounded by the thick forestry of the mountains, is located about 11 miles from Gatlinburg, and offers visitors proper ample opportunity to go grilling, hiking, fishing and view wildlife in the vicinity. See this destination on Google Maps.
* Townsend Wye
Probably the most famous river in East Tennessee as far as visitor interaction is concerned, the Townsend Wye (pronoucned “Y”) is the landmark that made Townsend what it is today. It is a moderately shallow stream perfectly sized for families and groups to enjoy swimming, fishing, tubing and many other riparian entertainments and you can bet it’s gorgeous to drive alongside of as well. Combine it with a trip to Cades Cove or Gatlinburg through Little River Road and you have one heck of a good adventuring day ahead of you! See this destination on Google Maps.
* Chimney Tops
Nothing puts the “adventure” in a Smoky Mountain adventure of any kind like a hike through the natural mountain itself, and Chimney Tops is one of the best trails you’ll ever go on. Nearly 4 miles in length roundtrip, you gain over 1,400 feet in elevation trekking up the immaculate path and features outstanding views of the Smokies you almost can’t get anywhere else. Chimney Tops is found on Newfound Gap road, and you could schedule a full day of adventurin’ just doing these two destinations alone. See this destination on Google Maps.
* Laurel Falls
Without a doubt the can’t-miss Smoky Mountain adventure is Laurel Falls near Sugarlands Visitor Center. The end of this trail features one of the greatest rewards a hiking path in the Smokies can offer – a gorgeous, multi-level waterfall that you will definitely want to bring your camera for. There is also a historic lookout tower in the vicinity as well (one of only three remaining in the national park). If you’ve got young’uns in tow or you just wanted a pleasant walk up the mountains with a good little reward for your trek up there, Laurel Falls should be on your itinerary. See this destination on Google Maps.
Smoky Mountain Jeep Rentals will take an already fantastic journey into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and turn it into the most fantastic way to see the Smokies Greatest Attraction. See more SMJR at www.smokymountainjeeprentals.com.