If you're planning a trip to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge anytime soon, I highly suggest dedicating at least one day to exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  There's something so stunning about the mountain views, and streams inside the park, plus there's so much to do!

My husband and I recently took a trip to Gatlinburg, and we spent most of our days hiking and exploring the national park.  Now we are not at all experienced hikers, but there was still plenty to do in the park for novices like us.  A few tips if you plan to explore the park, take a phone charger with you. I like the little charging block kind that you can charge and plug your phone in as needed. You won't have signal in the park, but the signs are great at directing you where you want to go. You can download routes to your phone GPS however if it makes you feel more comfortable so do that before you enter the park.  We packed a cooler each time we entered the park so we would have something to eat and wouldn't have to leave the park for lunch, as it's quite the drive in and out.  We took a cooler and loaded it with lunch meat, cheese, mustard, bread, chips, and other snacks.  We left the cooler in the car and would come back to the car when we wanted to eat.  I also suggest taking hand sanitizer, napkins, and a trash bag.  That way you can gather up any wrappers and things, and keep them in the car littering isn't cool, especially in a national park. We also took a backpack and two huge jugs we'd fill with water.  We'd put the waters in our backpack for times we'd venture away from the car and do a little hiking so we had water, a phone charger, and some protein bars on us.

So now that you have your items, let's do some exploring! Here's 5 sights you HAVE to see inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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