Parade Magazine Names the Smoky Mountains a Must-See National Park

Here at Timber Tops Cabin Rentals, we believe that everyone should visit Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains…and apparently, we’re not alone! In a recent article in Parade magazine titled “An Insider’s Guide to America’s National Parks,” author Kathleen McCleary sings the praises of our very own Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In fact, Parade named the Smokies one of the national parks “every American should see.”

What makes the Smoky Mountains such a special place? Mark Wenzler of the National Parks Conservation Association told Parade that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a host of charms. “The biodiversity there exceeds that found almost anywhere else in the world. There are more species of trees than in all of Europe. And you get important cultural stories about the people who lived there before the park was established and the Native Americans who lived there before that. It’s an amazing experience.”

Ready to plan your trip to the Smokies? Check out our brief guide to making the most of your visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Seeing the National Park’s Flora and Fauna

Amazing mountain views from Newfound Gap Road.

As noted above, the Great Smoky Mountains are famous for their multitude of tree species. One of our favorite ways to take in the national park’s greenery is by driving along Newfound Gap Road, an incredibly scenic highway that stretches all the way from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC. A trip across Newfound Gap Road has been compared to traveling from Georgia to Maine in terms of the variety of forest ecosystems you’ll see along the way. Of course, you should make sure that you keep your eyes on the road if you’re the one driving!

In addition to its spectacular flora, the Smokies are home to a diverse collection of animals. The park boasts 200 types of birds, 65 species of mammals, 67 varieties of fish, and over 80 species of reptiles and amphibians. Cades Cove is far and away the most popular spot for wildlife viewing in the Great Smoky Mountains. This wide, open valley is ideal for spotting black bears, wild turkey, and white-tailed deer, among other critters. For more information, check out our top tips for seeing Smoky Mountain wildlife.

Experiencing the History and Culture of the Smokies

The John Cable gristmill in Cades Cove.

When the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established in 1934, a number of communities that fell within the park’s boundaries were forced to relocate. Although many buildings from these historic settlements were destroyed, a number of properties were preserved by the National Park Service and opened to the public. These buildings provide a window into what life was like in the Smokies many years ago.

History buffs visiting the Smoky Mountains will definitely want to stop by the Elkmont Ghost Town, Little Greenbrier, and Cades Cove. Follow the link to learn more about these three Smoky Mountain historic sites.

Where to Stay in the Smoky Mountains

ClearView 1 bedroom cabin

When you stay with Timber Tops Cabin Rentals, you will be just a short drive away from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN come with your choice of amazing amenities, including gorgeous mountain views, decks with hot tubs and rocking chairs, fully equipped kitchens, incredible theater rooms, and fun game rooms. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 15 bedroom lodges, we are sure to have the perfect property for your getaway. To start planning your vacation, browse our selection of cabins in the Smoky Mountains!