Hiking and Backpacking
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has over 800 miles of designated hiking trails. Overnight camping in the backcountry requires a permit, and all overnight camping must be done at designated shelters and locations.
Unlike the park's roads, all but three trails within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are closed to bicycles. The 11-mile Cades Cove Loop Road is a favorite and is closed to motorists in the early morning hours between May and September. Cyclists under 16 must, by Tennessee law, wear a helmet at all times.
The Gatlinburg section of Tennessee is famous for trout, and anglers can find places to fish inside of town limits, along the banks of the Little Pigeon River or within most (but not all) of the more than 2,000 miles of streams inside the National Park. Permits are required for all anglers over the age of 12 (see Resources).
With rapids carrying names like Powerhouse, Roller Coaster, Lost Guide and Chubbie Checker, the Pigeon River offers those seeking white water thrills a ton of spray and five miles of Class III rapids.
The most visited National Park in the United States, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also the only National Park that charges no admission fee.