Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains © National Park Service
East of Nashville on the border between Tennessee and North Carolina lies the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Covering more than one and a half million acres, the park is the largest in the eastern United States and most visited in the country. A designated International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site, it draws millions of visitors every year with its panoramic views, tumbling mountain streams and uninterrupted forest. The mountains are home to a variety of plant and animal life, many of which are unique to the area. A symbol of the Smokies, the American Black Bear is probably the most famous resident, while rarer inhabitants include the river otter, elk and Peregrine Falcon. The park offers numerous outdoor activities and glimpses into early Appalachian farm life, with 77 historic structures like barns, churches and gristmills.