3 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Smoky Mountains Visitor Center

November 26, 2018

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States! The park receives over 2 million visitors every year! All of these visitors come looking to find beautiful mountain views, spot local wildlife, and explore the hiking trails. If you are looking for the best way to learn about the park before exploring it then you need to visit the Smoky Mountains visitor center, also known as the Sugarlands Visitor Center. 

1. Find Informative ResourcesGSMNP entrance sign

It’s often that many guests to the Smoky Mountains come wanting to hit the trails and explore the beautiful landscape. However, navigating through the Smoky Mountains can be tricky for some. If you stop by the Sugarlands Visitor Visitor you can find useful park maps of the roads and trails! More than that, you can find other books and information about the animals in the park, specific trails, the climate, and much more! There’s also park rangers present at the Smoky Mountains visitor center. You can ask the rangers any kind of question and they are typically full of knowledge!

2. Fun Things to Do

The Sugarlands Visitor Center is full of more than just books and maps! Inside you can find a small museum to explore as well! The natural history exhibits here showcase life in the Smokies. You can find artifacts from early settlers and figures of animals, insects, and more. In addition to that, there is a free 20 minute movie about the Great Smoky Mountains you can watch. There’s a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and gifts from the park as well.

Cataract falls in Smoky Mountains3. Great Location in the Park

You can hangout in the visitor center whether it’s rainy, sunny, or even snowy! However, on pretty days the visitor center is just a great place to start the day! It’s location gives you and your family the opportunity to explore. Just behind Sugarlands is the Cataract Falls trail. This is an awesome, short, and flat hike that leads to a beautiful 25 foot tall waterfall! There’s also the Gatlinburg Trail to explore! The Gatlinburg Trail stretches from the visitor center to the edge of Gatlinburg, which is about 3.8 miles roundtrip. This trail is easy and perfect to enjoy some peace and quiet and see nice views of the river and woodlands. If you went to the Sugarlands Visitor Center to get a map you will see that from here you can make quick drives to several trails like Laurel Falls and Alum Cave Trail. A few other drives from here that are farther, but worth the time include Clingmans Dome, Cades Cove, and Elkmont.

How to Get to the Smoky Mountains Visitor Center

The Sugarlands Visitor Center is probably the easiest Smoky Mountain visitor center to visit. To get to the visitor center, travel through the main Parkway in Gatlinburg. After you pass traffic light number 10 the center will be 2 miles into the national park. This will be road US- 441 South.

Sugarlands is open everyday of the year, except Christmas Day, weather permitting. This isn’t the only Smoky Mountain visitor center worth visiting, but it may be one of the coolest and more informative! This is the best place to start your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains for information, and the best place to end it with a final souvenir.