Smoky Mountains by KOA - TravelStorys

Smoky Mountains by KOA

Sponsored by KOA Care Camps

  • Location: Tennessee
  • Travel Type: Driving
  • Trip Time: 2 hours
  • Language:

Explore this tour with the TravelStorys App

About This Tour

Bradley Fork

Beech Flats

Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses more than 522,000 acres, divided almost in half by the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina. You will drive Route 441 and Route 321 through the forests of the Great Smoky Mountains. About ten million people visit here every year – more than Yellowstone, Yosemite, or even the Grand Canyon.

KOA will guide you through the heart of the Park — from Townsend, TN to Cherokee, NC, and over to Pigeon Forge, TN. From wild boars to historic cabins and Cherokee history, expect to learn about the culture, geography, and history that makes this Appalachian route unique.

Hear about the Park’s geology and how this region was the edge of a shallow sea five-hundred million years ago. Geologists have learned this from fossils found within Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Thanks to archeologists, you will hear about much more recent human history: Cherokee ancestors, who hunted mastodons here during the last Ice Age 13,000 years ago! In addition, learn about Woodland Indians who built their villages nearly 2,000 years ago.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its diverse wildlife and nature. For example, this National Park has the most diverse salamander population globally; more tree species than Northern Europe; and sixty-five different species of mammals. As you drive or hike through the Park, keep your eyes out for wild hogs, birds, and even bears. The ones you’re most likely to catch a glimpse of are white-tailed deer, chipmunks, groundhogs, squirrels, and bats.

But sometimes, it is the smallest animals that fill us with the most awe. This will be the case if you visit the Park in the short two weeks of the summer when mating fireflies put on a magical nighttime light show.

If you are an avid trout fisherman, do not worry, as this region has a long fishing history. The Cherokee Indians used fishing poles and spears thousands of years ago. Today’s anglers call this the crème de la crème of fly-fishing in the East. This tour points out some of the over 800 miles of mountain fishing streams and rivers.

You’ll cross the Appalachian Trail, the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. It traverses the crest of the Appalachian Mountain Range.

Other sites along the driving tour include Sugarlands Visitor Center, Newfound Gap, Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Mountain Farm Museum.

Tour Sponsors
This tour is sponsored by Kampgrounds of America, whose nearly 500 destinations around North America offer every kind of camping, from simple roadside campsites to premium accommodations and full-service resorts. Founded on the basic concept of the American road trip, KOA supports efforts to improve outdoor education and enjoyment.

In 1984, KOA launched a charity called KOA Care Camps, which raises funds for nonprofit programs that give children with cancer the chance to experience fun summer camps under medical supervision.

Find More Tours Near You
If you are interested in more audio tours in the region, check out the Overmountain Victory Trail and Music City. To find more tours in Tennessee or wherever your travels may take you visit, Every place has a story.

View This Tour Virtually!


Tour Excerpts

About This Tour

Bradley Fork

Beech Flats