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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

By Jul 16th 2010 No Comments »

Hey All,

I realize it’s been a few days since our last post, so we have a lot to catch up on.  After leaving Mammoth Cave, we headed back down south to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Our late night arrival landed us in Pigeon Forge, TN, a very eclectic town with a lot to offer families traveling to the park.

We unfortunately were rained out on the day following our arrival, so we bummed around town, taking care of errands and other things that needed to get done.

On Tuesday we headed into Great Smoky Mountain National Park – the most visited National Park in U.S. and one that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains.  The Great Smoky Mountain National Park was chartered in 1934 and is comprised of 814 square miles of protected land, which therefor makes it one of the largest areas of protected land in the Eastern United States.

Mountains and valleys make up the park, much like Shenandoah, while roadways intertwine in and out of the park: up hills, down hills, and around switchbacks.  The views from any of the scenic pullouts are truly picturesque and are sure not to disappoint.

To really absorb our surroundings, we decided to hike up the third highest peak in the park, Mount Le Conte, which is one of the most frequented mountains in the park, and clocks in at just over 6,590 feet.  There are five paths that can be used to reach the summit – we took the Alum Cave Trail which is also the most frequented – it offers beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding Smoky Mountains.  At the top, you can stay at the LeConte Lodge or even rent one of the cabins for a night or two.

Once reaching the summit, we continued our ascent to two additional scenic viewpoints: Myrtle Point & Clifftop – both offered magnificent, panoramic views of the park.

After finishing the hike we headed for Northern Alabama to DeSoto State Park.

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