Ecotourism in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Part 1


| 7/19/2016 1:32:00 PM


Tags: national parks, ecotourism, travel, Tennessee, John D Ivanko,

Rushing Waters in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cradled by the half-million-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tenn., can be a perfect, if not also eco-luxurious, base camp, a cornucopia of discoveries for the arts and craft crowd, or a wacky diversionary stop on the way to or from an entrance to the most visited national parks in the United States.

Rushing rivers cut through Gatlinburg; streams traverse the downtown as frequently as you come upon taffy candy stores and more recently, whisky distilleries.  During the spring, summer and fall, there always seems to be something in bloom.

A backdrop of the Smoky Mountains is a constant, with photo-worthy vistas but an open-air chairlift on Gatlinburg Sky Lift or Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway journey from downtown.

Due to its accessibility to millions of people living in the major cities in surrounding states and the appeal as one of the most richly biodiverse areas of the United States, the national park and Gatlinburg have long been the waypoint for the nature lovers and arts-and-craft seekers alike. Another big draw are the black bears themselves — about two for every square mile.

Sure, there are plenty of touristy attractions in Gatlinburg, like put-put golf.  Hillbilly Golf, for example, is perched so precariously up the side of a mountain that you need a funicular train (custom-made from an old elevator) to access the course.




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