The Smokies are home to a diversity of wildlife! From the national park to all kinds of amazing attractions, there are so many places for you to observe all the amazing species here. To help you make the most of your time, we put together a list of the 5 best places for you to see Smoky Mountain wildlife.
1. Cades Cove
Since much of the national park is covered in dense forest, it can sometimes be challenging to spot Smoky Mountain wildlife. However, this isn’t an issue in the wide-open valley of Cades Cove. White-tailed deer, black bears, turkeys, and other amazing animals can frequently be seen there. It’s also a smart idea to bring a pair of binoculars when you’re trying to view these animals so that you can admire them from a safe distance.
2. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a scenic and narrow, winding road in the national park. Because of all the twists in the road, drivers usually prefer to travel at a leisurely pace. This makes it easier to catch a glimpse of the Smoky Mountain wildlife that lives in the surrounding area.
3. Grotto Falls
When you follow the Trillium Gap Trail, it will eventually lead you past Grotto Falls, a 25-foot waterfall! You’ll actually be traveling behind the falls, and will have the opportunity to see some of the smaller Smoky Mountain wildlife species. The cool environment near the falls is ideal for salamanders, and is a great spot for hikers to beat the heat during the warmer months.
4. Wildlife Encounter at Ober Gatlinburg
Another one of the best places to see Smoky Mountain wildlife is at the Ober Gatlinburg Wildlife Encounter! You’ll have the chance to see river otters playing at the underwater viewing area, bobcats and birds of prey in the enclosed aviary, and a family of black bears! It provides visitors with a place to view native wildlife up close and in a safe environment.
5. Three Bears General Store
From playing games in the arcade to taking old time photos with the family, there are so many fun activities to enjoy in the Three Bears General Store! However, the highlight of this attraction would have to be the Live Bear Habitat. These wonderful animals were rescued from a nearby hunting farm and have been with this attraction ever since. You can watch as they play together, and if you’re brave enough, you can even feed them!
Where to Stay
If you’re looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature, our campground in the Smokies is the place for you! When you stay with us, you’ll be surrounded by peaceful wooded areas, and gorgeous views of the mountains. With the abundance of these natural areas nearby, you’ll have plenty of chances to look for and spot all of your favorite Smoky Mountain wildlife!
Start planning an unforgettable vacation and book your campsite in the Smokies today! We look forward to seeing you at Pigeon River Campground.