Discovering YOU Magazine October 2018 Issue - Page 27

VACATION AND TRAVEL

When you think about the fall season, most people think about the New England states because of the stunning landscape with the white church steeples mixed in with all kinds of vibrant colors throughout the rolling hills of some of those smaller sized states. But did you know that the Smoky Mountains National Park is also a very popular travel destination in the fall months because of the beauty of the tree covered mountains having a stunning display of gold, red, yellow and orange colored leaves. I’ve personally been here at least 8 times in my travels and found the area of the Smokey Mountains as being a great travel destination for people on vacation, passing through, or just as a place to get away for a few days from the everyday grind. Cities like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the nearby city of Ashville which has the Biltmore Estate, and also the Cherokee Indian reservation are the most visited places.

The best time to see the Smoky Mountains fall foliage is anytime from mid-October to early November in the mid and lower elevations, but September is when the leaves start to change. The landscape there is populated with sugar maples, hickories, sweetgum, scarlet oaks, red maples and nearly 100 other species of native trees. This colorful show from Mother Nature will last seven weeks or more, depending on temperatures, the length of the day and other factors. For that reason, it’s always difficult to determine a peak foliage forecast in the Smokies. You will find most people visit

in the summertime, but the fall is the best time to go based on temperature and visual scenery.

Driving through the park there are different vantage points to view the mountains in their entire spender. There are many events happenings in this area in Tennessee near the state of North Carolina’s border which is where I lived for four years and I would stop in this area many times on my way to or from Michigan. This is a great family destination as well as a great honeymoon area for newlywed couples as there are many wedding chapels in the area. There is something there for everyone.

Here are a few facts about this National Park. There are about 1500 black bears living there year-round. This became a National Park in 1934. There are more than 50 different fish species in the river and streams throughout the park. This park is also home to 200 different types of birds, 67 different Mammal breeds, 80 types of Amphibians and Reptiles, 67 types of fish, 1500 species of wildflowers and a whopping 17,000 types of insects.