Looks like our Great Smoky Mountains have been making a splash recently.
Today, we ran a story about tourism in our area. According to the Associated Press:
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is running more than 11 percent ahead of 2011 visits for the first half of this year.
EDIT: Here’s an updated link to our more in-depth story on the tourism boost.
Park officials claim that in the month of June alone, there were “a total of 1,202,056 visitors to the 500,000-acre park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border.”
I mean, the Smokies are pretty spectacular, and it’s the perfect summertime destination. Imagining a vacation in the Smokies brings endless ideas for fun and relaxing ways to unwind.
And that’s exactly what a Huffington Post article reinforced. Specifically, it highlights Laurel Falls in the Smokies as one of the best waterfalls in U.S. national parks.
In a photo slideshow of 9 different waterfalls, Laurel Falls is featured in the No. 1 spot.
The caption goes on to say:
The park has perfect waterfall conditions, which are twofold — elevation gradient (rain travels over a mile in elevation from the tops of mountains to the foothills — all within the park boundaries) and ample rainfall. Laurel Falls is an iconic example of the falls in the Smokies and is one of the park’s most popular attractions.
Moral of the story? You might want to plan a little mountain getaway this summer. It’s in all our best interests not to take for granted this phenomenal place right in our back yards.
For more information on the Smokies, check out the knoxnews community site, GoSmokies.