Whether your an eco-tourist visiting to relax and enjoy the wildlife, or to travel across the beautiful mountains, Great Smoky Mountains National Park isn't going to disappoint.
Cades Cove is a great starting point and ideal location for your base, as it has everything from log cabins to camping available. If Fishing is your thing, permits are available and there are plenty of places to fish with over 700 miles of streams. However, do seek advice first as certain areas are restricted and some fish prohibited.
Beautiful, cascading waterfalls are abundant in Great Smoky and a couple to look out for are Laurel and Rainbow. Some can only be accessed via trails though, so do plan ahead and ensure you're suitably dressed, as it may be a fair old hike to one or two.
During your stay at the Cove you are likely to see such wonderful animals such as anything from a black bear to white-tailed deer. While the bears are not as dangerous as grizzlies, a sensible and cautious approach is recommended. View the animals from a safe distance and leave them to enjoy their habitat undisturbed. If you're very lucky, you may witness a Bobcat, although these big cats can be seen, they are somewhat rarer.
Throughout Great Smoky there are many historic log buildings worth seeing, many of which can also be found at Cades Cove. Many of the buildings have their own unique story and are worth a visit. Self-guiding booklets are also available.
For those who prefer to avoid driving there is cycle hire available at Cades Cove. Not everywhere is suitable for cycling, however, the Cades Cove loop road is safe and has plenty of opportunities for viewing wildlife and historic buildings.
Great Smokey has not always been renowned for its self sustainability. However, eco-tourists should be happy to know things are improving all the time. One such place is Pigeon Forge so if your a green traveller and you like a bit of adventure then why not give it a try.