North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountain region is centered on the National park. We are camped just east of the park in Waynesville, NC. We are fortunate to be here during the fall color changes in the mountain forest areas. The Blue Ridge Parkway passes thru some of the area and enters into the national park and is an excellent scenic drive. We saw one group of local wildlife in the form of turkeys that are common in the area.
Our first day trip is a drive along a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy the fall colors and natural beauty of the area. We also crossed into the National Park and stopped at the visitor’s center and the Mountain Farm Museum. The drive along the parkway reminded me a great deal of the drive along the Colonial Parkway in Virginia during the fall. We traveled this route a number of times while visiting Williamsburg, VA.
As I have noted before, there is nothing like an important national treasure to attract the gaudy tourist industry and this area is no exception. As we descended out of the national park we were caught up in a large area of tourist traps including those inside the Cherokee Indian Reservation, where a huge addition to the Casino is underway. We did stop at an older section along the road to pick up some fresh fruit and perused the other wares for sale.