Day 4 – Great Smoky Mountains NP

So, my plan called for one more night at the park, but I changed it up a bit after reviewing my plan for today and Thursday.  Instead of taking a drive through the park and returning to the campground and somewhat retracing my route tomorrow, I decided to just head for Georgia today.  I took the drive along the New Found Gap road, which connects the Tennessee side of the park to the North Carolina side.  Along the way was a side road up to Clingmans Peak which is the highest peak in the Smokies and the third highest east of the Mississippi.  Unfortunately, it was a very “smoky” day in the mountains, so the visibility was quite limited.  But still worth the hike up to the top.

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After heading south out of the park, the big decision was where to spend the night – I was supposed to be in the park still.  I debated between campground and hotel and had nearly made up my mind to camp when it started to rain.  OK, a hotel sounds great!  So, I’m spending the night in Gainesville, GA, a little less than an hour north of Atlanta.  This will make what was going to be a long Thursday drive into only a four hour drive, so I may spend a little more time at Stone Mountain – depending on how the weather cooperates.

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