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Cades Cove. This visitor center is located about midway on the 11-mi Cades Cove Loop on the Tennessee side. What makes this one especially worth visiting is the Cable Mill, which operates spring through fall, and the Becky Cable House, a pioneer home with farm outbuildings. Cades Cove Loop, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC. 865/436-1200 park information line. www.nps.gov/grsm. Dec. and Jan., daily 9-4:30; Feb. and Nov., daily 9-5; Mar., Sept., and Oct., daily 9-6; Apr.-Aug., daily 9-7.
Oconaluftee. The park's only information center on the North Carolina side is 1½ mi from Cherokee. In 2011, it reopened after a major expansion and now features interactive displays, a book and gift store, and live assistance from park rangers and volunteers. Adjoining the visitor center, in a large level field next to the Oconaluftee River, is the Mountain Farm Museum. US Hwy. 441, 1 1/2 mi from Cherokee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC, 28719. 865/436-1200 park information line. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm. Jan.-Feb., daily 8-4:30; March and Nov., daily 8-5; Apr.-May and Sep.-Oct., daily 8-6; June-Aug., daily 8-7.
Sugarlands. Here, at the main visitor center on the Tennessee side, you can watch a 20-minute film about the park and take in extensive exhibits about park flora and fauna. U.S. Hwy 441, 2 mi south of Gatlinburg, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC, 37738. 865/436-1200 visitor information line. www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm. Jan.-Feb., daily 8-4:30; Mar. and Nov., daily 8-5; Apr., May, Sept., and Oct., daily 8-6; June-Aug., daily 8-7.
Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact Station. While not a full-fledged visitor information center, Clingmans Dome now has a staffed information kiosk, along wth a small park store and bookshop, at the Clingmans Dome trailhead. Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC. 865/436-1200 park information line. www.nps.gov/grsm. Apr.-Oct., daily 10-6; Nov., daily 9:30-5.
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