Two new free apps can help guide your trip to the Smokies and Blount County.
The Blount Partnership has launched a driving tour mobile app that provides a history of Cades Cove, GPS mapping, voice narration and historical photos to add to visitors' experience as they explore the Cove. Cell service doesn't reach into the park, but the developers said all the content in the app will work without a connection if it's downloaded in advance.
A hiking and biking app features trails in and around the National Park, including the Cades Cove Loop and the Maryville-Alcoa Trails. It also includes a listing of outfitters, GPS enabled maps, social media and web links to travel information
"We are integrating technology like these apps more and more into our tourism strategies," said Tami Vater, director of Tourism for the Blount Partnership. "Smart phones and tablets play such a pivotal role in our daily lives now, so it's a great way to give visitors a way to navigate our area, learn about our history and make their experience more complete."
The group still hands out thousands of paper brochures and vacation guides as well, but said more people are looking for tools like apps.
To download the apps, search "Cades Cove" and "Hiking and Biking the Smoky Mountains" in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. For the vacation guide, search "Townsend, TN" and for the driving tour app, search "Circle the Smokies" or "Townsend Driving Tour."