Interesting facts about Great Smoky Mountains National Park

great smoky mountains national park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is consist of ridge upon ridge of seemingly endless forest on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established on June 15, 1934.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers 522,427 acres, making it one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States.

It is the most visited national park in the United States, drawing more than 9 million visitors a year, twice the number of any other national park.

Great Smoky Mountains are among the oldest mountain ranges in the world! Elevations in the park range from approximately 259 to 2,024 meters (850 to 6,643 feet).

The wispy, smoke-like fog that hangs over the Smoky Mountains comes from rain and evaporation from trees.

great smoky mountains national park trees

World renowned for the diversity of its plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains and its history of southern Appalachian mountain culture.

Over 17,000 species have been documented in the park during an on-going inventory, and scientists believe an additional 30,000-80,000 species may live here.

About 100 native tree species make their home in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. More than in all of northern Europe. The park also contains one of the largest blocks of old-growth temperate deciduous forest in North.

great smoky mountains

Because it contains so many types of eastern forest vegetation—much of it old growth—the park has been designated an international biosphere reserve.

Streams, rivers and waterfalls appear along hiking routes that include a segment of the Appalachian Trail.

Every year many visitors hike well-worn trails to view Abrams, Grotto, Laurel, Hen Wallow, Rainbow, and other popular waterfalls in the park.

great smoky mountains national park waterfall

The Deep Creek area is celebrated for its streams and waterfalls. Hikers can choose from several loop hikes leading to the waterfalls.

Protected in the park are some 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians.

The symbol of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the American Black Bear, is perhaps the most famous resident of the park. Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the park.

great smoky mountains national park black bear

Of the 65 other mammal species documented in the park, the white-tailed deer, chipmunk, groundhog, squirrel and bat species are the most commonly seen.

There are at least 30 different species of salamanders. This gives Great Smoky Mountains National Park the distinction of having the most diverse salamander population anywhere in the world and has earned the park the nickname Salamander Capital of the World.

Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park.

great smoky mountains national park cades cove

At 2,024 meters (6,643 feet), Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the highest point in the state of Tennessee, and the highest point along the 3,499 kilometers (2,174 mile) Appalachian Trail. View is amazing from there.

clingmans dome view

There are 1,370 kilometers (850 miles) of trails and unpaved roads in the park for hiking, including 112 kilometers (70 miles) of the Appalachian Trail.

After hiking and simple sightseeing, fishing (especially fly fishing) is the most popular activity in the national park.

97 historic structures, including churches, schools, grist mills, barns, and the homes of early settlers, preserve Southern Appalachian mountain heritage in the park.

great smoky mountains national park church

Before the arrival of European settlers, the region was part of the homeland of the Cherokees.

Often called the “Crown Jewels of the Appalachian Mountains,” the Great Smoky Mountains were also referred to as the “ Land of Blue Mist” by the Cherokees.

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