Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. It covers an expansive 522,419 acres, making it one of the largest protected areas in the Eastern United States. It is located along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, and is known for its rich biodiversity.
The park was established in 1934 and was the most visited national park in 2020, with 12.5 million recreational visitors. It is a popular destination due to its spectacular scenery and wide range of recreational activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, bird watching, and horseback riding. The park also offers extensive educational opportunities and provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its majestic landscape, which includes over 800 miles of trails and paths, more than 100 waterfalls, dense stands of ancient hardwood forest, and an abundance of wildlife. The park is home to a diverse array of plants and animals, including black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, salamanders, and an estimated 1,500 black bears.
The park is divided into two parts, the main part being located in Tennessee and the other in North Carolina. It is home to some of the highest peaks in the Appalachian Mountains, including Clingmans Dome and Mount LeConte. The park also includes part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic roadway that runs through the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
The history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is intertwined with the history of the Cherokee people, who were forcibly removed from the area during the 1830s to make room for white settlers. The park is home to numerous historic sites, including the Mingus Mill, the Oconaluftee Indian Village, and the Abram's Falls Trail.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to hiking, camping, and fishing, visitors can also enjoy horseback riding, kayaking, and mountain biking. There are also several scenic drives within the park, including the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Foothills Parkway.
No visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be complete without a stop at Clingmans Dome, the park's highest peak, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountain range. The park is also home to a wide variety of wildflowers, as well as numerous species of birds and other wildlife.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States, and is a must-see destination for nature lovers. With its breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, and variety of recreational activities, it's easy to see why the park is so popular.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Where is Great Smoky Mountains National Park located?
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. It is located about 200 miles from Atlanta, Georgia, and about 275 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Are dogs allowed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
No, pets are not allowed on any of the trails, backcountry campsites, or in the backcountry in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Pets are only allowed in developed campgrounds, picnic areas, and along roads. Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.
What to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers visitors a wealth of activities, from hiking and camping to horseback riding and fishing. Visitors can explore the park's lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking mountain vistas. There are also numerous historic sites, including cabins and churches, to explore. Visitors can also take advantage of the park’s many educational programs and ranger-led activities. If you're looking for a fun and relaxing getaway, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an ideal destination.
How to get to Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located on the North Carolina and Tennessee border. The park can be accessed from both states, but the closest major cities are Knoxville, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina. From either city, visitors can take I-40 West to reach the park.
Average weather in Great Smoky Mountains National Park