The Great Smoky Mountains Park

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The Great Smoky Mountains Park is National Park that most people won't want to miss. In the mountains of eastern Tennessee lies this National Park that encompasses over 500,000 acres of lush forest. Part of the Appalachian Highlands, it houses thousands of species of wildlife. It offers unparalleled views of American nature at its finest.

This park boarders two great states, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Great Smoky Mountains Pictures

Photos By Joseph Rossbach

The elevation of the Great Smoky Mountains Park varies from just under 900 feet to over 6,600, making it perfect for those looking for variety. Mount Le Conte at nearly 6,600 feet, and the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi, is one of the most popular. In all, 16 mountains here reach heights over 6,000 feet.


Flickering fireflies abound here the first two weeks of June. They come here to the Great Smokey Mountains park to mate and the night light show is better than Christmas lights :)

Just go to the Sugarlands, an eastern valley, and from 10 pm on, you'll be treated to the best firefly show around.

A Natural History Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The lower elevations make for easy hiking, while the truly hardy can scale the highest peak, Clingman's Dome, by taking Alum Cave Trail. Once there, visitors can enjoy an unobstructed view over thousands of acres of forest land. The concrete ramp at the end provides easy access to the 50-foot high observation tower. Great Smoky Mountains Park gets over 9 million visitors to

the park per year, it can get crowded, so exercise patience.

The Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain

Still, with over 850 miles of trails and unpaved roads it is not hard to find a route that is serene and lightly traveled. Of that, seventy miles are along the famed Appalachian Trail. One leads to Chimney Tops, where hikers can enjoy being on top of these twin peaks for a breathtaking view of the land below. Another leads to Laurel Falls, where you will be

greeted by an 80-foot waterfall that would compete well with those in Yosemite.

100 Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There are lots of other activities available in Great Smoky National Park, as well. Fly fishing is one of the most popular. Rainbow Trout, Brook and others populate much of the over 700 miles of streams. Horseback riding is another favorite. The park offers four separate rental stables. Biking is a frequent activity near Cades Cove.

The Fly Fisherman's Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Thanks to over 55 inches of rain per year in the valleys and over 85 inches on the peaks, no matter where you travel you will find lush vegetation. Nature's green bounty means that the local wildlife have ample supply. That makes for great birdwatching and easy spotting of a wide variety of animals:)

More Great Smoky Mountain Info

Official statistics show more than 200 species of bird and several dozen species of mammals, including a Black Bear population that is estimated at around 1,500 (way more than Yosemite National Park!). Head to Cataloochee to see some of the deer, raccoons or woodchuck birds.

You can see them on foot or travel along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This 5-mile long road lets you take a leisurely drive in the comfort and safety of your car. Along the way you will see the old-growth forest that is home to everything from elk to owls.

Also on the trail there are lots of old grist mills, well-preserved historic log cabins and other structures. Nature's 'buildings' are also much in evidence, such as several stellar low waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery. The quietness of the outdoors makes for a perfect way to experience the park.

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at any time of the year. Weather here really varies, so check out the forecast before you visit.

Great Smoky Mountain Park Map

Great Smoky Mountain Tennessee Weather

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, weather forecast

Lodging Choices

Oconaluftee Visitor Center Great Smoky Hotels

Sugarlands Visitor Center Great Smoky Hotels

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