Interesting Facts About Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The history of the smoky mountains dates back nearly 300 million years. Did you know that fact?

There are many fascinating facts about the Smoky Mountains.

But first, you need to know that the smoky mountains are located in the southeastern parts of the United States. 

It covers 522,419 acres of land, making it one of the massive protected areas on the eastern side of the United States.

So what’s so unique about the Smoky Mountains National Park? 

To enable you to know more about these fantastic places, here are the most popular facts about the mountains that make them unique.  

Diversity of Animals and Plants

You will find a wide range of plants and animals in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It is thought to have about 4000 plant species, 140 tree species, 65 animal species, 200 bird species, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 reptile species.

In addition, the Smoky Mountains are home to about 1500 bears.

Entrance is Free

Isn’t it incredible that the Smoky Mountain National Park is free to visit?

But did you realize that the land was previously privately owned?

Until Tennessee and North Carolina paid for the construction of the Newfound road and gave it to the federal government, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was private property.

The federal government announced that no driver on the road would be required to obtain a license or pay a fee.

The Smoky Mountains Park is ACCESSIBLE at all times of the day.

Some roads, such as Clingmans Dome Road, are closed throughout the winter.

They are reopened after each winter season ends.

great smoky mountains national park
Aviator31, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Most Visited Place In America

Given the range of activities available and the fact that entrance is free, it’s no surprise that it’s the most visited park in the United States.

Ziplining, fishing, horseback riding, and learning about historical events are all options.

Every year, over ten million tourists visit the national park.  

It is the Salamander Capital of the World

The Smoky Mountains are known as the “World’s Salamander Capital.”

Why? Because they are home to more than 30 different Salamander species.

Salamanders are thought to make up the majority of the park’s wildlife on any given day.

800 Plus Miles of Hiking Trails

Do you enjoy going on hikes? Then it would be ideal if you paid a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, National Park.

You will be doing yourself a disservice if you do not see this park, which has over 800 miles of hiking trails. 

Apart from ziplining, hiking is one of the most remarkable ways to experience the area.

You may enjoy a spectacular view of frozen waterfalls in the winter and wildflowers in the spring on the walk.

You will be treated to breathtaking landscapes no matter what time of year you visit.

The Oldest Mountains In The World

It is estimated that the smoky mountains are aged between 200 to 300 million years old.

This fact puts them among the oldest mountains in the world today.

It only turned 100 years old in 2016, meaning that we may never know about a lot of history that happened before.

The volume of weather determines the life of the mountains the rocks have gone through.

Also, you can tell the age by looking at the particles in the soil and trees found on the hill.

The temperatures on the Mountain Tops Rarely get to 80 degrees

While hiking, you don’t need to worry about scorching temperatures because the mountain tops’ temperatures seldom get to 80 degrees.

Also, the fall is the most popular time to visit the park.

That is when you get to see the beautiful colors of the leaves, ranging from orange, red to gold.

Fall occurs from mid-October to the first week of November.

Approximately 2900 Miles of Streams

The expansive national park boasts an estimated 2900 miles of streams, and all these streams have fish.

So at any given time, if you decide you are not interested in hiking, you can switch to fishing.

90 Plus Amazing Historical Structures are Found in the park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains many historically significant structures.

The park has restored more than 90 antique structures.

Schools, burns, churches, residences, and grist mills are among the facilities that have been maintained.

The best thing is that you can find these constructions near Cades Cove, which is part of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

The area was dubbed “Land of the Blue Smoke” (“Shaconage”)

Shaconage refers to the land of blue smoke, which is a synonym for mist or fog.

The mountains are known as the smoky mountains because of the mist.

The mist is created by the vapor that is emitted by the park’s vegetation.

The vapor molecules then condense into gas, which scatters in the blue sky, giving the mist its color.

Llamas Are the Mode Of Transport To Mount Leconte

To get to Mount LeConte, you have to hike because there are no roads to get there. 

For this reason, supplies are transported to the LeConte Lodge by llamas.

You are more likely to bump into them if you are hiking along Trillium Gap Trail on your way to the top of Mount LeConte or to see Grotto Falls.

A Woman Was The First Inhabitant Of The Great Smoky Mountains.

This fact is the least known, but did you know that the first settler to the mountains was a woman?

Her name was Martha Jane Huskey Ogle. 

Although her husband, William Ogle, built the home, he passed away before moving there to settle with his family.

Wrap Up!

With all these facts about the Great Smoky Mountains national park, your desire to visit it must be at an all-time high.

Do not waste more time ensuring that you make a point to visit and enjoy one of the world’s best and oldest places in the world today.

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