The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a national treasure and a nature preserve unlike any other in the United States. Here are some interesting facts and things to know about the Park;
1) Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountains were formed about 200-300
million years ago? This makes them among the oldest mountains in the world.
2) There are many places to view amazing waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains,
including Abrams Falls, Grotto Falls, Hen Wallow Falls, Indian Creek/Toms Branch Falls, Juney Whank Falls, Laurel Falls, Mingo Falls, Mouse Creek Falls, Rainbow Falls and Ramsey Cascades among many others.
3) The Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses approximately 244,000
acres in Tennessee and 276,000 acres in North Carolina for a total of 520,000 acres or more than 800 square miles. Also, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
4) The Great Smoky Mountains is home to over 4000 plants, 140 species of trees,
and over 1600 bears. Other animal species in the Park include the Eastern cottontail rabbit, red wolf, groundhog, red fox, coyote, bobcat, river otter, white-tailed deer and wild boar. The Park is also known as the “Salamander Capital of the World” since approximately 30 species of salamander can be found here.
5) Established in 1934, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest national
park East of the Rocky Mountains. The Park is one of the only National Parks that charge no admission fee. The Park is also the most visited, receiving 9-10 million visitors annually.
6) A 70-mile stretch of the 2,178-mile Appalachian Trail winds through Great
Smoky Mountains National Park. In addition to the Appalachian Trail, the Park features more than 850 miles of hiking trails. Some of the most popular hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountain National Park include Abrams Falls Trail (5 miles round trip), Alum Cave Trail (11 miles round trip), Andrews Bald Trail (3.6 miles round trip), Boulevard Trail (16 miles round trip), Chasteen Creek Falls Trail (4 miles round trip), Chimney Tops Trail (4 miles round trip), Grotto Falls Trail (3 miles round trip), Hen Wallow Falls Trail (4 miles round trip), Indian Creek Falls Trail (2 miles round trip), Laurel Falls Trail (2.5 miles round trip), Ramsey Cascades Trail (8 miles round trip) and Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail (3,000-foot loop).
7) Cades Cove is a 4,000-acre scenic valley that boasts preserved pioneer
homesteads, a campground and hiking trails. It is the most visited area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.