Fun Facts About the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Smoky Mountains were originally called the Great Iron Mountains…

… and the Cherokee called the area “Land of the Blue Smoke”. The smokiness is a fog created by the plants that are native to the mountains.

There is no fee to enter GSMNP…

… and it was the first national park to be partially federally funded.

About 1,500 black bears (two per square mile) reside within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park boundaries.

This species of bear lives all over the park, but you can find them mostly in the Cataloochee Valley and the Cades Cove areas. Black bears in the Smokies are actually that color, while in the other parts of the country, they are different shades of brown.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the United States…

…with approximately 60,000 unique visitors every weekend during the peak season. The Smoky Mountains are a day’s drive from 60% of the nation, making it a popular vacation destination.

The Park has more than 240 species of birds.

If you’re a birder of any kind, you’ve come to the right place. With a great diversity in microclimates, vegetation, and elevations, a stunning variety of aviary species are in the Park at one time or another.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the salamander capital of the world.

Probably because of its humid and misty climate, salamanders thrive here.

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