20 Facts to Know about the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beautiful place to visit, home to a huge variety of wildlife, wildflowers and trees, and trails to explore. It also has a rich history, with historic buildings and a lot of culture. It’s no wonder that millions of people visit this park annually. Want to know more about the park that’s such a big hit? Read on for some fun facts about the Great Smoky Mountains.

  1. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited in the national park system, bringing in about 8-10 million visitors each year.
  2. More than 17,000 species of plants and animals have been discovered in the park, and scientists believe that there may be 30,000-80,000 more species living there!
  3. There are about 2,900 miles of streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and fishing is now allowed in all streams!
  4. Elevations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park range from 850 feet to more than 6,500 feet. The altitude change is similar to what you would find if you drove north or south across the eastern United States.
  5. More than 70 historic structures – from churches and schools to mills and farm buildings – have been preserved in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This collection is the largest of its kind in the East.
  6. Average rainfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is anywhere from 55 inches (down in the valleys) to 85 inches (on the highest peaks).
  7. There are about 100 species of trees that are native to the Smokies – more than any other national park in North America.
  8. The Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre in downtown Gatlinburg is the oldest professional theatre in East Tennessee.
  9. Along the drive in Cades Cove, you can see black bears, coyotes, turkeys, white-tailed deer, and more.
  10. Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains at a staggering 6,643 feet.
  11. More than 1,500 flowering plant species call the national park their home.
  12. The Great Smoky Mountains are the “Salamander Capital of the World,” home to 24 species of lungless salamanders.
  13. The lungless salamanders in the Smokies “breathe” through walls of tiny blood vessels in their skin and linings of their throats and mouths.
  14. Along Newfound Gap Road, you’ll find the Rockefeller Memorial. It stands where President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the national park in 1940.
  15. The largest mammal in the park is the elk, which weighs in at almost 700 pounds.
  16. The park is home to 27 species of rodents, including the deer mouse, white-footed mouse, chipmunks, gray squirrels, red squirrels, and woodchucks (ground hogs).
  17. The Cades Cove loop road is only open to pedestrians and bicyclists on Saturday and Wednesday mornings until 10 a.m.
  18. There are about 1,500 black bears living in the national park, which equals about two bears per square mile.
  19. There are more than 800 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
  20. The beautiful waterfalls in the park attract a lot of attention. More than 200,000 people hike to Grotto Falls, Laurel Falls, Abrams Falls, and Rainbow Falls annually.

Can’t wait to head to the Smokies to experience the flora and fauna, history, and outdoor fun for yourself? Check out our wide range of cabins, from cozy 1-2 bedroom cabins to spacious large group cabins. You can also follow us on Facebook or check out our blog for more information about the area, including upcoming events, area attractions, great local restaurants, and recipe ideas to try in the cabin. The area is always bursting with excitement and family-friendly fun – especially during the holidays! Grab a beer at Oktoberfest, check out the holiday lights during Winterfest, have breakfast with the Easter Bunny in spring, or celebrate summer with a fun festival!


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