6 Fascinating Facts About the Smoky Mountains That’ll Make You Want to Visit

Saturday, February 18, 2023

If you are a travel enthusiast deciding on your next travel destination, this is the blog for you. If you are traveling to the US, then the Great Smoky Mountains or the Smokies are a place you must not miss. The Great Smoky Mountains are a wonder of nature. From historical buildings to several different species of animals and plants to several miles-long natural trails, there is everything in Smokies that a traveler’s heart can desire.

Whether you love adventure, the calm of nature, or a view of serene and majestic mountains, you will find all these things and more in the Great Smoky Mountains. This place is extremely fascinating, and we have the facts to prove it. Take a look at these six facts about the Great Smoky Mountains that will make you want to visit Smokies right now.

1. Most Visited Park in the US

You might say you predicted this fact already, but prepare to get surprised when you know the number of visitors that come to the Smokies. According to recent statistics, over 14 million people visited the great smoky mountain national park in 2021. The main reason behind this huge number of visitors is that this place has something for everyone. There are plenty of picnic areas, hiking trails, festivals, historical places and buildings, and tons of other activities that you can enjoy there. Since its establishment in 1934, the great smoky mountain national park has welcomed over half a billion visitors.

When you go to Smokies, it is best if you rent one of the cabins of the Smokies that provide all facilities and amenities. That way, you can stay in a cabin for a few days and enjoy different activities each day. It will take you a few days to completely enjoy all the maximum activities in the Smokies. So it is best if you rent the best cabin for you and your crew.

2. Home to Numerous Plants and Animal Species

There is an abundance of plants and animal species you will find in the smoky mountains. You will find animal species like the red wolf, coyote, eastern cottontail rabbit, white-tailed deer, groundhog, river otter, wild boar, bobcat, elk, and black bears in the national park. Another thing you will find an abundance of in the national park is the salamanders. There are almost 30 species of salamanders that you will find there in the smoky mountains. This is the reason why the national park is also known as the salamander capital of the world.

There is no lack of different plant and tree species in the Smokies too. You will find 4000 different plant species and 140 species of trees. There are 1500 species of smoky mountain wildflowers there.

3. Free Entrance In The National Park

Perhaps the fascinating fact about the smoky mountains is that you have to pay no entry fees to enter the national park. Knowing about all the hype and greatness of the smoky mountains, one thinks it will cost a reasonable amount to enter the park, but to everyone's surprise, entry into the national park is completely free.

This is because the great smoky mountain national park was the first ever that the federal government partially funded. But when the construction of Newfound gap road started, the state of Tennessee completely shifted the ownership to the government, but with one condition. And that condition was never to charge a fee to use this road.

4. Hundreds of Miles of Hiking Trails and Streams

You will not believe that there are 2,900 miles of streams in the Great Smoky Mountains. And the best part is that you can fish in all of them. Moreover, the smoky mountain streams are one of the last habitats of wild trout in the Eastern United States. And the even better news is that the streams are at or near their fish-carrying capacity, which means there is fishing opportunity throughout the year.

When it comes to beautiful and picturesque hiking trails, there are over 800 miles of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is no arguing that hiking is the best way to explore the beautiful park. The trails get covered with wildflowers in spring, while in winter, the waterfalls freeze; thus, no matter the weather, you will find majestic natural views to experience during hiking in the Smokies.

5. The Reason behind the Smoke

The smoky mountains got their name because, of course, the mountains are surrounded by smoke. But the fascinating fact here is that the smoke is not a climatic phenomenon in that it is not a result of weather or temperature; in fact, the smokiness is created by plants. The smoke is basically fog that is blue colored that surrounds the mountains. The plants in the park release VOCs or volatile organic compounds. And when a lot of volatile organic compounds are present in the air, they form a vapor, thus making fog.

As mentioned above, there are millions of plants in the great smoky mountain national park; thus, all these plants are giving off VOCs, and this results in so much smoke.

6. Rich in History

The fact that sets the smoky mountains apart from other national parks is that it has a lot to offer to history buffs too. Most natural parks or landscapes only cover the “natural” aspect, but the Great Smoky Mountains Park is rich in history too. There are several historic structures throughout the park. Almost 90 rehabilitated or preserved landmarks in the park include mills, houses, schools, barns, and churches.

Exploring these historical landscapes is a perfect and interesting way for kids and adults alike to learn about the history of Tennessee and the early settlers there. Even though mountains, animals, streams, etc. seem like more visible parts of the park, there are several historical structures too, which make the overall experience of visiting the Smokies even richer.

Conclusion

There must be so many places on your list of places to visit, and we are here to convince you that the Great Smoky Mountains need to be at the top of your list. The great smoky mountain national park is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the US. There are unlimited things this park has to offer, from majestic mountains to fresh streams to historical buildings; there is no activity that you can’t enjoy here.

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