Today’s Trails Forever Blog post will be featuring some of the coolest facts and stories about the Smoky Mountains! There’s some awesome details about the park that I wasn’t even aware of before starting this project and I feel are worth sharing.
The Smoky Mountain National Park is the largest park east of the Rockies, and the most visited park anywhere with between nine and ten million visitors annually! A lot of the incredible draw to the park comes from all the awesome wildlife found within the more than 800 square miles of protected wilderness. The largest and most prevailing area of the park is the Cades Cove scenic valley area; a 4,000 acre loop that is home to a variety of wildlife including black bears, deer, and wild turkeys. Not surprisingly, the best time to catch a glimpse of these awesome animals is near sunrise or sunset.
Hiking in the Smokies also boasts some very prestigious distinctions. At 6,643 feet of elevation, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Smokies and the third highest peak east of the Mississippi. That said, Clingmans Dome marks the highest point along the world renowned Appalachian Trail. If you do decide to hike to the highest point in the Smokies make sure to bring a jacket! No temperature above eighty degrees has ever been recorded atop Clingmans Dome!
Wildlife and hiking aren’t the only attractions this park has to offer! With a total of seventy-eight historic sites scattered throughout the area, those interested in learning about the rich cultural significance of the Smokies are sure to be entertained. At one time, the park was inhabited by the Cherokee Indian Tribe, from which they gave it the affectionate name “Land of Blue Mist”. In addition to the remnants of Native American culture in the park, many structures built during the great depression still stand today!
Hope you enjoyed some of the fascinating details about the Smokies! Please help our charity by checking out the link to our Generosity page below!