Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park


The most visited park in the United States every year is Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Part of this park is in Tennessee; the rest is located in North Carolina.

The park was established in 1934 and has about 9,500,000 visitors every year. The park is considered the “Salamander Capital of the World.” The beautiful forest and over 2,000 miles of streams invite families to enjoy camping and hiking in the park.

Those interested in fishing can try to catch brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout in the fishable streams inside the park. There are many horse trails for horseback riding.

There are over 800 miles of hiking trails in the park. For an adventure hike, The Alum Cave Trail and Rocky Top are good choices. Pretty waterfall hikes include Ramsay Cascades and Rainbow Falls. For great family hikes, try Clingman’s Dome, Cades Cove Nature Trail, and Laurel Falls.

tennessee-68089_960_720Cades Cove is a beautiful 11-mile loop scenic drive. There are pioneer homesteads, barns, churches, and mills. This drive also offers a great opportunity for spotting a black bear or white-tailed deer.

Pack a picnic and take it along to any of the eleven picnic areas. My family loves to picnic alongside one of the beautiful mountain streams and dip our toes into the cold water on a hot summer day.

Many wild animals call the Great Smoky Mountains home. Visitors to the park may find the American black bear, deer, elk, more than 200 species of bird, and 30 species of salamanders.


-Sandra Merville Hart


Flynn, Sarah Wassner. National Geographic Kids: National Parks Guide U.S.A., National Geographic Society, 2012.

“Great Smoky Mountains: National Park, NC, TN,” National Park Service, 2014/12/16

McHugh, Erin. National Parks: A Kid’s Guide to America’s Parks, Monuments, and Landmarks, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 2012.

Palmerlee, Danny; Bendure, Glenda; Friary, Ned; Karlin, Adam; Matchar, Emily; Sainsbury, Brendan. Discover USA’s Best National Parks, Lonely Planet Publications, 2012.

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