Smoky Mountains National Park – Simply Great

Posted On March 29, 2010 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses some of the oldest mountains of the planet. It is situated in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. The boundary of the state passes through the park. The park is one of the largest in eastern United States.

The park measures 54 miles in length and 19 miles in breadth. The total area of the park stands at half a million acres. The number of tourists visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park is higher than any other park. This may be due to the fact of its close proximity to more than 60 percent of the nation’s population. The average number of people visiting the park annually has touched nine million.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park gets its name from the mist and blue haze that surrounds the mountainous regions. The mist is formed due to the interaction between the moist atmosphere of streams and waterfall and the vast amounts of vegetation. Sha-co-na-qe is the Cherokee name for the area. It means ‘place of blue smoke’.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The mountain peaks stretch for 36 miles, and stand at nearly five thousand feet above sea level. The mountain ranges rise upward of the blue ‘smoke’ arc. Nearly 16 mountains exceed 6000 feet.

The Cherokee Indians were the earliest inhabitants of the area. They revered the mountains as a sacred ancestral home for the Cherokee Nation, which stretched from Georgia to the Ohio River.

At nearly 4500 feet, the Smoky Mountains National Park footpaths end in the hardwoods and rhododendron thickets. From this point Fraser fir and red spruce forests begin in large numbers. The forests have large numbers of juncos, boreal chickadees, and red squirrels. Animals commonly found in the Canadian woods abound here in large numbers. Heath meadows are located on some peaks, which offer spectacular views called ‘balds’. These regions were burnt periodically for the creation of grazing areas for cattle.

Dwarf irisesWhile in the backcountry fish for trout. This region is home to a sublime sanctuary comprising of birch, fir, maple, and chestnut trees. There are also many mossy boulders, dark-green pools, and shadowy quarry. The Smokies are home to more than 1500 species of plants, which is higher than any other national park. The blooming season for plants starts in late winter and lasts up to late autumn. The most common flowers that bloom in the summer include dwarf irises, fire pinks, and blue phlox. The variety of blooming flowers is mind-boggling.

To witness the beauty of the Smoky Mountains National Park, go back packing. Traveling from lower to higher areas, you can get a glimpse into the diverse flora and fauna of the region. The Appalachian Trail lasts from Georgia to Maine. This trail offers many camping facilities and spectacular scenery.

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7 Responses to “Smoky Mountains National Park – Simply Great”
  1. Nelly says:

    I am amazed that still places do exist or else human beings will turn it into a new city.

  2. Oliver says:

    There are very few parks and dense forests left on earth. It is very sad that people are not understanding about global warming.

  3. Philip says:

    This park is really very big and dense. there are full chances of getting lost in these areas.

  4. Raphael says:

    The best place for a trek! You will o mad being here. Only thing is that you need to be fully equipped or else it may get difficult to survive.

  5. Shaun says:

    You get to see diofferent species and variety of flora and fauna, which you may have never seen before anywhere.

  6. Tami says:

    This place rocks! It is simply beauty! Old is ever gold man!

  7. vareeja says:

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker’s paradise with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short leg-stretchers to strenuous treks that may require backcountry camping.

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