Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Ridge upon ridge of endless forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for the diversity of its plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park.

 
Things to Do
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. But hiking is not the only reason for visiting the Smokies. Car camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing and auto touring are popular activities.
 
Wildlife
Most visitors come to the Smokies hoping to see a bear. Some 1,600 bears live in the park. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, down to microscopic organisms, the Smokies have the most biological diversity of any area in the world's temperate zone. The park is a sanctuary for a magnificent array of animal and plant life, all of which is protected for future generations to enjoy.
 
Spring Wildflowers
The park is a world-renowned preserve of wildflower diversity-over 1,660 kinds of flowering plants are found here, more than in any other North American national park. From the earliest hepaticas and spring-beauties in the late winter to showy rhododendron and azalea shrubs in summer, to the last asters in the late fall, blooming flowers can be found year-round in the park.
 
Ranger-Guided Programs and Special Events
Ranger-guided programs give visitors the opportunity to explore the wonders of the park with a Ranger. Programs are offered in spring, summer, and fall.
 
Write to
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Phone
Visitor Information
(865) 436-1200
Fax
(865) 436-1220

Climate
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a moderate climate, typified by mild winters and hot, humid summers. When planning a trip to the Smokies, keep in mind that elevations in the park range from 800 feet to 6,643 feet and that the topography can drastically affect local weather. Temperatures can vary 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit from mountain base to top, and clear skies at lower elevations do not guarantee equally pleasant weather on the higher peaks.
 Did You Know?
Money to buy the land that became Great Smoky Mountains National Park was raised by individuals, private groups, and even school children who pledged their pennies. In addition, the Laura Spellman Rockefeller Memorial Fund donated $5 million to create the park.


Posted by: Gracy    Source