Great Smoky Mtn. National Park

By
Real Estate Agent with Pinnacle Real Estate Services

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

 

Location: Approximately 12 miles from Sevierville to national park entrance (depending on the route visitors take, they can also pass through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg on the way)

 

Website: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm

 

Spokesperson: Nancy Gray (865) 436-1208

 

Fees: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the only national park that is absolutely free to enter.

 

Popularity: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America's most visited national park

 

Size: 800 square miles in Tennessee and North Carolina

 

An International Biosphere Reserve:  

  • Over 10,000 species have been discovered in the National Park; Scientists believe there are over 90,000 more to be discovered
  • 100 species of native trees (more than any other North American national park)
  • 1,400 flowering plant species
  • 4,000+ non-flowering plants
  • Center of diversity for lungless salamanders
  • 200+ species of birds
  • 66 types of mammals
  • 50 native fish species
  • 39 varieties of reptiles
  • 43 species of amphibians

 

Special Programs (more are available through the national park website):

  • Smoky Mountain Field School: Courses range from hiking and bugs and butterflies to cultural history, tracking and navigation and literary art. Adults are welcome to enroll in all programs and children ages 6-12 may enroll in family programs. http://www.ce.utk.edu/Smoky/
  • Junior Ranger Program: Families can discover the wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains and learn ways to preserve natural and cultural treasures in their own back yards. http://www.nps.gov/grsm/pphtml/forkids.html

 

Highlights of the Year:

  • Synchronous fireflies at Elkmont: Witness the only species of fireflies in the Americas in which individuals can synchronize their flashing light pattern. They are at peak viewing during two weeks in June. Dates for 2007 will fall around June 8-17, 2007 http://www.nps.gov/grsm/gsmsite/fireflies06.pdf
  • Fall leaf color: View colorful fall leaves produced by the wide variety of deciduous trees found in the Great Smoky Mountains from early October (in the higher elevations) and from mid-October to mid-November at all elevations.

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