Facts about the Great Smoky Mountains

Mar 03, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 11.10.44 PM.pngInteresting Facts about the Great Smoky Mountains

 Facts about The Great Smoky Mountains – a beautiful eastern mountain range, offering hiking, skiing, picnicking, fishing and more—covers 521,896 acres in Tennessee and North Carolina! But did you know about some of the other hidden treasures and facts about the Smoky Mountains?

  • Wears Valley was named after Samuel Wear, a Revolutionary War veteran; he built a fort in what is now called Pigeon Forge. Today, just west of Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley is another gateway to the Smoky Mountains. You can enter from Lyon Springs Road, taking you to Metcalf Bottoms where you can picnic, swim and hike. You can enjoy the Laurel Waterfalls, once you hike the paved trail leading to it. Staying on that main road across the park leads you through a beautiful scenic route to Gatlinburg.

  • Bordering North Carolina and Tennessee, Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in Tennessee at 6,643 feet. You can get to the Dome from Newfound Gap, and then hike about half a mile. This trail also leads to a 54-foot observation tower.

  • Gregory Bald in Cades Cove is a 10-acre grassy meadow and is most famous for the beautiful azaleas that bloom on its pinnacle each summer. Azalea lovers from all over the world come here to see the many colored azaleas that reach peak bloom around mid to late June.

  • The Smoky Mountains is the nation’s busiest park, with 8 to 10 million visitors annually. During peak times, normally summer weekends, it is not unusual for 60,000 visitors to drive bumper to bumper as they travel the scenic roads.

  • John D. Rockefeller, Jr., philanthropist donated more than $5 million in honor of his mother toward the creation of the park after the National Park Service balked at providing additional funding. Several state legislatures, including Tennessee, also provided funding to purchase the area from pre-existing landowners when Congress could not raise the funds in 1926.

  • The Smoky Mountains are known as the “Salamander Capital of the World”. There are 30 species that can be seen on any given day. The salamanders are generally lungless and breathe through blood vessels on their skin in the lining of their throats and mouths.

  • Gatlinburg, considered to be gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, was recently named one of the Top 10 small cities to visit in America, according to bustle.com

  • Mysterious Mansion is Gatlinburg’s oldest and scariest haunted house! A classic “turn of the century” 3-story haunted mansion, you will wind your way through secret passageways, twisting staircases, and dark corridors, not knowing what might be lurking around or behind you. This is a must “go to!”

  • LeConte Lodge® is a rustic backcountry hiking lodge located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Accessible only by hiking one of five trails it is the highest overnight lodge east of the Mississippi River; hiking to the lodge takes about 5 to 8 hours, depending on which trail is taken. The lodge is supplied once a year by helicopter and three days a week by llama. There is no electricity; however, propane heaters and kerosene lamps are provided in the cabins. Cooking, refrigeration and hot water are made possible by LP gas.

Where to Stay

With all these little known facts about the Great Smoky Mountains, explore the history and beauty of the mountains. Come and stay at a beautiful mountain cabin! Heartland Cabin Rentals, located on Powdermill Road in Gatlinburg, offers honeymoon cabins, pet-friendly cabins, luxury cabins and more—all nestled in and around the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains! Book Online or Call 1-855-977-7766 to reserve your Gatlinburg Cabin today with Heartland Cabin Rentals.

Category: Area Information

Doug Shanks


By Doug Shanks a Smoky Mountain blogger and writes about things to do in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley, and Sevierville, Tennessee. Area interests include hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting, shopping, and family fun.

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