10 Fun Facts You Never Knew About the Smoky Mountains
The Smoky Mountains are a beautiful and mysterious place loaded with natural beauty, culture, art and so much more. However, there are things you might not know about the Smoky Mountains. This week, we take a look at ten fun facts you never knew about the Smoky Mountains. Of course, the easiest way to discover the Smoky Mountains is to rent one of Watershed Cabin's luxury cabins and spend a week exploring the local area.
800 miles of hiking trails
One of the best ways to explore the Smoky Mountains is by taking a nice, long relaxing hike. There are more than 800 miles of hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In the winter you can stumble across frozen waterfalls. The summer is marked by the beauty of the local wildflowers. Perhaps the best time of year to explore the trails is during the fall when North Carolina's famous fall foliage brings the hills alive with vibrant colors, cool temperatures and incredible views.
Note: The famous Appalachian Trail passes through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Something beautiful came from the Great Depression
During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and other federal organizations made trails, fire watchtowers, and other infrastructure improvements to the park and Smoky Mountains. For those who enjoy National Parks you will notice almost all of the older parks have structures and features created by the WPA.
The park is free to visitors
Many people know that the Smoky Mountains don’t cost a thing for visitors to explore, but do you know why? The land that is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was once privately owned. The states of Tennessee and North Carolina paid to construct the Newfound Gap Road. When Tennessee transferred ownership of the road over to the federal government, it was stated that “no toll or license fee shall ever be imposed…” to travel the road.
The park is famous
Parts of Disney's hit 1950's TV series, Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier was filmed inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The park allows horses
If you love horses and trail riding, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect place to visit. Approximately 550 miles of the the hiking trails within the park are open to horses. Need help finding that perfect Bryson City, NC luxury cabin? Don't forget to click here for all the best cabins in the local area.
We love Salamanders
Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are considered the “Salamander Capital of the World”? There are 30 different species of salamanders in the Smoky Mountains! On any given day in the park, it is safe to assume that the majority of vertebrate animals in the park, including human visitors, are salamanders.
If you have young kids, having a salamander scavenger hunt is a fun way to keep the kids interested and learning about the local environment.
A little history
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was officially established in 1934 and mainly created by private donations of land. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. contributed $5 million for the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.The park was then officially dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940.
The most visited National Park
It’s no surprise that the Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited in the United States! There are so many things to do, from hiking, to fishing, to horseback riding, to exploring important parts of history. More than 10 million visitors come to the Smoky Mountains each year to enjoy everything that the area has to offer.
A great place for cyclists
If you are looking for a beautiful place to ride, you are in the right place. Of course, road cyclists will love the climbs and the long descents. Bicyclists are free to ride the Cades Cove Loop Road on Saturdays and Wednesdays until 10 AM from May to September. The road is closed to motor vehicles during that period of time. Bike rentals are available from April through October and again in December.
Nature aboundsIf you love nature you are going to love exploring the park. There are more than 10,000 species of plants and animals known to live in the park, with some estimates putting the number as high 90,000. Over 100 species of trees grow in the park. Wildlife that live inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park include black bear, elk, Eastern cottontail rabbit, red wolf, groundhog, red fox, coyote, bobcat, river otter, white-tailed deer, gray fox, wild turkey, and wild boar.
Now is the perfect time of the year to book your next Bryson City family vacation. We have a great selection of cabins to choose from, cool mountain temperatures and tons of family-friendly activities. Give us a call today at 888-604-3075 or click the button below to see all of our available luxury cabins.
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