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  /  Blog  /  Smoky Mountains   /  5 Fun Facts About the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Bridge over river in the Smoky Mountain

5 Fun Facts About the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

It’s no secret that everyone loves the Smoky Mountains! With so many fun things to do and beautiful sights to see, the park attracts millions of visitors every year. Whether you’ve been to the park before or are thinking about visiting for the first time, we bet there are some things you don’t know about it! To help you learn more, we’ve made a list of 5 fun facts about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

1. There’s No Entrance Fee

There’s no entrance fee to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! That’s right — you can enjoy all the gorgeous sights for free! If you’ve been to the Smokies before, you’ve realized there’s no entrance fee, but do you know the reasoning behind it? It’s because the land was once privately owned! Tennessee and North Carolina actually paid to construct Newfound Gap Road. When Tennessee transferred ownership of Newfound Gap Road to the federal government, it was stated that “no toll or license fee shall ever be imposed…” to travel the road. That means even though other things in the park can cost money, there can never be a fee to enter!

2. It’s the Salamander Capital of the World

salamander in the smoky mountainsWe know you’ve heard about all the black bears in the Smoky Mountains. But, black bears aren’t the only wildlife in the park. The truth is, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is actually considered the salamander capital of the world! That’s because there are more than 30 different species of salamanders that can be found throughout the park. It’s been said that on any given day, salamanders take up the majority of vertebrae animals in the park — this includes human visitors!

3. It’s the Most Visited National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country! Over 11 million visitors come to the park each year to enjoy its beauty. The fact that is has no entrance fee contributes to the large number of visitors, but the main reason so many come to the Smokies year after year is because of everything it has to offer. There are hundreds of hiking trails, incredible wildlife viewing opportunities, beautiful scenic drives, historic structures to explore, fishing opportunities, and so much more. There is something for everyone in the Smoky Mountains!

4. The “Smoke” is Caused by Plants

blue smoke in Smoky MountainsHave you ever wondered what gives the mountains their signature smoky look? The short answer — plants! The better explanation is that the smoke is actually fog from the area’s vegetation. The trees, bushes, and other plants all give off vapor that comes together to create the fog.

5. More than 800 Miles of Hiking Trails

One of the best ways to explore the Smoky Mountains is on foot, and, luckily, there are over 800 miles of hiking trails you can explore. Whether you’re interested in exploring history or you want to see a gorgeous waterfall, there is a hike for you. Some popular hiking trails in the Smoky Mountains are Laurel Falls, Abram Falls, Gatlinburg Trail and Alum Cave Trail. With so many miles of trails, the Smokies have a hike for every difficulty level, from easy, to moderate, to challenging. For ideas on where you should hike with your family, learn about 5 of the best trails in the Smoky Mountains for families.

Learn More About the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

great smoky mountains national park signThese are just some of the many interesting facts about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’ll just have to visit and explore the park with your own eyes to truly enjoy its beauty. Learn more about the Smoky Mountains, then plan your trip!