The Inn on the River is a newly renovated Pigeon Forge hotel on the Parkway.

The Inn On The River

(865) 428-5500

2492 Parkway, Pigeon Forge ,TN 37863

24/7 RESERVATIONS – 865-428-5500
  /  Blog  /  Smoky Mountains   /  How Did The Smoky Mountains Get Their Name?
smoky mountain sunset

How Did The Smoky Mountains Get Their Name?

Each morning a blanket of fog rolls over the Smoky Mountains as the sun rises above peaks! This distinct smoky haze has become the subject of countless photographs that show off the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains! These daily scenes appear like something straight out of a movie, giving the Smoky Mountains a welcoming vibe full of magic and relaxation. Here is how the Smoky Mountains got their name:

The “Place of Blue Smoke”

blue smoky mountains

The Smoky Mountains name originates from the native Cherokee people who called it “Shaconage”. Pronounced Sha-Kon-O-Hey, Shaconage translates to “place of blue smoke” in English. The Cherokee considered these Smoky Mountains to be a sacred place.

European settlers arrived in the Smoky Mountains in the early 1800s and drew on inspiration from the Cherokee to name their new home, naming both the Smoky Mountains and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.

Putting the Smoke in Smoky Mountains

Blue/gray hues create a smoky haze that’s both beautiful and one of a kind in the Smoky Mountains! This haze develops as a result of a natural photochemical process. This “smoke” is actually fog that emerges from the area’s vegetation.

You may already know that plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the environment. In addition, plants emit what are known as “volatile organic compounds,” or VOC into the atmosphere!

These naturally occurring compounds are constantly released from plants. The familiar piney smell of a Christmas tree comes from VOCs that the tree releases into the air!

High concentrations of VOC can cause fog. Because VOCs have a high vapor pressure, they easily transform into vapors when at room temperature. The countless number of trees and plants you see in the Smoky Mountains are all giving off this vapor that forms into fog.

What About the Blue Hue?

sun sets over smoky mountains

VOCs are responsible for both the “smoke” and the blue hues that this fog tends to have! The vapor that is released from the area’s vegetation scatters blue light from the sky, causing the phenomenon known as “blue smoke.”

The natural conditions in the Smoky Mountains are ripe for this smoky and blue look. Trees in the Smoky Mountains feature high concentrations of VOCs that scatter blue light. Additionally, the Smokies receive significant sunlight and rain, high levels of humidity and a lot of stagnant air. The result is the most beautiful mountain scenery in America!

Stay in the Smoky Mountains

Experience the picturesque Smoky Mountains for yourself! When you visit the Smoky Mountains, you’ll want to make sure you have the perfect place to stay. Look no further than The Inn on the River!

Our Pigeon Forge hotel is conveniently located on the Parkway and overlooking the Little Pigeon River. Be close to numerous exciting Smoky Mountain attractions while still enjoying the natural beauty that the Smoky Mountains have to offer.

Our hotel rooms are decked out with all the amenities you could ever want in a peaceful atmosphere right in the heart of Pigeon Forge! With rooms that sleep up to 6 guests, The Inn on the River is the perfect place for your family to stay in the Smoky Mountains!