This is an attraction with no entrance fees. Not to worry about paying to get in, but instead focus on all the breathtaking views and experience that lies ahead of you. There are numerous options for all our nature-loving families. Explore the natural beauty that exists which includes the Roaring Fork Motor Nature trail which includes a historic mill, a pull-off on a loop for hikes, as well as overlooks. Wait we are not done…You will finish your adventure by taking the steep trail to the lookout. Now tell me what could top that, my nature lovers?
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains a variety of natural and man-made attractions. The park offers miles of wooded trails, stunning waterfalls, winding scenic drives, more than 90 historic structures, and lots of educational exhibits. Wildflowers, autumn colors, waterfalls, and black bears are all popular in the area. In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a boy plays at the base of Spruce Flats Falls. It’s also famous for the blue mist that hangs above the mountain peaks and valleys. It has the appearance of smoke and gives the area its name.
The Great Smoky Mountains are home to a diverse range of flora and animals. There are more than 4,000 plants, 140 species of trees, about 65 species of mammals, 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians. The Smokies are home to over 1,500 bears! When you’re on our zipline tour, keep your eye out for wildlife below you and admire the nature that surrounds you.
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 now known as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was previously privately owned. Newfound Gap Road was built at the expense of the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. 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.
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.
Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are known as the “World’s Salamander Capital”? The Smoky Mountains are home to 30 distinct kinds of salamanders! 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.
The Smoky Mountains are estimated to be between 200 and 300 million years old, making them one of the oldest mountain ranges on earth!
Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the Smoky Mountains (aside from ziplining, of course)! The national park has about 800 km of hiking paths. From frozen waterfalls in the winter to wildflowers in the spring, there is always a beautiful sight to be seen when you go hiking in the Smoky Mountains.
The Smoky Mountains have about 2,900 miles of streams, all of which you can fish in! In fact, it protects one of the last wild trout habitats in the eastern United States. A majority of the streams remain at or near their carrying capacity of fish and offer a great opportunity for fishing all throughout the year.
One of the best parts about the Smoky Mountains is that you never have to worry about sweltering hot temperatures! In higher elevations, like Mount LeConte, temperatures very rarely reach above 80 degrees.
The Smoky Mountains are rich in history. In fact, more than 90 historic structures have been preserved or rehabilitated by the park. These include houses, barns, churches, schools, and even grist mills. The best places to see some of these structures are Cades Cove and along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
The Cherokee word for the Smoky Mountains is “Shaconage” (Sha-Kon-O-Hey), which means the “Land of Blue Smoke.” The “smoke,” on the other hand, is more akin to fog or a mist. “What makes the Smoky Mountains smokey?” you may question. The mist is created by the vapor emitted by all of the vegetation in the mountains. When the vapor is released, the molecules that make up the gas scatter blue light from the sky, giving the fog its blue color. On our Mountaintop Zipline Tour, you may discover more about the Cherokees.