We know how much you love the Smoky Mountains, but do you know there are a few things in and around the Smoky Mountains that you can’t find anywhere else? Here are a few things that make the Smoky Mountain area so special:
1. The Signature “Haze” over the Mountains
It’s no hidden secret that the Smoky Mountains are known for the smoky haze that hovers over the mountaintops. The “smoke” is formed from the rainfall and evaporation, creating a beautiful mist over the mountains.
2. Free Entry – No Fees or Passes
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is 100% free to visit. You won’t find any toll roads or entry costs when you visit our national park. In fact, it’s the only national park in the United States without an entry fee.
3. The Largest Protected Bear Habitat in the East
There are not many places in the United States where you’ll find approximately 1,500 protected black bears. That’s 2 bears per square mile in the park! In addition to bears, you’ll find about 200 species of birds, 65 species of mammals, 67 native fish species and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians.
4. So Many Salamanders!
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to more than 30 different species of salamanders. The national park is known as the “Salamander Capital of the World” with over 700 miles of streams and dense forests that create the best habitat for salamanders to thrive.
5. Flowers You’ll Only Find in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Believe it or not, the Rugel’s Ragwort flower only appears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a rare species in Tennessee and is mostly found in the upper elevations of the park.
6. Hundreds of Species of Trees
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to over 100 different species of trees in the park!
7. Synchronous Fireflies
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to the only synchronous fireflies in the United States. These synchronous fireflies are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in the national park.