Smoky Mountains National Park : Factots, History - Location, Attractions, Historical Sites, Hiking Trails, Visitor Centers

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The Smoky Mountain National Park entrance is located in Gatlinburg and near Cherokee in the NC mountains and is about 2 hours from the Asheville area.


  • Cherokee called the area Shaconage or Place of Blue Smoke
  • Smoky Mountains are the highest peaks in the Appalachian Mountain Range
  • Logging for cash started in the mid 19th century
  • Railroads were the key to the logging companies large scale operation
  • Mountain people attracted to logging due to a steady paycheck
  • Horace Kephart promoted preserving the Smokies as a national park.
  • Logging companies phased out operations over several years
  • Appalachian Life
  • Appalachian Crafts Crafts
  • People living within the park boundaries given lifetime residency rights
  • Smoky Mountain National Park officially established on June 15, 1934.
  • Highest Visited National Park
  • More than 1500 species of Flowering plants
  • over 125 species of trees
  • over 200 species of birds
  • over 50 species of fish
  • over 60 species of Mammals
  • 27 different species of Salamanders



Alum Cave Bluffs - 100 ft high used as a source of saltpeter Civil War Gunpowder

Cades Cove - historical & cultural preserve

Cataloochee Valley - Cherokee for standing tall

Clingmans Dome - 6643 ft - observation platform

Charles Bunion - part of the Appalachian trail - named so because a bunion on the foot of Charles Conner kept him from examining flood damage on the mountain in 1928. It was said later that the mountain resembled Charlie's Bunion so that's what they called the mountain.

Cherokee Orchard Rd - historical sites

Chimney tops - Cherokee Indians called Duniskwalguni or Forked Antlers

Mount LeConte - 6593 ft

Newfound Gap - cuts through the crest of the Great Smoky  Mountains 5048 ft

Ramsay Cascades - 100 foot waterfalls

Roaring Fork  - historical sites

Oconaluftee - Cherokee for by the water


National Park Visitor Centers

  • Sugarlands - 2 miles south along Newfound Gap Rd (US 441)
  • Oconaluftee - park's main entrance, 2 miles north of Cherokee on US 441
  • Gatlinburg Welcome Center - on US 441 at the entrance to Gatlinburg

Over 800 miles of horse and hiking trails


 Historical Sites - Exhibits and Demonstrations

  • Cades Cove
  • Cataloochee Valley
  • Mountain Farm Museum - replicates a mid nineteenth century farm, living history demonstrations

Mingus Mill near Oconaluftee Visitor center and Cable Mill near Cades Cove are operating water powered grist mills

  • Oconaluftee Indian Village
  • The Museum of the Cherokee Indian
  • "Unto These Hills" Outdoor Drama
  • Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual
  • Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery

Free North Carolina mountain screensaver download install or preview beautiful pictures in screensaver form of the mountains surrounding Ashville North Carolina.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Appalachian Crafts

Appalachian Life

Mountain Pictures

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