Interesting Facts About Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Here is all you need to know about one of America’s popular national parks.
The United States’ Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which stretches across five counties in Tennessee and North Carolina, is one of the country’s most popular parks. It is home to an impressive and diverse range of flora and fauna. It reportedly has 12 million visitors annually. There are many reasons to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when in the United States. Here are some interesting facts about the park.
How the Great Smoky Mountains’ signature haze is created
The Great Smoky Mountains is known for its haze, which is created by evaporation and high elevation. Certain parts of the park receive more than 80 inches of rainfall every year. The rain and the evaporation from the trees are what creates wispy clouds. This dreamy mist is the reason behind the nickname – smoky – that has lasted for hundreds of years.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s creation
When librarian and writer Horace Kephart lost his job and family, he headed to the smoky mountains for a new start. Mountain life inspires him to write a book about the place, which is widely popular with outdoor enthusiasts. Kephart worked to get the area he loved so much designated as a park to protect it from logging companies. Photographer George Masa, born Masahara Iizuka, who immigrated from Osaka, Japan, to the U.S. to study mining also played a role in protecting the park. Many of his images of the park were used in articles and promotional materials to help support the movement of the area becoming a national park.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is widely known for its plant and animal life
The diverse range of plant and animal life in the great smoky mountains is one of the big reasons it is so popular. There are over 100 types of native trees and shrubs in the park. In 1976, the park was designated an International Biosphere Reserve and was also certified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to many amphibians
The smoky mountains are home to black bears, elk, white-tailed deer, and over 30 species of salamanders. Many locals call them “spring lizards” even though they are amphibians and not reptiles. If you decide to go trekking through the park, you may spot many of the animals that call this place home.