The Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the Tennessee/North
Carolina border for about 70 miles, covering 521,000 acres.
There are more than 300 streams, flowing over 700 miles. More
than 50 types of mammals live in the park, including the popular
Today, the mountains have over 4,000 species of plant life,
65 mammals, 200 birds, 70 fish, and 80 reptiles and amphibians.
Because of the climatic change accompanying the gain in altitude,
a one-day hike could take you through oak and pine forest
(common in northern Georgia), hickory and maple trees (common
Virginia), northern hardwood (found in Massachusetts) and
spruce and fir forest (common in Canada).
The first known inhabitants of the Smokies were the Cherokee
Indians. Surprisingly, their lives were similar to, and in
some ways more sophisticated than, the white man who would
eventually force them from the land. Today, the eastern band
of the Cherokees have a reservation on the Park's North Carolina
Most of the National parks in America were originally part
of government-owned lands; however, the Smokies were owned
by private individuals and companies. In 1926, Congress authorized
North Carolina and Tennessee to begin allocating funds for
the purchase of the land. In 1934, with the help of individuals
such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the land was purchased and
given to the Federal Government. President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt dedicated the Park on September 2, 1940.
Courtesy Best Read Guide Smoky Mountians