Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, from Cherokee, North Carolina
LocationCounties in North Carolina and Tennessee, USA
Nearest cityCherokee, North Carolina and Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Coordinates35°36′N 83°31′W / 35.600°N 83.517°W / 35.600; -83.517Coordinates: 35°36′N 83°31′W / 35.600°N 83.517°W / 35.600; -83.517[1]
Area522,419 acres (211,415 ha)[2]
Visitors9,008,830 (in 2011)[3]
Governing bodyNational Park Service
CriteriaVII, VIII, IX, X
Designated1983 (7th session)
Reference no.259
State Party United States
RegionNorth America

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a national park in the United States. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is along the Great Smoky Mountains, which are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is the most visited national park in the United States.[4]

There are many elevations in the park. The lowest place is Abrams Creek at 876 feet (267 m). The highest point is Clingmans Dome at 6,643 feet (2,025 m). Sixteen mountains in the park reach higher than 6,000 feet (1829 m).[5]

Park officials say there are more than 200 species of birds, 66 species of mammals, 50 species of fish, 39 species of reptiles, and 43 species of amphibians, including many lungless salamanders. The park has about 1,500 black bear[6] In 2001 elk were brought to the park.

Over 100 species of trees grow in the park. The lower forests are mostly deciduous leafy trees. At higher altitudes, there are more coniferous trees. The park has over 1,400 flowering plant species and over 4,000 species of non-flowering plants.

There are 850 miles (1,368 km) of trails and unpaved roads in the park for hiking. The park also offers backpacking and camping.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Great Smoky Mountains National Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. "Listing of acreage – December 31, 2011" (XLSX). Land Resource Division, National Park Service. (National Park Service Acreage Reports)
  3. "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
  4. GSMNP main page - National Park Service
  5. "Natural Features & Ecosystems". US National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
  6. "Black Bears - Great Smoky Mountains National Park". National Park Service.