Great Smoky Mountains National Park not only preserves a tapestry of southern Appalachian culture and history, but is also the most biodiverse park in the entire National Park system. The park encompasses more than 800 square miles throughout the southern Appalachian Mountains. There is no other area of that size in a temperate climate that can equal its diversity. Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains more than 19,000 species that have been documented, and it is believed that another 80,000 to 100,000 species possibly live within the park.
In addition to the diverse plants and animals, the park also protects several historic structures, artifacts, and landscapes that illustrate the stories of the different people who once lived in the mountains. The Appalachian Mountains have long history with humans, from the prehistoric Paleo-Indians to Europeans settling the area in the 1800's to enrollees in the Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees and loggers in the 20th century.
Places to Visit in North Carolina: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Historic Buildings, Photo: Courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.com
- Hiking, Photo: Courtesy of JMichael Photography - Fotolia.com
- Waterfalls, Photo: Courtesy of JMichael Photography - Fotolia.com
- Wildflowers, Photo: Courtesy of Wollwerth Imagery - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Wollwerth Imagery - Fotolia.com