Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The national park stretches across the states of Tennessee and North Carolina.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States – and for many reasons.

Nature & Wildlife in the Smokies

One of the few areas in the eastern states, an estimated 1,500-2,000 black bears call the Smokies home. However, anyone who now thinks of huge furry monsters is way off the mark. Although the wild bears are still not to be trifled with, most specimens weigh around 50 – 90 kilograms, with a few large exceptions.

Please refrain from petting the bear!

Incidentally, the bears in the smokies are also special in that their fur color is exclusively black. In other parts of the world, specimens with brown or cinnamon hair are also found.

Hiking trails and sights

Visitor centers

The two main visitor centers are the Sugarlands Visitors Center in Gatlinburg and the Ocanaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee.

Best Time to Visit the Smoky Mountains

Summer is peak season for the Smoky Mountains. Nicht verwunderlich also, wenn an den sonnigen Tagen besonders viele Schaulustige im Nationalpark unterwegs sind. Um den großen Massen und auch dem großen Verkehrsaufkommen zu entfliehen, lohnt sich eine möglichst frühe Anreise.

Smoky Mountains Camping

The Great Smokies FAQ

Unfortunately, only a very limited amount of public trails in the Smokies allow for dogs to enter. Most trails forbid dogs from accompanying you on your hike – even when leashed. The only two exceptions are the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee Trail, where dogs are permitted.


Quick facts

  • Most visited national park in the United States
  • 850 miles of hiking trails and unpaved roads

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