Wondering where you can go for a fun weekend? Torn
between so many options? Bored and don't know what to do?
Then I have an idea for you! Go to the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park! The most amazing national park in the United
States if you ask me. If you want to know why I love the
Smoky Mountains so much to advertise it like this and why
you should go there for your free weekend, READ ON!!!
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies on the
border of Tennessee and North Carolina. The park was issued
in 1926 established in 1934. Cades Cove (part of the park)
was a site of a large battle in the civil war. At nine million
visits a year, it is the most frequently visited park in the USA.
Not only is it visited often but it is very large, with a size of
521,621.15 acres. European settlers settled in the Smoky s in
1818 although there were already Cherokees there.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park isn't just some
modern park in the USA, it has a lot of history behind it.
Before 1818, Cherokees inhabited the Smoky . They called
Cades Cove, their main home, 'Tsiyahi' or 'place of the river
otter'. In 1818, European settlers came to Cades Cove and
settled. The Cherokees were made their slaves. Cades Cove
took a big part in the Civil War. There were many slaves there
and a large battle took place. There is now a Cherokee native
American next to the park. The Smoky mountains have many
features that make the park so amazing. The Smoky s have
over 16 mountain peaks over 6,000 ft high. The highest
mountain peak being 6,643 ft high. The Appalachian mountain
range (the range the Smoky s are in) used to be over 20,000
ft high but they are still the highest mountain range in the
eastern USA. The park has over TWO THOUSAND miles of
stream. One of the famous land features is the Appalachian
trail running right through the Smoky s.
Probably the most amazing thing about the park is the
beautiful and exotic wildlife.The park has over 60 species of
fish, 250 species of birds,65 species of mammals, including
rodents, raccoons that will beg for food and especially elk,
wolves, foxes, weasels, minks and the invasive wild boar,
there are over 78 species reptiles and amphibians including
27 species of salamanders. Over 230 species use the park but
don't live in it. 400-600 deer live near Cades cove. There are
over 600 black bears giving it the highest black bear density
in the USA. The animals are very precious in the Smoky s,
harassing or feeding any will get you a $5,000 fine and up to
6 months in jail. Animals aren't the only things in the park
though, the park has over 4,000 species of plants, that's 160
types of trees, 500 different species of lichens and moss,
1,600 different kinds of flowering plants and 2,000 species of
mushrooms! Note that these are only the known species,
there could be thousands more that we don't know about.
Although there aren't very many species of trees in the Smoky
s, 95% of the park is forest. The park is a very diverse place.
With a lot of life besides humans.
The park isn't all perfect however. There are a lot of
challenges and threats to the park. Pests and disease threaten
the park being spread by animals and water. These diseases
mixed with water pollution and the Smoky s acidic bedrock
makes the water undrinkable without extreme filtration
taking place. It also kills of some aquatic life. The biggest and
most visible threat however, is the Basalm Woolly Adelgid,
which wiped out about 96% of the parks Frasier Firs. The
park workers are trying hard to rid themselves and the park
of this problem.
So the park has a couple of problems, yes, but don't
forget all the other good things about it. The Great Smoky
Mountains National Park is in my opinion the best national
park in the USA. So, all in all, I think the Smoky Mountains is
an amazing place. I would definitely recommend it if you're
looking for an awesome weekend with the family (or not).