The Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited areas of the United States and a great travel destination. It straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky, which is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a division of the Appalachian Mountain chain. It spans an area of 814 square miles and is truly an amazing site with over sixteen different mountains reaching higher then 6,000 ft.
The park has a wide variety of animal life, as the range of elevations can accommodate northern and southern species. This area normally has very high humidity and precipitation, averaging around 75 inches of rain each year.
It has one of the largest collections of deciduous, temperate, old growth forest in North America and 95% of the national park is forested. Around 10,000 species of plants and animals are thought to inhabit the land. A recent study has found 200 species of birds, 66 species of mammals, 50 species of fish, 39 species of reptiles, and 43 species of amphibians. The park has 1,400 flowering plant species and over 4,000 species of non-flowering plants. Many ranger stations can be found, which give geological and wildlife history of the park. Cades Cove is a valley in the park with preserved log cabins, barns, and churches. Other historical areas include Roaring Fork, Cataloochee, and Elkmont.