Smoky Mountains



The Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
Tennessee and North Carolina

July 02, 2006

On July 02, 2006, I was in Knoxfille, TN, so I went to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here are some photos from that trip. I drove from Knoxville through Pigeon Forge (where Dolly Parton has the Dollywood amusement park and other businesses) and Gatlinburg, TN.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park The Great Smoky Mountains

Right from the start, you can see where these mountains got their name. The bluish mist, which clings to the mountainsides and fills the valleys, gives the park its name.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park There are at least three butterflies in this photo.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park The Great Smoky Mountains

I had a limited amount of time to spend here, so I only saw a small portion of the park. One of the nation's largest collections of historic log buildings is within the park, including homes, schools, mills and churches of the mountain people.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park Little Pigeon River I believe that these pictures show portions of the west fork of the Little Pigeon River.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park The Great Smoky Mountains

There are more species of trees here than in northern Europe, 1,500 flowering plants, dozens of native fish, more than 200 species of birds and more than 60 species of mammals. No place this size in a temperate climate can match the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's variety of plant and animal species.
This information is from the pamphlet distributed by the rangers at the park.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park The Great Smoky Mountains

The park encompasses over 800 square miles. There are over 270 miles of road, most paved, and the gravel roads are maintained in suitable condition for standard passenger cars.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park The Great Smoky Mountains

There are eleven self-guiding nature trails available, as well as selected trails designated as "Quiet Walkways."



Great Smoky Mountains National Park Newfound Gap Newfound Gap

This photo was taken at a place called Newfound Gap, at an elevation of 5,046 feet above sea level. The Tennessee-North Carolina border crosses Newfound Gap east-to-west, as does the Appalachian Trail.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park Clingman's dome This is a photo taken at Clingman's dome, 300 feet below the peak.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park Clingman's dome Here is another view from the parking area at Clingman's Dome.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park Clingman's dome Clingman's Dome

This is a paved half-mile, very steep, trail to the top of Clingman's Dome, the highest point in the Great Smokey Mountains, the "top of old Smokey." The peak is 6,643 feet in elevation and at the top is an observation tower.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fraser Firs

The dead trees you see in some of these photos are Fraser firs which grow only at the highest elevations in the Smokies. The were killed by the balsam woolly adelgid, which was accidentally introduced from Europe. More than 70% of the parks mature firs were killed by this insect which feeds on the tree sap interferring with the flow of water and nutrients.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park observation tower Here you can see the ramp up to the observation tower through the trees.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park observation tower Observation Tower

In this photo, from the observation tower, you can see Gregory Bald, Thunderhead, Silers Bald and Rich Mountain, among other things.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park observation tower Observation Tower

Here you can see Meigs Mountain, Chilhowee Mountain, Bluff Mountain, Fighting Creek Gap and Sugarland Mountain.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park observation tower Observation Tower

In this view from the observation tower, you can see Sugarland Mountain, Balsam Point, Cliff Top, Mt. LeConte and Myrtle Point.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park observation tower Observation Tower

Here you can see Cliff Top, Mt. LeConte, Myrtle Point, Newfound Gap, Mt. Kephart, Mt. Guyot, Mt. Hardison, Hyatt Ridge, Richland Mountain, Hughes Ridge and Big Cataloochee Mountain. Also, the state line between Tennessee (on the left) and North Carolina (on the right) runs diagonally through this photo.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park observation tower Observation Tower

This photo shows Richland Mountain, Hughes Ridge, Big Cataloochee Mountain, Mt. Sterling, Mt. Mitchell, Smokemont, Chiltoes Mountain, Soco Gap, Waterrock Knob and Balsam Gap.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park observation tower Observation Tower

In this view from the observation tower, you can see Thomas Divide, Waterrock Knob, Balsam Gap, Slyva and the Nantahala National Forrest.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park Frye Mountain and Mica Knob This photo shows Frye Mountain and Mica Knob.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park Clingman's Dome view Another view from the top of Clingman's Dome.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park Clingman's Dome view Another view from the top of Clingman's Dome.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park As I was leaving the park, I saw these amazingly white clouds against a beautiful blue sky!


Pigeon Forge, TN Pigeon Forge, TN

The main road through Pigeon Forge has many attractions on both sides all the way through the town. One of the types of attractions are go-kart tracks, many of them three stories like this one!



Pigeon Forge, TN Pigeon Forge, TN

Also in Pigeon Forge is Wonderworks, The Smokies only upside down attraction. An amusement park for the mind, featuring over 100 interactive exhibits for the entire family to experience.



Sevier County courthouse in Sevierville, TN This is the Sevier County courthouse in Sevierville, TN, near Pigeon Forge.


Sevier County courthouse in Sevierville, TN statue of Dolly Parton Along side the courthouse is this statue of Dolly Parton, dedicated in 1987.


Sevierville, TN wedding chapel And across the street from the courthouse, I spotted this wedding chapel.

Wedding License Information from Pigeon Forge Online:
Couple the beautiful natural chapel of the Smoky Mountains with the relatively minor requirements for getting married and you understand why a Smokies wedding and honeymoon is the most popular in the South. Couples can be joined in holy matrimony in a chapel, the National Park, or the privacy of their cottage or cabin.









Go To Project Gutenberg



Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional


Contents © Copyright 2001 Author: Lee Briggs except where noted. All rights reserved.