The Smokey Mountain Forest

By William, Connor, and Abbey

Located in Tennessee and North Carolina


This Decidouse forest is a great vacation spot and a beautifull biome. There is great plant life and amazing animals that will blow your mind. The weather is great and you will never get bored with your amazing choices of things to do. You will be looking forward to you visit!
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Changes happen rapidly. Sunny skies can change to snow flurries in a few hours. March is the month with the most changes; snow can fall at any time during the month, particularly in the higher elevations. Temperatures in the lower elevations have a mean high of 61ºF. Low temperatures, which are often below freezing, have a mean of 42ºF. By mid-April the weather is usually milder. Daytime temperatures often reach the 70s and occasionally the 80s. Below freezing temperatures at night are uncommon in the lower elevations but still occur higher up. April averages over four inches of rain, usually in the form of afternoon showers. May is warmer, with daytime highs in the 70s and 80s and lows in the 40s and 50s. May rainfall averages about 4.5 inches.

plant life

Over 1,600 species of flowering plants add to the park's incredible diversity of life.

John Heidecker photo

If allowed only one word to justify the Smokies worthiness as a National Park, that word would be plants. Vegetation is to Great Smoky Mountains National Park what granite domes and waterfalls are to Yosemite and geysers are to Yellowstone.

Variations in elevation, rainfall, temperature, and geology in these ancient mountains provide ideal habitat for over 1,600 species of flowering plants, including 100 native tree species and over 100 native shrub species. From mid-April to mid-May, spring ephemeral wildflowers bloom profusely in the deciduous forests during a brief window of growth before trees leaf-out and shade the forest floor. From mid-June to mid-July, extravagant displays of mountain laurel, rhododendron, azalea, and other heath family shrubs flower en masse, especially on high elevation heath balds.

The park is also a global center for non-flowering plants, including 450 bryophytes-mosses, liverworts, and a few hornworts. Non-flowering species also include some 50 ferns and fern allies and at least one horsetail.

animal life

Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains some of the largest tracts of wilderness in the East and is a critical sanctuary for a wide variety of animals. Protected in the park are some 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 50 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians.

The symbol of the Smokies, the American Black Bear, is perhaps the most famous resident of the park. Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides the largest protected bear habitat in the East. Though populations are variable, biologists estimate approximately 1,500 bears live in the park, a density of approximately two bears per square mile.

Of the 65 other mammal species documented in the park, the white-tailed deer, groundhog, chipmunk, and some squirrel and bat species are the most commonly seen. Over 200 species of birds are regularly sighted in the park, 85 of those migrate from the neotropics.


Nearly ten million visitors every year make the trip to explore over 400,000 acres of picturesque mountains straddle the state line between eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. The mountains, named for the blue smoke-like haze first noted by the Cherokee, house one of the first national parks east of the Mississippi River. Years of dedication and hard work from people nationwide culminated in this historic founding.

History of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park's steep, unforgiving rocky soils hold deep roots to the past. European settlement in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area first occurred in the 1700s. Cherokee settlement dates back nearly 800 years earlier. The earliest European settlers followed similar land use practices that the Cherokee had adopted. They cleared timber for use in buildings and fences, grazed livestock in the grassy valleys and practiced small-scale agriculture. Little changed for these close-knit communities for over a hundred years.


Works Cited

"Great Smoky Mountains." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 Mar. 2013.

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"Travel & Cultures." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013.