The Cherokee people originally called this area Shaconage, or "The Place of Blue Smoke." The bluish mist, which clings to the mountainsides and mysteriously fills the valleys, not only gives the park its name, but remains its most distinctive feature.|
Music has always been an important part of our culture here in the mountains. The dulcimer was invented here in our mountains, to imitate the sounds of a Scottish bagpipe, and can be heard weaving its magic throughout the valleys. Tapes and CD's featuring the music of The Smokies, are available throughout the region.
Stand and watch from the porch of a mountainside home, as wisps of mist rise and float across seemingly endless ridgelines. Or perhaps hike to Charlies Bunion, a 1,000-foot-high cliff, swept clear by a forest fire in 1925, with its magnificent sweeping views of Mt. LeConte, and the surrounding mountains.|
Over 1,500 flowering plants and shrubs, 125 species of trees and 30 varieties of orchids and grasses, carpet our mountains. This plethora of native vegetation combines with the oil of the pine trees to create a vapor that rises and mixes with the low-hanging fog.
The Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, were formed to assist the National Park Service in its mission to protect and preserve the Smokies. Now in its 5th year, the Friends have provided nearly $2 million for park projects.|
Residents and visitors alike, owe a debt of gratitude to these "Friends" for their outstanding accomplishments.
Familiar sites around this area, the trolleys take the hassle out of getting around, and finding parking places. There are over 100 trolley stops in Pigeon Forge, and cost a quarter per ride. |
The Gatlinburg trolleys service Dollywood, the Arts & Craft Community, Sugarlands Visitor Center, the Welcome Center and Gatlinburg, and range from a quarter to $2 per ride.
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