view of the Smoky Mountains
April 30, 2024

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to an abundance of wildlife, gorgeous natural scenery, amazing historical structures, and much more, making it a “must-see” destination for visitors from across the globe! If you always wanted to visit the park but were wondering what makes it so special, read on to discover 5 impressive statistics about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

1. Most Visited National Park in the Country

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the country, with more than 12 million visitors each year. This is more than the combined number of visitors to Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon! When you consider all of the fun things to do in the park, this should actually come as no surprise. You’ll find hundreds of different species of trees, unique wildlife, tons of recreational opportunities, and the list goes on! Also, this is one of the few national parks in the country that doesn’t charge an entrance fee!

2. 150 Official Hiking Trails to Explore

hiking trail in the smokies

Another one of the impressive statistics about Great Smoky Mountains National Park is that there are 150 official hiking trails to explore! Altogether there are more than 800 miles of trails that run through the park, including 74 miles of the Appalachian Trail! You’ll discover everything from easy kid-friendly hikes to day hikes that take you to summits with stunning views! Some of the most popular hikes in the park include trails to Rainbow Falls, Chimney Tops, Rainbow Falls, and Andrews Bald.

3. 10 Developed Campgrounds with 1000 Sites

If you love to camp under the stars, you’ll have plenty of excellent options for camping at Great Smoky Mountains National Park! The park offers 10 developed campgrounds with a total of 1000 sites as well as 100 backcountry campsites that include shelters. The developed campgrounds combine the feel of primitive camping with the modern convenience of flush toilets and drinking water, and there is a fire ring and picnic table at each campsite. Meanwhile, backpackers love the backcountry sites, which require a permit and hiking several miles to the campsite.

4. More than 350 Scenic Roads to Drive

tail of the dragon

If hiking isn’t your thing, you’ll be delighted to know that there are 350 scenic roads to drive throughout Great Smoky Mountains National Park! As you explore the various roads, there are plenty of scenic pullouts where you can stretch your legs and soak in the breathtaking views! Some of the favorite drives in the park include the Cades Cove Loop Road, Foothills Parkway, Roaring Fork Nature Trail, and Newfound Gap Road.

5. Over 300 Maintained Buildings in the Park

One of the features that makes Great Smoky Mountains National Park so interesting is all the buildings throughout the park, including 4 excellent visitor centers and over 90 historical structures preserving Southern Appalachian heritage! This is your chance to take a glimpse into the past and revisit the lives of early settlers in the Smokies. You’ll discover houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools, and gristmills, all of which have been preserved or rehabilitated.

Now that you’ve learned some of the impressive statistics about Great Smoky Mountains National Park, come explore the park to experience everything that it has to offer! If you have never been to the Smokies before, be sure to check out these top things to know about visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!