mountains in the great smoky mountains national park
April 30, 2023

Since the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was founded in June 1934, it has become a popular tourist attraction in both Tennessee and North Carolina. It is the most visited national park in the United States, as it attracts more than 12 million visitors each year. The picturesque natural scenery and the area’s rich history are just some of the things that keep everyone coming back. Get to know this awesome place a little better with a list of 3 things you didn’t know about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

1. Some Areas Close During the Winter

Cades Cove winter

As a whole, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open 24/7! Even so, there are some areas that close in the winter months. This is done to keep visitors safe from the hazardous conditions created by snow and ice. Some places that close include Clingmans Dome Road and Roaring Fork Nature Trail. You can still see the winter wonderland views on Cades Cove Loop Road, as it is open year-round. Check out our operating hours and seasons for a complete list of what’s open throughout the year! Any time you visit the park, it is important to stay informed about sudden road closures. A slight detour doesn’t have to put a damper on your trip because the park is beautiful wherever you go!

2. There is a Synchronous Firefly Event Every Year

As you’re walking through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’re probably thinking that the natural scenery can’t get any more beautiful. You will be blown away by the Synchronous Firefly Event that takes place in early June each year. This is when the mating season of the photinus carolinus takes place. This particular firefly species is different from the others in the park because the males have the ability to synchronize their lighting with one another. The skill allows them to attract the attention of potential mates. The result is a magical lighting sensation! It is almost like a natural flashlight!

3. There Are 2 Types of Campgrounds

tent on campsite

Camping is a popular activity in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as visitors love to sleep under the stars. It is a way to spend even more time in the fresh mountain air. When planning a camping trip in the Smokies, you need to decide which type of campground is right for you! If you choose a frontcountry campground, you can stay close to your vehicle. Additionally, guests will have access to restrooms with cold running water. On the other hand, if you want to venture out even further into the wilderness, you can take a hike to one of the backcountry campgrounds. It is important to note that the frontcountry campgrounds stay open all year while the backcountry campgrounds close during the winter months. Wherever you go, you’re in for a great time.

Now that you know a little more about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s time to plan a visit! Explore some of the popular places in the park and decide where you want to go!