The Great Smoky Mountains offer unparalleled natural treasures and fascinating history. For instance, did you know that the Smoky Mountains are among the oldest mountains on Earth? They’re between 200 and 300 million years old! Here are some other not-so-trivial facts about our beloved Smokies (and links for you to find more information if you’re curious).
Fun Facts About the Smoky Mountains
There are over 100 different species of trees in the Smokies, and a third of the trees are over 100 years old. https://www.gsmnp.com/smoky-mountain-history-facts/
The Smokies are home to 200 different types of birds, 67 mammal breeds, 67 types of fish, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians. In fact, the Smoky Mountains are known as the salamander capital of the world. About 1,500 black bears reside in the park’s boundaries, mainly near Cades Cove and Cataloochee Valley. And the Smokies host 19 species of fireflies, including the Synchronous Fireflies – the only species in America that can synchronize their flashing lights. https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/animals.htm
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to more than 90 historic structures, although not all of them originated here. These structures include houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools, and grist mills. https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/historicbuildings.htm ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_historical_structures_maintained_by_the_Great_Smoky_Mountains_National_Park
With more than 800 miles of trails meandering throughout the park, including 71 miles of the Appalachian Trail, the Smokies are one of the top hiking destinations. https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/hiking.htm
Fun Facts about Smokies Cabins’ Location
Smokies Cabins (www.smokiescabins) are located in Black Mash Hollow, right in the center of Townsend, but well off the busy highway. This quiet mountain hollow has an interesting history of its own. For instance, Tuckaleechee Caverns (https://tuckaleecheecaverns.com/) run under Black Mash Hollow. At 58 degrees year-round, the Caverns are a refreshing place to cool off during the summer!
Black Mash Hollow was once a sacred meeting place for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. As such, it is still a positive energy vortex, and over the years many guests have commented on the natural setting’s comforting and healing properties.
More recently, the hollow was home to at least one moonshine still (based on remnants found near Hideaway on the Creek). Making moonshine was an important revenue stream for many Smoky Mountain farmers. When extra corn was transformed into whiskey, it became more valuable, simpler to move, and easier to trade and sell.
Do you have any interesting trivia to share about the Smoky Mountains? Add it to the comments below.
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