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Great Smoky Mountains National Park History

On June 15, 1934, Great Smoky Mountains National Park was officially established. That is the date on which Congress authorized "full establishment, for full development." Great Smoky Mountains National Park has an average of over 10 million visitors each year, making it the most visited national park in America. Historic Buildings & Structures

International Biosphere
The Park is one of the most topographically, biologically, and climatically diverse areas known (GSMNP 1990, USDI 1981a and 1981b, USDI 1982). Its lowest point, at the mouth of Abrams Creek in Tennessee, is 840 feet above sea level; its highest point is 6,642 feet, atop Clingmans Dome. This difference of over 5,800 feet makes it possible to gain a vertical mile within the Park's boundaries. Because of its remarkable diversity, the Park is an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site, two special titles accorded by the United Nations in recognition of the Park's biological diversity and the National Park Service's leadership in preserving it.

Although the park was established in 1934, ten years more were required to tie up loose ends; in finalizing the purchase of lands and many other difficulties that went along with making the Smokies a national park.

Mrs. Willis P. Davis started the successful movement. Without her efforts, there would be no national park in the Smokies.

A debt of gratitude belongs to Mrs. Davis and her husband; also to Colonel David C. Chapman, Ben A. Morton, Frank Maloney, Governor Austin Peay and to many other individuals for their work on the Tennessee side of the mountains. Gratitude also goes to Senator Mark Squires, Dr. E. C. Brooks, Plato D. Ebbs, Horace Kephart, Congressman Zebulon Weaver, Charles A. Webb and their many workers on the North Carolina side of the mountains; also to the officials of the National Park Service -- Directors Stephen T. Mather, Horace M. Albright, and Arna B. Camerer; and to John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Prior to establishment of the National Park, logging camps operated in much of the Smoky Mountains region. Elkmont, Tremont, and Smokemont were all logging camps in the early 1900s. Elkmont and Smokemont are both campgrounds within Park and are situated on mountain rivers.
 

Where to stay in the Smoky Mountains:

Cabins:
Black Bear Ridge Resort
Cabins USA
Fireside Chalets
Great Outdoor Rentals

Hotels:
Courtyard Marriott Pigeon Forge
EconoLodge Riverside
Riverstone Resort
Quality Inn Pigeon Forge

Things to Do:
101 Things to Do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains
25 Fun Things to Do in the Fall in the Smoky Mountains
Scenic Roadways
Hiking Trails
Clingmans Dome
Waterfalls
Fishing
Camping

 


WELCOME TO GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Trip Ideas
Great Smoky Mountains Facts
Policies
Institute at Tremont
Order Your Free Visitor's Guide
Transportation & Airports
Local News

Photo Tours
Fall Photo Tour
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Smoky Mountain Fall Foliage
Fall Foliage at Clingmans Dome
Fall Colors in nearby Villages
Fall in Wears Valley
Best Fall Hikes in the Smokies

  WHAT TO DO
Attractions
Biking
Fishing
Hiking
Outdoor Adventure
Scenic Drives and Rides
Shopping
Heritage, History, & Culture
Nature Activities

  WHERE TO STAY
Bed & Breakfast
Cabins
Camping
Condos
Hotels

WHERE TO EAT
Restaurants
Farmers' Markets
Recipe Cards


  4 SEASONS
Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

WEDDINGS
Wedding Services
Honeymoon Cabins
  Surrounding Towns:
Cherokee
Gatlinburg
Maggie Valley
Pigeon Forge
Townsend
Wears Valley

CONTACT
Contact
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