America's Great Outdoors
Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains some of the largest tracts of wilderness in the East and is a critical sanctuary for a wide variety of animals. Protected in the park are some 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians. The symbol of the Smokies, the American Black Bear, is perhaps the most famous resident of the park. Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides the largest protected bear habitat in the East. Though populations are variable, biologists estimate approximately 1,500 bears live in the park, a density of approximately two bears per square mile. Photo: Charlie Choc (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains some of the largest tracts of wilderness in the East and is a critical sanctuary for a wide variety of animals. Protected in the park are some 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians. 

The symbol of the Smokies, the American Black Bear, is perhaps the most famous resident of the park. Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides the largest protected bear habitat in the East. Though populations are variable, biologists estimate approximately 1,500 bears live in the park, a density of approximately two bears per square mile. 

Photo: Charlie Choc (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Sunset in Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo by Kristina Plaas, © 2014 all rights reserved.

Sunset in Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Photo by Kristina Plaas, © 2014 all rights reserved.

Gorgeous sunrise over Great Smoky Mountains National Park.Photo: Chris Mobley (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Gorgeous sunrise over Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Photo: Chris Mobley (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Sunset over Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.Photo: Austin Leih (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Sunset over Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

Photo: Austin Leih (www.sharetheexperience.org)

The sunrise from Foothills Parkway East at 7:00 AM yesterday morning in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo: Nicholas Yarnell

The sunrise from Foothills Parkway East at 7:00 AM yesterday morning in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Photo: Nicholas Yarnell

Fog shrouds the valleys of North Carolina earlier this month in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.Photo: National Park Service

Fog shrouds the valleys of North Carolina earlier this month in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Photo: National Park Service

A black bear takes a nap in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.Photo: Charlie Choc 

A black bear takes a nap in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Photo: Charlie Choc