The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has reached a pretty big milestone recently. Species in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park reached 20,000 and the park now has documentation on 20,000 species of animals, plants and other organisms. Listed are some details on the different species and what you can expect to find the next time you are visiting the Smokies!
Scientists from all around the world are always working diligently to catalogue the diversity found in the national park. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park refers to the documentation of 20,000 species as a “biodiversity milestone.” In the 21 years that the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory has existed , they found documented 1,006 species in the park that is completely new to science! That is such exciting news even for those of us that you wouldn’t consider a science geek. The ATBI project is managed by Discover Life in America and the director of science of Discover Life stated that they think there are still hundreds upon hundreds of species that have yet to be discovered.
Within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, more than 60 species of mammals have been documented. In addition to that, 40 species of reptiles, 44 species of amphibians, 200 species of birds and 67 native fish have been documented as well. The American Black Bear is probably the most famous species found in the park. It is estimated that there are more than 1,500 black bears that live in the park. That calculates to be 2 bears per square mile. The white-tailed deer, squirrel and bat species are other common animals seen in the park.
There are more than 1,600 flowering plants within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Included in that number is 100 native tree species and more than 100 native shrub species. There is also a good number of non-flowering plants which includes about 50 ferns. In the spring and summer, millions of people come to the Smokies to see the variety of wildflowers that basically blanket most of the national park. The most popular wildflowers that people like to look for are the white trillium, trout lily and the wild geranium.
With millions of people visiting the National Park each year, you have to know that there are many ways that all people travelling to this area can enjoy the beauty of the Smokies. It does not matter whether you would like to hike and explore or see the beauty of the mountains from your vehicle. Some of the most popular scenic drives includes the Cades Cove Loop, Newfound Gap Road and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
Cades Cove Loop: an 11 mile loop that features numerous historic sites, incredible views and a huge opportunity to see wildlife.
Newfound Gap Road: This road leads you from the Gatlinburg side of the Smokies to the Cherokee side of the Smokies. You can expect to pass absolutely breathtaking overlooks that you can easily pull into. Some of the most scenic views can be found while travelling Newfound Gap Road.
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: This is a 5.5 mile loop that is a favorite among people that do not have time to drive to the Cades Cove Loop. You can access this loop from traffic light #8 in Downtown Gatlinburg. Enjoy scenic views, historic buildings, and a couple of waterfalls from your vehicle.
No matter what time of the year you are planning on visiting the Smokies, you are bound to enjoy the beauty of America’s most visited National Park. Join the millions that vacation in the area to experience the tranquility of being in nature. Here at Resort Properties Vacations, we offer a wide variety of vacation condo rentals and are sure we will be able to find you the perfect condo for you and your group! Give us a call at 800-429-4361 and let us help plan your Pigeon Forge Vacation which will include Free Tickets to Top Premier Attractions.