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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Activities

Among the chain of the Appalachian Mountains, one will find the Blue Ridge Mountains. Additionally, among the Blue Ridge Mountains, one will find the Great Smoky Mountains. On the ridge of these mountains sits Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The dividing line separating two states runs right through the center of the park. North Carolina sits on one side of the line, and Tennessee sits on the other side.

Opportunities abound to discover and experience everything that is found in this wonderful collusion of nature and man. Sitting within the perimeter of the park are more than 90 structures built by the hands of men. These historic buildings include barns, churches, houses and grist mills. One of the best spots to view a great number of these structures is in the Cades Cove area of the park where Cherokee Indians hunted long before settlers began building here.

In addition to providing a glimpse of structures from bygone days, this area of the park is one of the most frequented spots for another reason as well. The amount of wildlife that can be viewed is far greater in this region than most anywhere else in the park. Black bears have been seen here too, along with turkeys, coyotes, raccoons and numerous white-tailed deer.

For the fisherman, there are at least 2,100 miles of streams within the park. Most are just waiting for the angler to wet a line. There are a few exceptions in a couple of streams where fishing is not permitted in order to let the fish repopulate. For the most part, however, fishing is allowed all year long in the park.

Down in the area of the lowlands of the park, the visitor will find animals and plant life that are common to the southern portion of the United States. Moving upward in the mountains, however, the same visitor will find plants and animals common to states that are located in the northern part of the country. Field trips in the park can be arranged with the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center for hands-on learning opportunities.