- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
a national park in SE Tennessee and SW North Carolina, including most of the Great Smoky Mountains: hardwood forest. 808 sq. mi. (2092 sq. km).
* * *National preserve, eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, U.S. It is 20 mi (32 km) wide and extends southwest for 54 mi (87 km) from the Pigeon River to the Little Tennessee River.Established in 1934 to preserve the U.S.'s last remaining sizable area of southern primeval hardwood forest, it covers 520,269 acres (210,553 hectares) and contains some of the highest peaks in the Appalachian Mountains. Summits are crowned with dense forest, while lower elevations have mountain laurel, rhododendron, and azaleas. The region's first settlers established themselves in the valleys, and some of their homes are preserved in the park. It was designated a World Heritage site in 1983.
* * *national park in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, U.S., 20 miles (32 km) wide and extending southwestward for 54 miles (87 km) from the Pigeon River to the Little Tennessee River. The park was established in 1934 to preserve the last remaining sizable area of southern primeval hardwood forest in the United States. It covers 520,269 acres (210,553 hectares) and contains some of the highest peaks in the Appalachian Mountains.Summits and ridges are crowned with a forest of red spruce and Fraser fir except in open areas (balds), where purple- and pink-blossomed rhododendrons often appear in the early summer. Among the rushing streams on the lower slopes are such trees as hemlock, silver bell, black cherry, buckeye, yellow birch, and tulip tree; the latter sometimes attains a trunk diameter of more than 6 feet (1.8 m). Other vegetation at lower elevations includes flowering dogwood, redbud, and serviceberry; dense stands of mountain laurel, white-blossomed rhododendron, and azaleas form almost impenetrable thickets.Important species of wildlife in the park include black bears, white-tailed deer, foxes, bobcats, raccoons, ruffed grouse, turkeys, colourful songbirds, and insectivorous birds, which predominate in the spring.The region's first settlers established themselves in the sheltered coves and valleys of the area, and a number of their picturesque, primitive buildings are preserved in the park. Some families remain and continue to farm there. The park was designated a World Heritage Site in 1983.
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