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A Tour of U.S. National Parks

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The Great Smokey Mountains National Park

The Great Smokey Mountains National Park is part of the Appalachian system located in both Tennessee and North Carolina. In 1926, President Calvin Coolidge established the Park to preserve a great deal of Appalachian history and its resources. The mountains are named for the smoke-like haze that envelops them. More than 25 peaks rise over 6,000 feet. Clingmans Dome, 6,642 feet, and Mt. Guyot, 6,621 feet, are the highest points in Tennessee, and named after geologists T. L. Clingman and Arnold Guyot, who explored the mountains in the late 1800s. The park includes 600 miles of trails through forests and many streams and waterfalls. Many visitors come to the Smokey Mountains hoping to see a bear. Around 1,500 bears live in the park.

Fun Fact: The Great Smokey Mountains has at least 30 different species of salamanders, earning it the nickname "Salamander Capital of the World."

Photo source: Carol M. Highsmith

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