Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The gem of the Smokies, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is the most visited park in the United States. The park features a wide range of eco-systems and changes of altitude. At the lower levels in the south, there are lakes created by the Tennessee Valley Authority during the great depression. Favorite summer spots for boating and river tubing as well as trout fishing. Towards the north, Cataloochee Valley is a step back in time, with preserved homes, churches, barns from before the land was a park. It is also ground central for the reintroduction of the elk in the park.
At the higher elevations, the park stays cool even in the summers. Some of the higher peaks, Clingman’s Dome, Mount LeConte, Mount Guyot, Mount Chapman, Mount Kephart, Mount Collins, all rise above 6,000 feet in elevation.
The park has a wide variety of flora and fauna including the most species of salamanders in the world. It is designated an international biosphere reserve including some of the largest patches of old growth forest in the United States.