• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Trail Advisory

    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Be A Junior Ranger

Explore the park and earn your Junior Ranger badge!

Kids-if you're between the ages of 5-12, you can become a Junior Ranger! Pick up a Junior Ranger booklet for $2.50 at any park visitor center or at the Cades Cove or Elkmont campground. Complete the activities in the booklet then stop by a visitor center to talk to a ranger and receive your Junior Ranger badge.

You can become a Junior Ranger at any time of year, but during spring, summer, and fall, ranger-led Junior Ranger programs are offered especially for children. Read through the schedule of ranger-led programs to find these special Junior Ranger programs.

Want to get your Junior Ranger booklet before coming to the park? Booklets can be purchased online: Ages 5-6, Ages 7-8, Ages 9-10, Ages 11-12.

 

 
Junior Ranger programs offer children a chance to explore the park and learn about the past.

Don McGowan Photo

Junior Ranger: Blacksmithing
Want to see what Junior Ranger programs are all about? Watch a video of the Junior Ranger Blacksmith program at the Mountain Farm Museum.
 


Online Opportunities to explore your National Parks.

Can't visit the park in person? Explore the Great Smoky Mountains and other national parks through the following online games and activities:

 

Take an electronic field-trip to the park!
Search for life in the Great Smoky Mountains with downloadable acitivities, videos, and interactive games.

 

Become A WebRanger!
The National Park Service's online Junior Ranger program is for kids of all ages. With more than 50 online games, you can have fun learning about your national parks, monuments, and historic sites.

Become a World Heritage Junior Ranger!
What's a World Heritage Area? And what makes them so special? Discover the answers with fun, interactive games and activities.

Did You Know?

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001.

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...