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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Spring Road Status

    During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »

In Summer (June-September)

Rows of planted Little Bluestem in Cades Cove.

Rows of planted Little Bluestem, a native grass once common in Cades Cove.

NPS photo.

Exotic plant, insect, and animal control. There is a lot of work to be done to control invasive plants and to stop rooting hogs and savagely biting fire ants. In the summer, while the blades soak up sun in the long days, Steven and his crew eradicate fescue, privet, multiflora rose, non-native species of Lespedeza, and many other plants. They also keep an eye out for signs of introduced hogs, which root out native plants, and for the huge fire ant mounts whose occupants pose a safety risk to people and ground nesting animals.

Return to NPS Profile: Restoring Native Grassland Communities in Cades Cove or see what vegetation managers do in Fall, Winter, and Spring.

Did You Know?

Scientists estimate that 100,000 different species live in the park.

What lives in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Although the question sounds simple, it is actually extremely complex. Right now scientists think that we only know about 17 percent of the plants and animals that live in the park, or about 17,000 species of a probable 100,000 different organisms.