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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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    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 »

Fire: Winter, 2009

Fire in Cades Cove.

Fire crews finished up prescribed fires in Cades Cove for the season.

NPS photo by Heath Bailey.

Finishing fall fires
Fire managers at Great Smoky Mountains finished prescribed burns in Cades Cove for the winter. During prescribed burns in the park, staff across all divisions—resource management, law enforcement, maintenance, trails, and education—are eligible to help, as long as they have their “red card.” This card means that a person has passed a rigorous fitness test and has knowledge about safely applying and working around fire in open areas. The last burns in Cades Cove completed about 400 acres of burning this year, which will be beneficial for native grass restoration and invasive plant control.

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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.