• 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 »

Browse by Science Topic

Dispatches from the Field > Dispatch index by science topic

Bear tracks.

Science in the Smokies includes understanding bear behavior, monitoring stream and amphibian health, searching for new forms of life, monitoring air quality, and much, much more!

NPS photo.

Air quality

Culture & Archeology




Invasive Exotic Species


Water quality


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Did You Know?

Barn at the Mountain Farm Museum at Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

The barn at the Mountain Farm Museum at Oconaluftee Visitor Center is over 50 feet wide and 60 feet long. A modern 2,500 square foot home would fit in the upstairs loft of the barn and over 16,000 hand-split wooden shingles are required to roof it. More...