• 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 »

Motorcycle Safety

Every year park rangers investigate many motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, a significant number involve fatalities.

Be alert: Animals may dart out from forest edges. Other drivers may pay too much attention to the scenery and cross over the center line into your travel lane or may suddenly stop their vehicles in the middle of the road to observe wildlife. Sleet and snow may fall on higher elevation roads during any month of the year. Rocks, tree limbs, or gravel may be strewn across roads after storms or high winds. These and other unforeseen conditions can lead to motorcycle accidents.

Suggestions for Motorcycle Riding
  • Watch for vehicles straying over the center line.
  • Stay alert for sudden stops or traffic slow-downs, especially around scenic pullouts or other congested areas.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing or jackets to increase visibility to other motorists.
  • Carry raingear.
  • Be aware of road surfaces as you ride. Look ahead for oil spots, loose rocks, trees or tree limbs, and gravel or sand (gravel or sand is spread on roads for traction during snowy or icy weather).
  • Watch for wildlife at the forest edge.
  • Be alert for weather changes-unexpected rain, snow, ice, and hail can make park roads hazardous throughout the year.
  • Secure your motorcycle and valuables when you are away from your bike.
  • Shake the crowds! Explore some of the lesser used areas and roads.

State Laws Require:

  • Wear an approved motorcycle safety helmet.
  • Don't speed or pass on a double line-park rangers enforce traffic regulations.

Did You Know?

President Roosevelt at the park's Rockefeller Memorial.

Money to buy the land that became Great Smoky Mountains National Park was raised by individuals, private groups, and even school children who pledged their pennies. In addition, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Fund donated $5 million to create the park. More...