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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

Safety

 

Fatal injuries occur every year in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Motor vehicle accidents and drownings are the leading causes of death. Be aware:

  • Motorcyclists must be especially cautious here. Automobiles frequently cross center lines on blind curves and winding roads. Ride defensively!

  • There are no life-guarded swimming areas in the park. Swimming and tubing are not recommended.

  • Never try to climb to the top of a waterfall. The rocks are coated with slippery algae, and several hikers have been killed.

  • Yellowjacket wasps are especially aggressive in autumn. Allergic persons should carry "epi" pens or other medications. If stung on the hand, remove rings immediately.

  • Don't drive impaired! The park's mountainous roads are narrow, winding and heavily traveled. They are unforgiving for a careless driver; or worse, for a driver whose mental state is compromised by alcohol or drugs. Every year, several alcohol-related fatalities occur within the park.

Average number of serious injuries in the park each year:
Motor vehicle accidents - 50
Walking or hiking accidents - 38
Bicycle accidents - 16
Falls from waterfalls - 9
Horse related - 7
Tubing related - 5
Bee Sting reaction - 4

Did You Know?