Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina takes in the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains and a portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
It is part of the Appalachian Mountain Chain and has some of the highest mountain peaks east of the Mississippi River. More than 12.5 million visitors come every year—the most of any U.S. national park.
- Cherokee people lived here for many years before Europeans arrived. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act. All native people living east of the Mississippi were forced to leave their lands and move to Oklahoma.
- Some refused to leave and hid in the forests with their rebel leader Tsali. Their descendants now live in the Qualla Boundary.
- During the mid-to-late 1800s, loggers, miners, and homesteaders came to the area. The loggers were destroying the forests at a rapid rate. Local people and visitors were concerned that the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains would be destroyed. They began a movement to protect the area. John D. Rockefeller donated $5 million. Local businessmen donated land. The federal government gave money and in 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation that made the area a national park.
- This national park includes more than 522,419 acres of land, making it the largest national park in the eastern United States.
- Visitors enjoy hiking on trails and fishing.
- The forests are 95 percent forested with many trees that are several hundred years old.
- The park also has several historic areas with cabins, schools, and old churches still standing.
- The Walker Sisters Homestead is one of the most well-known historic areas. The Walker sisters were five spinster sisters known for their traditional ways. They grew most of their own food and made their own clothing.
- At 6,593 feet above sea level, Mount Le Conte is the tallest mountain in the eastern United States.
- Rebel: someone who actively fights or disagrees
- Spinster: an unmarried woman
Questions and Answers
Question: What is the Appalachian Trail?
Answer: The Appalachian Trail is a trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. The 2,200 mile trail was completed in 1937. Almost 1,000 people attempt to walk the entire trail each year. Emma Rowena Gatewood (Grandma Gatewood) walked the trail alone when she was 67-years-old.
Discover the Appalachian Trail.
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Declan, Tobin. " Great Smoky Mountains National Park - American History for Kids ." American History for Kids, Jan 2021. Web. 20 Jan 2021. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/great-smoky-mountains-national-park/ >.
APA Style Citation
Tobin, Declan. (2021). Great Smoky Mountains National Park - American History for Kids. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/great-smoky-mountains-national-park/