Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

National preserve, eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, U.S. It is 20 mi (32 km) wide and extends southwest for 54 mi (87 km) from the Pigeon River to the Little Tennessee River. Established in 1934 to preserve the U.S.'s last remaining sizable area of southern primeval hardwood forest, it covers 520,269 acres (210,553 hectares) and contains some of the highest peaks in the Appalachian Mountains. Summits are crowned with dense forest, while lower elevations have mountain laurel, rhododendron, and azaleas. The region's first settlers established themselves in the valleys, and some of their homes are preserved in the park. It was designated a World Heritage site in 1983.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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