History & Culture

The Great Smoky Mountains contain one of the richest cultures in American history. Dating back to prehistoric times and known for its Southern Appalachian experience, the beautiful mountain range has been the home to both Native Americans and ancient settlers for thousands of years. Ranging from the first Americans to come from Europe to Paleo Indians to Civilian Conservation Corps to loggers, the Smokies have seen many different walks of life.

Taking pride in its rich history, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park strives to maintain all of its historic architecture, artifacts, inhabitants and landscapes. By doing this, the park is able to continually tell visitors the many stories that are contained within the magical mountains. Read More »

The process to make the Great Smoky Mountains a National Park was not an easy one. It took a lot of effort and money to protect the nearly depleted forest region. Once owned by large paper companies and small farmers, it was difficult for the U.S. government to convince the regions settlers to leave the area. Because of deep family ties, logging equipment, a forest full of wood and a close proximity to railroad tracks, the majority of mountain residents did not want to leave.Read More »

Incredibly, people have inhabited the Great Smoky Mountains dating back to prehistoric times. Though, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that mountain settlers actually started hosting activities in the area like nature events. By the time the first settlers reached the Smoky Mountains in the 1700s, they discovered that they were in the homeland of the Cherokee Indians. Read More »