Facts You Need to Know for Finding Wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains

Smoky Mountain black bear

Seeing wildlife is definitely a must for anyone who is visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. There’s so many different wildlife animals in the Smoky Mountains, you’re guaranteed to see the wildlife on your stay.

There’s over 60 species of mammals in the Great Smoky Mountains. In addition to that, there’s 240 species of birds, 50 species of fish, 39 species of reptiles and 43 species of amphibians.

If you do come across wildlife, whether out and about or while you’re hiking in the Smoky Mountains, there’s a few things you should know.

Where to Go to See Wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountainsturkeys in cades cove

There’s plenty of places throughout the Great Smoky Mountains that are great for seeing wildlife animals. One of the most popular places is Cades Cove, about a 45 minute drive from Gatlinburg.

The Cades Cove Loop Road hosts millions of visitors every year. Whether you drive along the Loop Road, or get out and explore the hiking trails, you’re sure to see some wildlife along the way.

Another great spot to see the wildlife is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Make sure to drive slowly along the road, and

Things You Need to Know for Viewing Wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains

  1. Pack binoculars and a camera for viewing and capturing photographs of wildlife. Keep in mind that you will want to keep at a safe distance because the flash on your camera may startle the animals.
  1. Remember that much of the national park’s wildlife is smaller creatures, like groundhogs, turkeys and turtles.
  1. Don’t forget that wildlife animals are extremely dangerous. Keep a good distance between yourself and the wildlife, and do not attempt to feed any of the animals.
  1. Winter is a great time to view wildlife because the trees are less full and there’s more space to see the animals.

For more information about safely viewing wildlife, follow this link to the National Park Service website: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/wildlifeviewing.htm

Black Bears in the Smoky Mountains

There are about 1,500 black bears in the Smoky Mountains. There’s nearly 2 bears per square mile, which is one of the highest concentrations of black bears in the eastern United States. Typically, male bears weigh around 250 pounds, even though some have been reported up to 600 pounds. They look very sluggish, but believe it or not, they can even run up to 30 miles per hour.

Other Wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • White-tailed deer
  • Racoons
  • Squirrels
  • Turkeys
  • Elk
  • Salamanders
  • Butterflies
  • Fireflies
  • Bats
  • Hawks
  • Coyotes
  • Turtles
  • Rabbits
  • Bobcats

It’s very unusual for black bears, or any large wildlife, to be around our Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge cabins. Since the areas typically have a lot of people around, the wildlife have learned to stay away from the cabins.

deer in the national parkAdvice for Keeping Animals Away from Cabins in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

  1. Make sure to pick up any trash from around the outside of your cabin. Garbage is the main attractant for bears and other wildlife. Without it around, the animals will stay away.
  2. Make sure you use designated garbage bins and garbage storage containers.
  3. Keep the outdoor grill areas clean. If you leave leftover food on the grill, the bears can seek it out.

When you’re visiting the area to see the wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains, take a look at all of our cabins that are perfect for your vacation. With everything from one bedroom cabins to large group cabins, we can accommodate any family or group getaway. Click here to view our cabins and start planning your vacation today!



Stony Brook Cabins and Chalets
1663 East Parkway Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA
Reservations: 800-633-5652
Local: 865-436-7428
Gatlinburg chalets and cabins in Tennessee