Facts You Need to Know for Finding Wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains
Seeing wildlife is something almost everyone comes to the Smokies wants to do. There’s so many different wildlife animals in the Smoky Mountains, and you never know what you might see. While it’s not guaranteed you’ll see any animals, we can tell you about the best places to go where you are most likely to see these kinds of animals. Keep reading to find out more about finding wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Types of Wildlife in the Smoky Mountains
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. Here are some of the animals you might see while you’re in the national park:
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.
White Tailed Deer
White tailed deer are most active early in the morning or right before sunset. They like to graze in open fields, and they are very skittish around people.
Did you know the Great Smoky Mountains are known as the salamander capital of the world? There are more than 30 species of salamanders in the national park, and about 26 of them are lungless. These amphibians breathe by taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide through their skin. You’re likely to see salamanders anywhere there is water.
Other Wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Where to Go to See Wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains
There’s plenty of places throughout the Great Smoky Mountains that are great for seeing wildlife. One of the most popular places is Cades Cove, about a 45 minute drive from Gatlinburg. The Cades Cove Loop has 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. You might see them as you’re driving along the road or when you get out and explore. It’s possible to see animals anywhere in the Smokies, so keep your eye open!
Tips for Viewing Wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains
There are some things you can do to help you possibly see wildlife while you’re in the Great Smoky Mountains. 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. Remember that much of the national park’s wildlife is smaller creatures, like groundhogs, turkeys, and turtles. Don’t forget that animals are extremely dangerous, and you should not get close to them. Keep a good distance between yourself and the wildlife, and do not attempt to feed any of the animals.
When you come to the Smokies, you probably want to see wildlife. Hopefully our tips and tricks will help you spot some of these animals! Are you ready to start planning your next trip? Look through our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals and start planning your vacation today!