National Park Handbooks, compact introductions to the great natural and historic places administered by the National Park Service, are designed to promote understanding and enjoyment of the parks. Each is intended to be informative reading and a useful guide before, during, and after a park visit. More than 100 titles are in print. This is Handbook 112.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the North Carolina-Tennessee border and encompasses the climax of the Appalachian Mountain System. Major attractions are the mountains themselves, the preserved structures and lore of mountain folklife, stupendous displays of flowering plants and shrubs, fall colors, wild animals, superb hiking opportunities, and gorgeous rivers, streams, and waterfalls. This handbook is published in support of the National Park Service’s management policies and interpretive programs at the park. Part 1 gives a brief introduction to what you may find in a leisurely visit to the park; Part 2 outlines the natural history of the mountains and their valleys; and Part 3 presents concise travel guide and reference materials.