4 Popular Animals That Live in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a fun place to visit during your stay with us! Visitors love the fresh air and natural scenery. They are also excited at the chance of spotting wildlife. Take a moment to learn more about some of the creatures that inhabit the area. Here is a list of 4 popular animals that live in the Great Smoky Mountains:

1. Black Bears

With a population density of two bears per square mile, black bears are the most popular animal in the Great Smoky Mountains. They have unique characteristics, such as their sharp claws, big noses and great hearing, that allow them to thrive at any elevation. Even so, black bears tend to be most abundant in the low fields of Cades Cove. Visitors have the best chance of spotting them in June and July during the early morning and late evening hours. With the exception of their mating season, they tend to roam alone and be solitary animals. If you do spot one, remember to maintain a distance of at least 150 feet away!

2. Salamanders

Salamanders are small creatures who have a mighty population in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is so abundant that the Smokies are nicknamed the “Salamander Capital of the World.” They come in many colors, such as red, green, and brown. Some species can grow to 29 inches in length. In addition to their physical characteristics, they have fascinating abilities. For example, they can breathe through their skin and regenerate limbs and organs after a predator attack. Want to see salamanders during your visit to the Smokies? Head over to Grotto Falls. They thrive among the rocks, water, and cool climates there! If you do find one, refrain from picking it up and try to leave the spot exactly as you found it.

3. White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer are one of the popular animals on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains. They are fast runners and good swimmers. White-tailed deer can also jump to heights of 10 feet. All of these characteristics help keep them safe from predators like bears and coyotes. While in the Smokies, you will most likely see white-tailed deer roaming around open field areas, such as Cades Cove.

4. Wild Turkeys

You may hear wild turkeys before you see them. They roam along the roads and in open field areas grazing on nuts, fruits, and insects. They spend their days on the ground but sleep in trees to avoid predators. Wild turkeys can fly at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour in short bursts. They can also see three times better than humans, as their eyesight covers 270 degrees. If you do see a wild turkey, look closely at its head. The coloring can tell you its mood! Blue and white colors mean they are calm, while red can represent more intense emotions.

Now you know about the popular animals in the Great Smoky Mountains! Want to learn even more about the area? Read about must-see places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!