This is America’s most visited national park.
In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, beginning the process that eventually
resulted in the forced removal of all Indian tribes east of the Mississippi River to what is now Oklahoma.
Many of the Cherokee left, but some, led by renegade warrior Tsali, hid out in the area that is now the
Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some of their descendants now live in the Qualla Reservation
south of the park.
The U.S. National Park Service wanted a park in the eastern United States, but did not have much money
to establish one. Though Congress had authorized the park in 1926, there was no nucleus of federally-
owned land around which to build a park. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. contributed $5 million, the U.S.
government added $2 million, and private citizens from Tennessee and North Carolina pitched in to
assemble the land for the park, piece by piece.
Note: All pictures on my site are thumbnails, feel free to click on them to view larger images.
Cades Cove Loop is open to auto, bicycle and foot traffic every day of the year from sunup to sundown with
along the way.
The visitors center has many buildings that were part of the Cades Cove community. There is a
blacksmith shop, a cantilever barn, the John Cable mill, and other structures that depict what life was like
at the time
In 1940 Franklin Delano Roosevelt officially dedicated the Park from this majestic site. The road,
completed in 1932, straddles Tennessee and North Carolina here. Originally, Indian Gap, a point two
miles west, was thought to be the lowest gap in the mountains, but Newfound Gap was discovered to
be lower in elevation, thus the name.