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This year (2016), the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday! As part of the celebration, Time Magazine released a special edition of their magazine, “America’s National Parks: 100 Years of Preserving Our Land and Heritage,” and it features the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
Over 307 million people visited national parks in 2015 – the largest number of visitors in history. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the most visited national park in the United States, having over 10 million visitors.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Time Magazine
The special edition of Time Magazine featured a section on fly fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
According to the magazine article, “The Smokies have 700-800 miles of rushing streams to cast a fly into; it’s one of the most popular fly fishing regions east of the Mississippi. For many, the prize catch is trout, but smallmouth bass are another popular target for the avid anglers.”
They also mention that the Great Smoky Mountains covers parts of 2 states, Tennessee and North Carolina as well as including information about being the most visited park in the United States.
The special edition of Time Magazine that features the Great Smoky Mountains is on shelves until August 12, 2016, so be sure to pick it up.
Quick Facts About the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- 10 million visitors in 2015
- 400,000 hikers annually
- 6,643 feet is Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park
- 850 miles of trails
- 730 miles of streams for fishing
- 384 miles of roads (238 miles paved, 146 miles unpaved)
- 342 structures maintained in the park
- 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail run through the park
- 10 campgrounds
- 11 picnic areas
About the National Park Service
When the National Park Service was founded, it was responsible for managing only 35 national parks and landmarks. Since 1970, the National Park Service has grown to managing over 400 preserved areas that include more than 84 million acres in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan and the Virgin Islands.
Today, the National Park Service also employs over 20,000 people and works with community across the country to preserve and educate people on the nation’s history and resources.
How to Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial 2016
Smoky Mountains Hike 100 Challenge
To celebrate the National Park Service Centennial 2016, the Smoky mountains are honoring the first 100 years with 100 miles of hiking! Through the end of the year, you’re encouraged to try to hike 100 miles of the Smoky Mountains, including anything from the nature trails to the most strenuous hikes. You can hike the same trail repeatedly or try new trails to explore. We just want everyone inspired to hike and explore the Great Smoky Mountains.
National Park Service Centennial 2016 Junior Ranger Booklet
This year, the National Park Service released a special edition of the Junior Ranger booklet – the Centennial Junior Ranger program booklet! Like the other Junior Ranger program booklets, it is filled with activities, photos, fun facts and more.
3 New Commemorative Coins
The U.S. Mint is issuing 3 limited-edition coins to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The coins will include a 5-dollar gold coin, a silver dollar and a half dollar clad coin. These coins feature images of iconic park features, cultural heritage and nature and the National Park Service’s logo.
The National Park Service by the Numbers
- 81 National Monuments
- 78 National Historic Sites
- 59 National Parks
- 50 National Historic Parks
- 30 National Memorials
- 25 National Battlefield and National Battlefield Parks, Sites and Military Parks
- 24 National Seashores, Lakeshores and Wild and Scenic Rivers
- 19 National Preserves
- 18 National Recreation Areas
10 Most Visited National Parks in 2015
- Great Smoky Mountains
- Grand Canyon
- Rocky Mountain
- Grand Teton
How We’re Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial 2016 in the Great Smoky Mountains
We’re celebrating 100 years of the National Park Service by hiking some of our favorite Smoky Mountain hiking trails with waterfalls so we can complete our Hike 100 Miles Challenge!
What’s your favorite part about visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Tell us in the comments below!