The Great Smokies: scenic, diverse, culturally rich.The scenic view here are well known; lesser known is the abundance of life. The Smokies' rugged topography creates a diversity of species found in few other places in North America. And the Smokies' rich human heritage includes the Cherokee, decades of mountain culture, and a unique national park story.The best experience the Smokies you must leave your car. Walk the trails, visit the historic sites, and enjoy the sanctuary that is Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Nature forged the Great Smokies, but the hands of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers helped shape the national park we know today. During the 1930s, enrollment peaked as 4,300 men worked here, building roads, campgrounds, trails, and buildings. The also reared fish for stocking, fought fires, and practiced innumerable other trades. Their work remains an important part of the fabric of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The CCC was the first of several federal job programs designed to lift the nation out of the Great Depression. Created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, the CCC employed three million men, most of them between 18 and 25 years old. Roosevelt declared their work "of moral and spiritual value, not only to those ... taking part, but to the rest of the country as well."