Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Land of Diversity ~ Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Marker ID: NPS 
Location: near the parking lot of the Oconaluftee Valley Overlook, Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) north of Clingman's Dome Road, Gatlinburg TN
County: Sevier
Coordinates: N 35° 36.645    W 083° 25.508
  35.61075    -83.42513333
Waymark: None


Few places in North America sustain a greater variety of life than the Great Smoky Mountains. The forests, streams, and meadows here support more than 100 types of native trees, some 50 kinds of fish, some 1,500 flowering plants, more than 240 bird species, and an array of mammals that includes black bear, squirrel, and gray fox.

Such abundance is a function of topography and climate. Varying elevations provide endless combinations of moisture, temperature, wind, sunlight, and soil types. Most plant species of eastern North America can find a niche somewhere among the slopes and coves of the Smokies. And in a few cases, the region has nurtured species all its own; some plants and animals here are found nowhere else.

Erected by National Park Service.