SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — Happy 85th birthday to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
Today marks 85 years that the park has been in service to the public as an official national park.
The United States government established the park in 1926, though it took a number of years for them to raise appropriate funds. Then on June 15, 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was born!
Now, an estimated 11.3 million visitors venture to the park for hiking, camping, fishing, and a variety of recreational activities.
While it's the most visited park in the United States, nearly 80 percent of the forest was destroyed by logging when it was first made a national park. Donations from conservationists, the U.S. Park Service, and the collaboration of other loggers and landowners allowed the forest to restore the over 100 native shrub and tree species that thrived there.
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