Gatlinburg cabin rental management company
Call Toll-Free to Speak
with a Vacation Specialist:

Your Guide to Wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains

Black bear cub playing on wood stock If you are interested in viewing wildlife in their natural habitat, why not visit the Great Smoky Mountains? It is home to many species such as white-tailed deer, black bears, racoons, turkeys, woodchucks, coyotes, groundhogs, and skunks. Places like Cades Cove offer a safe environment for both tourists and animals.

Here are some things to remember when viewing wildlife. These rules are for your safety as well as theirs. They are still wild animals and can be dangerous.

Do not feed the animals: In all wildlife parks, it is against the law to feed wild animals.

Keep a safe distance: You need to be at least 150 feet/50 yards away from the animals. This is a law in all wildlife parks. If the animals change their behavior because of you, then you are too close. Please use binoculars, cameras with telephoto lenses, or spotting scopes to get a better view.

Most of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is covered in dense forest, so it can be really tricky to spot wildlife. Open areas such as Cataloochee and Cades Cove are two great spots to catch a glimpse of white-tailed deer or black bears. Winter is the best time of year to view wildlife, because the trees have lost their leaves. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is another good spot, there are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife.

Most animals are active at night, so the best times to view wildlife are early morning and evening. Take a pair of binoculars and sit quietly by a trail. You never know what might come out of hiding. Spots near oak or fruit trees, streams and berry patches offer a lot of opportunities. Also, don’t forget to check the trees, because many animals spend a lot of time in the branches – even bears.

Take a pair of binoculars to get a better view of wildlife. Also, a camera with a telephoto lens will let you get great pictures without disturbing the animals.

In addition to Roaring Fork, there are plenty of other trails you might want to explore. Hannah Mountain Trail, Rabbit Creek Trail, and Gregory Bald Trail are three trails you don’t want to miss. The Cades Cove Self-Guiding Nature Trail is one of the best trails around with lots of good spots to catch wildlife.

As long as you keep these tips in mind, you should have no problems dealing with animals.