Great Smoky Mountains Real Estate
Before tourism; before Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville; before Dollywood… before everything, there were the Great Smoky Mountains. They formed some 200 million years ago as the result of a major collision of continental landmasses.
The mountains’ protection and their beauty were no doubt attractive to the area’s first inhabitants, a Native American species known as the Archaic Period Indians, who can be traced back to approximately 10,000 years ago. Over the centuries that followed, other groups like the Eastern Woodland Indians and eventually the Cherokee occupied lands in the Smokies, either for nomadic stops or as hunting grounds.
European settlers, including the explorer Hernando De Soto, began visiting the area as early as the 1500s, but it wasn’t until the British colonization of America and the subsequent Revolutionary War that white men became permanent residents of the area.
The land that is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park was occupied by pioneer homesteaders in a host of small communities well into the 20th century. Those residents and their families were displaced when the park was established in 1934, but the relics of one of those early communities, Cades Cove, still stand as one of the park’s most visited sites.
Today, Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomes upwards of 10 million visitors each year. It is the most visited national park in the nation and offers a wide range of outdoor activities including hiking, camping, fishing, picnicking and horseback riding.