In 1830 this region was part of the Cherokee Indian land reservation. But also in 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian removal act, forcing the Cherokees to move west. One year later a new railroad was constructed along the mountains bottom developing this area. In 1926 John D. Rockefeller put five million dollars toward the purchase of this land. The US government put in another two million dollars. On June 15, 1930 for the purchase of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was completed.
The Geology of the land consists mainly of Late Precambrian rocks that are part of the Ocoee Super group formation. This group consists of metamorphosed sandstones phyllites, schists, and slate. Some of the oldest rocks found in the park are from over a billion years ago. The African and American plates colliding together formed the Appalachian Mountain range that cuts right through the park. The Great Smoky Mountains are among the oldest mountains in the world, formed approximately 200-300 million years ago
The elevations in the park range from 876 feet to 6,643 feet. Inside the park 16 mountains reach higher than 6000 feet. The weather in the national Park is usually humid with a high precipitation rate, averaging from 55 inches of rain to 85 inches. The park is almost 95 percent forested, and almost 36 percent of it, 187,000 acres, is estimated by the Park Service to be old growth forest with many trees that predate European settlement of the area. This park contains 10,000 species of plants and animals. In addition to these plants and animals over 90,000 undocumented species are also present in the park. Park officials count more than 200 species of birds, 66 species of mammals, 50 species of fish, 39 species of reptiles, and 43 species of amphibians. The park has a black bear population, numbering at least 1,800. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a major tourist attraction in the region. Over 9 million tourists and 11 million non-recreational visitors traveled to the park in 2003, which is twice as many as visited any other national park.
There are 850 miles of trails and unpaved roads in the park for hiking; including seventy miles of the Appalachian Trail Mount Le Conte is one of the most frequented destinations in