Everything You Need to Know About Smoky Mountain Animals

black bear

Everyone wants to see wildlife when they come to the Smokies and visit the national park. We want to help you learn more about these creatures so you can possibly see them when you come to the area. You’ll find out about the most common Smoky Mountain animals, where you are most likely to see them, and when you are likely to see them. Here is everything you need to know about Smoky Mountain animals:

Common Smoky Mountain Animals

white tail deerThere are about 65 species of mammals, over 200 species of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You probably won’t see all of these animals in the Smokies, but it is possible to see quite a few.

The most common mammals in the park are black bears, elk, white tailed deer, squirrels, groundhogs, and coyotes. Birds in this area are interesting, because there are about 60 species that live in the Smokies all the time, while the rest migrate from the north and south. Common birds include wild turkeys, owls, eagles, warblers, herons, wrens, and sparrows. Reptiles you are likely to see are turtles, lizards, and snakes. Amphibians in the park include salamanders and frogs. The Smoky Mountains are actually known as the salamander capital of the world because there are more species in this area than anywhere else.

When to Look for Animals

red squirrelSince you know what kind of animals there are, you’re probably wondering when you should look for them. Black bears are active during the day, so you could see them at any point. White tailed deer and coyotes are nocturnal, so you are more likely to see them early in the morning or late in the evening. Wild turkeys like to feed in fields, and you are more likely to see them early in the morning. Squirrels, birds, fish, snakes, turtles, and many other animals are active during the day, so you could see them at any point in the day.

Where to Look for Animals

coyote in the smoky mountainsWhile the mountains are home to all of these creatures, there are certain areas in the park where you are more likely to spot some animals. You probably won’t be able to spot these creatures in heavily wooded areas because they are adapted to blend in and hide from predators. Cades Cove is an ideal place to look for wildlife because of the open fields where animals such as deer and turkeys go to feed. Many people also say they see black bears along Roaring Fork Motor Trail. You definitely could still spot black bears along hiking trails since they are in their habitat. If you are anywhere near water, that’s probably when you would see salamanders, turtles, frogs, and fish.

Now you know when and where to look for Smoky Mountain animals. You also know what kind of animals to look out for when you’re in the national park. If you’re wondering what else you should do when you stay at our downtown Gatlinburg hotel, check out these things to do in Gatlinburg for some ideas!