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How Did the Smoky Mountains Get Their Name?

Posted on May 7, 2020
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When you visit the Smoky Mountains and you’re up early in the morning, you have probably seen the famous fog that collects and hangs near the mountains. You may have wondered exactly how the Smokies got their name. We want to talk about where the name comes from, and why they are so smoky. Keep reading to find out how the Smoky Mountains got their name:

Naming the Smoky Mountains

smoky mountainsIt’s probably pretty obvious of how the naming of these East Tennessee mountains happened. There has always been a fogginess around the mountains early in the mornings and when it rains. Hundreds of years ago, native Cherokees lived in this area. When pioneers came to the area, they learned that the Cherokee called the mountains Shaconage, which translates to the “place of the blue smoke.” The Cherokee actually believed the mountains were a sacred place. Eventually, the Euro-American settlers adopted the name from the Cherokee, calling the mountain range the Smoky Mountains. “Great” was added later, and this word was probably added because of the grandeur of the scenery.

Why are the Smoky Mountains Smoky?

Now you know where the name comes from. But what actually causes the smokiness of the Smokies? You may be surprised to learn that the fog actually comes from plants!

smoky mountainsWe all know that plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. But that’s not the only exchange happening with them. Plants give off something called volatile organic compounds, which are also known as VOCs. These are a natural gas, and you’ve probably experienced them before. If you have ever smelled a pine tree, then you have smelled the scent VOCs give off! They not only create different kinds of scents, they also create a vapor. Since there are millions of plants in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, they all give off this vapor, which creates the signature smoky look. Not only do they VOCs create the vapor, they also create the bluish tint to the vapor. When vapor is released from the vegetation, the molecules that make up the gas scatter blue light from the sky. This creates that bluish tint the Smokies are also known for.

Stay Near the Smoky Mountains

2 bedroom condo living roomWhen you want to visit the Smokies and see the beautiful fogginess, you need a great place to stay! Our condos in the Smoky Mountains are the perfect choice. We have all the amenities you could want, from private balconies with beautiful views to a great location where you can easily get to restaurants, attractions, and other places you want to go. We have one bedroom condos for couples on a romantic getaway. There are two bedroom condos for friends or small families, up to four bedrooms. No matter what your needs are, we have you covered!

Now you know how the Smoky Mountains were named and where the smoke comes from. Are you ready to plan your next trip? Look through our condos in the Smoky Mountains and book one for your vacation today!

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