Everything You Need to Know About Wildlife in the Smokies

One of the main reasons people come to the Smokies is to enjoy nature. There is all kinds of wildlife in the Smoky Mountains, and we know you’re looking forward to possibly seeing some when you’re in town. We want to tell you when is the best time to look for animals, where you should go, and what kind you might see. Here’s everything you need to know about wildlife in the Smoky Mountains:

When to See Wildlife in the Smoky Mountains

white tailed deer smoky mountainsYou’re probably wondering when is the best time to spot wild animals in the mountains. There are quite a few animals in the Smokies that are nocturnal, or are active at night. If you want to see any of these kinds of animals, you’ll want to start your day early. These animals will be active early in the morning, usually as the sun is coming up. You may also be able to see them as you get closer to sunset.

There are quite a few animals in the Smoky Mountains that are active throughout the day. You could see them as you’re driving to a certain destination, while you’re having a picnic, and many other ways. You never really know when or if you will see wildlife, so just keep and eye out!

Where to Go to See Animals in the Smokies

wild turkey in the smoky mountains

You could possibly see animals anywhere in the park, but there are certain areas where you should go where they are more likely to be active. You’ll also want to go to their natural habitat. For reptiles, you’ll want to look for cool, damp places, such as caves and waterfalls with plenty of rocks. Amphibians and fish will be near sources of water. Some mammals like to feed in meadows, so areas with open fields are where you’re likely to find some wildlife. And, of course, along any hiking trails or wooded areas you could possibly see wildlife because that’s where they spend a majority of their time.

There are quite a few areas in the national park that are known for wildlife being more active. Cades Cove is an area where people see plenty of animals, including black bears, white tailed deer, wild turkeys, birds, groundhogs, and much more. This is probably because there are wooded areas, open fields, and bodies of water. Roaring Fork Motor Trail is another area where people usually see wild animals. Any hiking trail is another place where you could see animals.

Types of Animals in the Smoky Mountains

black bear in the smoky mountainsYou may be wondering what kinds of animals you could possibly see on your trip to the Smokies. We want to tell you about some of the animals you might possibly see!


The most popular mammal in the Smokies is the black bear. Other mammals you could possibly see include white tailed deer, groundhogs, squirrels, elk, coyotes, and more.


There are over 200 species of birds that call the Smoky Mountains home. The most common birds you might see include wild turkeys, saw-whet owls, warblers, eagles, and more.

Reptiles and Amphibians

There are three types of reptiles you might see in the Smoky Mountains. They are turtles, snakes, and lizards. You’ll also find frogs, toads, and salamanders in the area.

Now you know a little more about wildlife in the Smoky Mountains! Want to know even more about the Smokies? Check out all of our information on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

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