What is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world? Yep – you guessed it – The Appalachian Mountains, of which the Smokies are a part. At first thought this was hard for me to believe because the mountains aren’t that high, and there are certainly more majestic mountain ranges in the world. It seemed so much more romantic to think that maybe the Rockies, Swiss Alps, or Himalayas north of India were the oldest mountain range. But nope, part of one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world is right here in Gatlinburg, accessible by car to a large population of the US, with lots of free activities; biking, swimming, hiking, boating, and fishing! This is probably why The Great Smokey Mountain National Park gets 8-10 million visitors annually.
About 270 million years ago the continents ancestral to North American and Africa collided which caused the Appalachian mountain range to form. This booklet by the US Geologic Service tells all about the birth of the Appalachian Range.