Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A small black bear scampers up a tree and settles on a large branch, gazing at the thick, misty forest surrounding it. The bear lives in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles North Carolina and Tennessee. With roughly 1,500 resident black bears, the area has been dubbed by some as “black bear country.” The bears are just one of the features that make this place a VIP—that is, a very important park!

View Images