Photographs courtesy of the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park Service
How did the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park get its name? The Smokies are named for the blue
mist that always seems to
hover around the peaks and valleys. The Cherokee called them shaconage,
(shah-con-ah-jey) or "place of the blue smoke"..
As for the spelling, just as
many folks call them "smokey" as do those who call them
"smoky". The dictionary says both are acceptable. Whether
you say Smokies, Smokeys, or Smokys doesn't really matter. They
all conjure up the same vision that millions of visitors each
year take with them after visiting the Park. As for the "Great"
in Great Smokey Mountains, you will have to visit the Smokies
to fully understand that part of the name.