The Cherokee called the mountains Shaconage – place of the blue smoke.
The rising mists are produced by the forest itself.
Water is pulled from the soil up into the plants and trees and eventually rises from the leaves, evaporating into the air.
The water cools and forms the blue-tinged mists you see rising over the mountains, eventually forming clouds and falling back to the earth to repeat the cycle.
The mountains, in many ways, retain the charms that made them attractive to the National Park Service.