Searchers Set to Resume Search For Backpacker Missing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Searchers who have been scouring parts of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in search of a missing backpacker hoped to be aided Saturday by dogs trained to pick up the human scent.

Wet, Rugged Conditions Make Search Tricky For Missing Backpacker at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Wet and extremely rugged conditions were hampering a search Friday at Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a 70-year-old backpacker who had been expected to return from a trip on Tuesday.

On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System

The National Park Service's National Leadership Council met in Ohio last week. The meeting of the agency's top management was supposed to be the first under the direction of Jon Jarvis as Park Service director. Political gamesmanship, and apparently a dose of bureaucracy, unfortunately left Mr. Jarvis wearing his Pacific West Region director's hat.

Roads Closed by Rockslides at Olympic and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks Reopen

Roads in two NPS areas that were closed recently due to rockslides have reopened in time for the coming weekend. The routes are an eight-mile section of Little River Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Hurricane Ridge Road in Olympic National Park.

Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals

The climate is not static. Ice ages come and go, pushing rivers of ice south and then pulling them back north across continents as temperatures and snowfalls rise and fall. Animal and plant species either stay ahead of these icy incursions and adapt, or perish.

Rock Slide Closes Little River Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park For the Weekend

Heading to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the weekend? Then know that a section of the Little River Road near the Elkmont Campground has been closed by a rock slide.
To those who love mushrooms, what could be finer than sauteing up a mess of freshly collected 'shrooms to go along with your freeze-dried dinner or the trout you hooked in the backcountry of a national park? A teaspoon of garlic, a dash of salt, and a couple cranks of the pepper mill and you'll have a wonderful complement to your meal. Unless, of course, you picked the wrong mushroom, in which case this could be your last meal.

National Park Quiz 66: Cemeteries

You won’t need to be a genealogist to enjoy Quiz #66. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “Contrary to popular opinion, there is no letter ‘a’ in the word cemetery.”

World's Wildlife Populations Are Struggling Despite Global Pledges to Protect Biodiversity

Seven years ago, governments around the world pledged to achieve a "significant reduction" in the ongoing loss of biodiversity by 2010. Unfortunately, the latest IUCN report says that goal will not be met, and that the wildlife crisis is greater than the world's economic crisis.

Updated: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Search Ends Up With a Happy Ending

A woman whose disappearance into the storm-swollen Little River in Great Smoky Mountains National Park had authorities fearing the worst turned up in good physical condition Saturday morning.

Search Under Way Friday Afternoon For Woman Who Jumped or Fell Into Little River in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A search was under way Friday afternoon for a woman who either jumped or fell into the Little River in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The search was along the river from the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area towards Townsend.

American Recovery Act Putting Your Tax Dollars To Work in National Parks

True, when you consider that the maintenance backlog across the National Park System is some $8 billion or so, the $750 million-$920 million being spent in the parks courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act isn't that significant. Still, some good work is being done with the money.

Visitation to National Parks Is On the Upswing, Entrance-Fee-Free Weekends Partly to Blame

There's a growing problem with national park visitation. In short, too many people are returning to the parks, creating problems for staffing and people management.

Got Long Ties to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Park Officials Want to Hear From You

Were you born on the landscape now covered by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or where you perhaps a member of a Civil Conservation Corps group that worked in the park? Or were you in attendance when President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the park in 1940? If you fall into any of those groups, park officials want to hear from you.

Volunteers Can Participate in Science Field Days at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mtns. NP
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is inviting high school-aged students, their families, and the general public to join scientists and educators in collecting scientific data during field activities in the park, July 13-15, 2009.

National Park Quiz 60: Bears

This week’s quiz will be a snap if you know your bears. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “Sporadic euthermal arousal imparts an episodic character to hibernation.”

Recalling the Wonderland Hotel in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Demolition by Neglect?

Once a popular stopping spot in the Great Smoky Mountains, the Wonderland Hotel no longer exists. This video explains some of the hotel's history.

As Yellowstone National Park is to Wolves, Is Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Elk?

Yellowstone National Park has its wolves, and perhaps Great Smoky Mountains National Park has its elk.

Unresolved Search-and-Rescue Cases Are Scattered Throughout the National Parks

Each year there are thousands of search-and-rescue incidents logged across the National Park System. They typically involve missing hikers, visitors who get injured in falls, boating accidents, or climbing accidents. Far and away the bulk of the incidents quickly are resolved, usually in less than 24 hours.

Traveler's Checklist: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Shared by Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches for more than 521,000 acres in the rumples of the Southern Appalachians. The park is easily one of the National Park Service's largest properties east of the Mississippi, so it is no wonder that many first-time visitors are overwhelmed. Here are 10 suggestions to help make your trip planning easier.

National Park Quiz 58: Tunnels

Tunnel vision is one thing, but tunnel knowledge is quite another matter. See if you can sort things out in this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you hold the steel for a cross-eyed sledge wielder.

Vehicle Passes Still Available for Great Smoky Mountains National Park's 75th Anniversary Concert

Vehicle passes for those wanting to attend the 75th anniversary concert at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are still available, but if you plan to go, cross your fingers that the weather will cooperate. Park officials note that rain could wipe out the concert and there are no plans to make up the event and no refunds will be given.

It’s a Bear! Everybody Get Behind the Ranger!!

She was a big female with a cub in tow, and she was bearing down fast on the ranger and his frightened entourage. What was a city boy to do?

Body of Penn State Student Recovered from Stream in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The body of a 20-year-old student from Penn State has been recovered from a deep pool in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Visitation Jumps in April at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Perhaps the weather was nicer than usual, maybe it was because Easter showed up in April, but whatever the reason visitation to Great Smoky Mountains National Park was up by double-digits in April.

Creature Feature: Synchronous Fireflies Work Their Magic at Great Smoky

What some call the most beautiful mating ritual on the planet takes place at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in June when synchronous fireflies do their thing.

Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted

How comfortable have we become with national park settings? With the big sweep of granite that frames the Yosemite Valley, with Old Faithful's not-quite-so-faithful demonstrations of steam and hot water, with the fall's colorful deciduous forests of Great Smoky and Shenandoah?

Here's How You Can Follow Science At Great Smoky Mountains National Park From Afar

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most biologically diverse units of the National Park System. And now you can get a feel for that diversity without leaving the comfort of your home (though hopefully you'll be inspired to visit the park).

Endangered Species Day, What Have We Lost, What Might We Lose In the National Parks?

For many going to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge is a town they pass en route to the park. Others spot the Pigeon River, or even spend a day rafting it during their stay. The pigeon that influenced these place names no longer darts through the skies nor perches in the forests. It's extinct.

Mountain Life To be Celebrated In Festival at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There's something special about the Appalachian Mountains and the folks who homesteaded them and handed down their traditions to their kin. This Saturday you can experience a rich slice of that lifestyle at the annual "Cosby in the Park" festival at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.