NPS Director Jarvis’ "Call to Action" Answered By New Program At Great Smoky Mountains Institute

When National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis exhorted conservationists to find ways to celebrate the 2016 anniversary of the NPS, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont came up with the Youth Leadership Class of 2016.

Remains Found At Great Smoky Mountains National Park Belonged To Missing Tennessee Man

Remains found last month in Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been identified as those of a Tennessee man who went missing in the park back in March.

Legal Challenge Coming To Backcountry Fee At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

It might not cost you extra to venture off into the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park for an overnighter next year. That's because the park's intentions to levy a $4 per person per night charge is going to face a legal challenge.

Star Gaze Southern Appalachian National Parks In September

You’ll get startlingly close to galaxies, nebulae, planets and more at three great September star-gazing events at the loftiest viewing locations in Eastern America, thanks to Southern Appalachian National Parks.

Help Your Essential Friends: Suggestions On Contributing To National Park Friends Groups

Throughout the summer we've been celebrating the work of national park friends groups. While the summer is coming to an end, their good work continues throughout the year. And with that in mind, they could use your support to fund that work. Here's a look back at some of the park system's "essential friends" and how you can support them.

Trails I've Hiked/Video: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

September 4th, the popular National Park Exploration Video Series releases "The Great Smoky Mountains: Crown Jewel of the Appalachians." The video's on-camera guide is Randy Johnson, Traveler's travel editor and author of "Best Easy Day Hikes of Great Smokies." Our 10-minute video preview showcases why the Smokies is such a great place to hike.

Human Remains Found In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Human remains found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are thought to be those of a man who went missing in the park this past March.

Fall Is The Best Time To Make Discoveries At The National Parks

If you’re in mood to travel, September and October are wonderful months to spend in the national parks. The crowds have departed, the animals are busy, and the fall color beckons. Now is the time park friends also host an array of workshops tailor-made for life-long learners.

Volunteer "Rovers" Needed To Inform Smokies' Fall Visitors On Oconaluftee River Trail, Mountain Farm Museum and Newfound Gap Road

Start of Oconaluftee River Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to help the park staff by roving the Oconaluftee River Trail, the Mountain Farm Museum, and fields along Highway 441 from late August until November 10, 2012.

Discriminating Explorer: Friends Groups Sample The Secrets Of The East’s Best National Parks

Cataloochee Valley Great Smoky Mountains National Park
It’s hard to argue that Acadia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smokies, and Shenandoah don’t represent the cream of what the National Park Service offers in Eastern America. There are a lot of great experiences in these top East Coast national parks, but for the truly discriminating explorer, the friends groups for these parks have truly awesome best-kept-secret suggestions.

Poll Shows Vast Majority Of Voters Believe Federal Government Has Responsibility To Safeguard, Support National Parks

America's national parks, places such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, and Everglades, face problems both small and large due to poor federal funding, according to a survey of voters released today.
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Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park With Insider Tips From Friends Of The Smokies

Planning a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Use these insider tips from Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help make the trip memorable.

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Ideas And Funding For The Future

Great Smoky Mountains National Park lures more than 9 million visitors a year to an 800,000-acre swath of rich, and dense, southern Appalachian forest. Keeping trails open, fulfilling all needs, and coping with all those visitors, is a heady challenge for the National Park Service. And that's where Friends of the Smokies fills a mighty role. In this installment of the Traveler's Essential Friends project, we introduce you to the Foundation and its mission in the park

Minimum Impact Stock Use Training at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The question of stock use in national parks has long sparked plenty of debate. A recently completed course at Great Smoky Mountains National Park aims to ease those concerns by teaching ways to reduce the impacts of stock use.
Peter Greenberg, travel editor for CBS News, featured the Traveler's well-received Essential Friends magazine on his Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio show in late June. Listen to Peter's six-minute interview with the Traveler's Travel Editor Randy Johnson.

Access Returning To Storm-Struck Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Roads and some facilities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are beginning to reopen in the wake of a killer storm that left two park visitors dead.

UPDATE: Deadly Storm Kills Two In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A thunderstorm packing winds gusting to 70 mph tore through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, downing hundreds of trees, killing two visitors, and injuring several others. By early afternoon Friday officials believed everyone was accounted.

Wildlife Viewing: A Summertime Strong Suit of Southern Applachian National Parks

salamander on Grandfather Mountain
Any of these three parks is a great place to meet the Southern Mountains—but a visit to each or all is an even better way to meet the diverse and distinctive resident wildlife that populates the dense forests of the Southern Appalachians.

Reader Participation Day: Given A Choice, Which State Would You Visit To Tour Its National Parks?

If you could visit only one state to tour its national parks, which state would it be? Would you head to Utah with its five "national parks," to California with its eight "national parks" and handful of other designated park units, or choose Maine with its one national park (Acadia), a stretch of Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and lone international historic site?

Essential Friends: Ensuring Excellence In The National Parks

As lovers of national parks look forward to the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service—guardian of ”America’s Best Idea”—there has never been a better time to profile the rise and role of what may be our “Second Best Idea”—the friends groups, trusts, and foundations that support those parks.

Woman Stabbed On Trail In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A 44-year-old woman was attacked and stabbed several times Friday while hiking the Gatlinburg Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to park officials.

Unseasonably Warm Weather Bringing Synchronized Fireflies Out Ahead Of Schedule At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fireflies in the Smokies
The fireflies at Great Smoky Mountains National Park know it's getting warmer earlier than usual. According to park officials, the synchronized fireflies that show their stuff at Elkmont are coming out ahead of schedule.
Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to all 58 National Parks Coming soon to book dealers is a hefty new guide to the national parks -- the 58 "national parks" -- that strives to go a step further than the texts offered by publishers such as Fodor's, Frommers, and Falcon Guides.

Spring Blooming Season Underway Along The Blue Ridge Parkway

A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic delight any time of the year, but spring and early summer travel offers a bonus: blooming shrubs and wildflowers. Here are some tips for travelers on what to see and where to enjoy the show.

Reader Participation Day: How Long Should Park Personnel Look For Someone Reported Missing?

Earlier this year rangers searched extensively for two men In Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The searches went on for about a week without success. Which brings up this question: How long or how hard should park personnel look for someone reported missing?

Camping In The Parks: Big Creek Campground At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Midnight Hole on Big Creek - GRSM
Only a few miles from I-40, Big Creek Campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a quiet place to place your tent. Walk up Big Creek Trail to a great swimming hole.

New Reservation System In Place For Firefly Viewing At Great Smokies June 2nd—10th

The spectacular flickering firefly display in the moist cool forests of the Great Smokies near Elkmont Campground has soared to such popularity that the park this year will create a new on-line ticketing system, operated through Recreation.gov.

“Peaceful Side of the Smokies” Will Be Hopping During Townsend In The Smokies Spring Festival

Townsend band pavilion concert.
The “Peaceful Side of the Smokies” is going to be hopping May 4&5 when the Townsend in the Smokies Spring Festival arrives.

Smokies Announce Construction Closures On Extremely Popular Chimney Tops Trail

If you want to hike to a few of the Smokies’ most pyramidal, inspiring peaks—Chimney Tops— don’t target the trail Monday through Thursday from May through October 18th.