Reader Participation Day: Should Locals have More Say about a National Park Issue than Others?

Should locals living around a National Park have more say on an issue affecting a Park than other Americans?

Searches For Missing Men In Great Smoky Mountains National Park Scaled Back

With no trails to follow and no clues to act upon, rangers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are scaling back searches for two men thought to be missing in the park.

Appalachian Spring: The Video

The Blue Ridge Parkway, between Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks, is a prime venue to a secret season—the explosive beauty and bounty of Appalachian Spring.

National Park Partners, Park Staff Meet At APPL Convention and Trade Show

Multimedia project winners
The Association of Partners for Public Lands met in Las Vegas to share how best to support our national parks and forests. In this case, what goes on in Vegas gets brought home and discussed.

Second Search For Missing Person Initiated At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A second search-and-rescue mission in the past week has been initiated at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where a 23-year-old man is thought to have vanished in the park not far from the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

Discriminating Explorer: Appalachian Spring

The Blue Ridge Parkway, between Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks, is a prime venue to a secret season—the explosive beauty and bounty of Appalachian Spring.

Bats Infected With White-Nose Syndrome Found At Both Acadia And Great Smoky Mountains National Parks

White-nose syndrome, a disease deadly to bats, has been detected in both Acadia and Great Smoky Mountains national parks.

No Sign Of Tennessee Man Thought Missing In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

No signs have been found of a Tennessee man thought to be missing in the tangle of backcountry at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Update: Search Ongoing For 24-Year-old Man At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

More than two dozen people are on the ground searching Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a Tennessee man whose car was found parked at the Newfound Gap Parking Area, while overhead crews are looking from a helicopter.

The SWEAT Crew Keep the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Shape Through Great Smoky Mountains National Park

APPA - Steve Epps on Trail Crew
Keeping the Appalachian Trail in shape through Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not easy. The A.T. is so remote that the SWEAT Crew, an elite crew of maintainers, has been established by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Student Conservation Association Works To Nurture Life-Long Love For Outdoors in Youth

Who will be the next stewards and advocates of the national parks? In a society where Baby Boomers are graying steadily if not quickly, and where the "face" of the National Park Service is decidedly male and Caucasian, it's not an unreasonable question to raise.

Spring Brings Flowering of Great Smokies' Services

Chimneys Picnic Area, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Opening dates for Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitor services.

As Time Nears To Hit The Appalachian Trail, Some Stats For Thru-Hikers To Keep in Mind

With an eye on the prize, this year's crop of would-be Appalachian Trail thru-hikers are getting ready to hit the trail. With that in mind, here are some stats, courtesy of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, to help them stay focused.

Ranking The National Parks By Visitation In 2011

People seem to like numbers, and hierarchy, so here's a rundown of the leading units of the National Park System in terms of 2011 visitation. The first list combs through all 397 units in the system, while the second looks only at "national parks."

Great Smoky Mountains National Park To Institute Backcountry Fees

Those who head off into the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a night or two will have to pay for the privilege beginning in 2013 under a plan approved by the National Park Service.

Traveler's View: Republican Presidential Contenders' Dim View of Federal Lands Is Short-Sighted

Though national parks, per se, haven't come up during any of the debates among the Republican presidential candidates, their statements on federal lands in general look down upon the public landscape.

New License Plate Lets North Carolina Motorists Support Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A newly designed license plate allows North Carolina motorists to show their support for Great Smoky Mountains National Park while contributing dollars to projects funded by Friends of the Smokies.

High Spike In Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitation Attributed To Good Weather

Great weather, when compared to January 2011, is thought to be behind a nearly 24 percent increase in visitation to Great Smoky Mountains National Park this past January.

Dr. E.O. Wilson To Help Celebrate Search For Life At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

It was back in 1998 that a dedicated search for all forms of life in Great Smoky Mountains National Park began. Now, as the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory moves into its 15th year, the project is being celebrated with a gathering headlined by Dr. E.O. Wilson.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Looking To Backcountry User Fee To Improve Services, Protect Resources

As federal dollars flowing out of Washington, D.C., continue to be hard to come by, more and more national park managers are looking towards user fees to make ends meet. At Great Smoky Mountains National Park such a fee for backcountry has brought both commendation and condemnation.

Camping In The Parks: Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cataloochee Valley
This may be the middle of winter, but this is the time to make reservations for Cataloochee Campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy Gives Friends of The Smokies $2,000 For Bear Cables In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A $2,000 grant from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to Friends of Smokies is going a long way to help backpackers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park keep their food out of the reach of bears.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitors Biggest Spenders In National Park System

Visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park leave quite a bit behind when they head home after visiting the park. In fact, a study shows that in 2010 the park's 9 million or so visitors spent more than $818 million in gateway communities surrounding the national park.
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Partners Develop Program To Strengthen Connections With Surrounding Community

For many national parks, their best partners are their neighbors in surrounding communities. With that in mind, the folks at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are working with Friends of the Smokies and the Great Smoky Mountain Association to strengthen connections with leaders in surrounding communities.

REI Donates $10,000 To Friends of The Smokies

A $10,000 grant from REI to Friends of the Smokies will make it a little bit easier for the friends group to improve trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Slain Mount Rainier National Park Ranger 9th In Park Service History To Be Murdered In Line of Duty

When Mount Rainier National Park law enforcement Ranger Margaret Anderson was shot and killed on New Year's Day, she became the ninth ranger in the history of the National Park Service to be murdered in the line of duty, according to Park Service records.

Books We've Read This Year, And Actually Liked!

Despite the impending doom that pixels were expected to hand the printed word, we're happy to report that publishers are still turning out books, and more than a few that crossed our desks this year are worth your attention.

Trails I've Hiked: Lake Shore Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Road to Nowhere tunnel
Lake Shore Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great winter hike. It offers history, a visit to a cemetery and reminders that the area still makes news today.

Trails We Hiked During 2011

We managed to get out on some national park trails during 2011 -- not as many as we'd like, but still a few that brought smiles to our faces. Here's a look back at those trails.

Winter: A “Secret Season” in the South’s Loftiest National Parks

When the snow closure signs go up on portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains, cross country skiers and snowshoers are often seen striding and stomping into a winter wonderland.