Guided Hike Will Explore Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

On October 4th you can take a guided hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to catch the first glimpses of autumn color, explore old cabins and cemeteries, and even ring the bell of a picturesque mountain chapel.

Crisp September Weather Brings Crisp Apples, Along with History, To the National Parks

Finally, the most-anticipated month for visiting national parks has arrived. That's right, September, the month when apples ripen and are ready for picking. From Pennsylvania to Utah and on west to California, the desire to bite into a nice crisp apple, or pick a bag or bushel for pies and sauce, are luring visitors to parks.

Where Can You See Wildlife Right Now: Elk At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Summer visits to Great Smoky Mountains National Park can reward you with ample sights of wildlife, from black bears and white-tailed deer to salamanders and hawks. But if it's elk you want to see, now is the time to head to the park's Cataloochee Valley.

Beware of Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Bears

Within its roughly 521,490 acres, Great Smoky Mountains National Park probably harbors about 1,500 black bears, according to the park's biologists. And this summer, those bears have been particularly ornery.
Trains of Discovery: Railroads and the Legacy of Our National Parks For years I've been searching for railroad memorabilia tied to the national parks: Posters, luggage stickers, calendars, even timetables from the Northern Pacific, Great Northern Railway, Southern Pacific, Union Pacific.

The Million Club: National Parks That Had More Than A Million Visits in 2010

Crown jewels like Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite get huge numbers of visitors, but most of the Million Club's heavy lifters don't even have National Park as part of their name.
Hope Is the Thing With Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds Christopher Cokinos, an award-winning writer, poet, and English professor at Utah State University, has gathered up six long-lost bird species and taken a longing look at them from the perspective of personal loss for their absence in the skies above our heads.

Where Can You Enjoy The Best Wildlife Experiences In the National Park System?

Here at the Traveler we put our heads together to come up with a list of where best to watch wildlife in the National Park System. We're sure you can help us grow this list.

Statewide North Carolina Trail Nearly Completed on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Video

Despite a very rainy Saturday that could have changed the BIG DIG into the BIG DELUGE, the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail attracted volunteers from across North Carolina and came very close to finishing the Blue Ridge Parkway portion of the trail from the Great Smokies to the Outer Banks.
While Jennifer Pharr Davis garnered much attention for setting a speed record for thru-hiking the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, even before she took her first step a ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park set a record for covering the entire A.T. in the Smokies.

Proposed Backcountry Fee At Great Smoky Mountains National Park Would Be A First For Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers

A proposal to charge for overnight stays in the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, if enacted, would create the first area along the 2,180-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail where thru-hikers would have to pay to lay down for the night.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials Proposing To Charge For Overnight Backcountry Use

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are proposing to begin charging fees for overnight backcountry use, though in return they're promising better service in obtaining a backcountry permit and better ranger presence in the backcountry.
Best Easy Day Hikes Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Best Easy Day Hikes Series) Not a backcountry trail warrior? Don't have more than a morning or afternoon to take a hike? Then Best Easy Day Hikes, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is for you.

Curatorial Facility Proposed for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Four Other Park Service Units

One facility, nearly 1 million artifacts and records, five units of the National Park System. That's a short overview of a proposed curatorial facility that would be located in Townsend, Tennessee, not far from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Reader Participation Day: What Lures You To Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Fall Colors Or Backcountry Trails?

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is renowned for its fall colors...and it's also famous for its hundreds and hundreds of miles of backcountry trails. Which do you base a Great Smoky trip around?

Chimani's Library Of National Park Apps Continues To Grow

Chimani continues to grow its library of national park apps for iPhones and Droids.

Talking to Kevin FitzGerald, Deputy Superintendent at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Kevin FitzGerald in uniform
How does one become a national park ranger? Danny Bernstein talks to Kevin FitzGerald, deputy superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, about his career path.
Hiking North Carolina In Hiking North Carolina's Blue Ridge Heritage, Danny Bernstein comes to the task with a keen eye for details in general, but a specific eye for wildflowers.

Chimani Adds Great Smoky Mountains National Park To Its Library of National Park Phone Apps

Add Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the number of national park apps Chimani has in its growing library.

Pick Your Park At National Parks Traveler

Looking for information to help you plan your national park vacation? Today the Traveler is rolling out the first in a series of "park profile" pages to help you with your homework.

Where Can You See Wildlife Right Now: Fireflies At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There is one place in the National Park System where the fireflies are almost like a well-conducted orchestra in that they all blink in unison. And if you head to Great Smoky Mountains National Park now, you just might see that performance.

Odds and Ends From Around the National Parks To Kickoff The Summer Travel Season

With spring still on its way to the Rockies and High Sierra, and summer well under way in some parts of the country, this seems a perfect time to honor all 2010 Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, consider ways to support national parks, and look at ways to enjoy the parks.

Trails I've Hiked: Spend the Night At LeConte Lodge In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The payoff in hiking to LeConte Lodge in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is, in large part, the journey itself. Let Contributing Writer Randy Johnson lead the way with this video.

Walking Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Part 1

On the Dunes
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina travels the length of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Danny Bernstein, the author, walked the beach and reports on her experience. This is part one.

Does Today's Technology Offer A Better Connection, Or A Disconnect, To Enjoying National Parks?

How much should the National Park Service rely on technology to connect visitors to the national parks once they reach a park?

"State of Birds" Report Points To Value of National Parks, Other Public Lands For Birds

The Interior Department's 2011 "State of the Birds" report focuses on the importance that national parks, and other public landscapes, provide for hundreds of bird species.

Updated: Tornado Damage Leads To Closure of Some Hiking Trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Damage inflicted by an apparent tornado has forced the closure of some trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Corporate Relations And The National Parks: Good Deal?

While corporate support can be vital to the health of national parks, whether to accept that support can be a challenging question, particularly in these times of financial stress and overall declines in charitable giving.

Camper Killed As Severe Storm System Thrashes Natchez Trace Parkway

On April 26th and 27th, a 300-mile stretch of the Natchez Trace Parkway was impacted by several major storm systems that inflicted heavy property damage and killed a camper in his tent.

Former Seasonal Employee At Great Smoky Mountains National Park Sentenced For Killing Wildlife In Park

Federal authorities say a former seasonal employee of Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been sentenced to pay $3,000 in fines and restitution, and ordered not to hunt or accompany anyone while hunting, anywhere in the world, for two years, for killing a black bear and white-tailed deer in a national park.