Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem

In a 25-page motion attacking not just the propriety but also the legality of a backcountry user fee at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a group of backpackers has not only asked that the fees be tossed out, but shined some light on the conundrum of how to afford our public lands.
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Reader Participation Day: What Role Should Horses Have In The National Parks

Horses have a long, long history in America. They came to the New World with the Spaniards, and have carried riders ever since. In many national parks horses are icons, seen as both honorable steeds that carry mounted rangers and as work horses that carry both visitors and gear. But they also have impacts on the landscape, and there have been calls to ban them from the parks. But should they be banned?

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Proposing Rules For Firewood You Can Bring Into Park

Globalization is not just a sweeping economic trend, but also one involving insects that's been going on for decades, one that is a serious threat to national park forests. At Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee, officials are taking a step they hope will slow any infestation of non-native insects that can wreak havoc on native forests by proposing a rule that only heat-treated firewood can be brought into the park for campfires.

"Seasons In The Smokies" To Premier In Mid-July

Seasons in the Smokies, the second in the Smoky Mountain Explorer Series from Great Smoky Mountains Association, will make its first appearance on the big screen during a premiere showing of the film Thursday, July 17.

Cherry-Loving Bears Lead To Closure Of Gregory Bald Area At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bears have a sweet tooth, too. And that's why the Gregory Bald area at Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been temporarily closed to humans. The reason is the cherry crop that has attracted black bears looking for a tasty meal.

Take A Minute To Help Friends Of The Smokies Land $5,000 For Work In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Take a minute this week to help out Friends of the Smokies. All week the First Tennessee Foundation is taking votes for its 150 Days of Giving. This week's winner receives $5,000. Friends of the Smokies can put that money to good work in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Exploring The Parks: Fontana Lake At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Video

Fontana Lake, which ebbs along the southern border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, is a watery aspect to the park that might get lost among the forests and mountains. But it offers a rich recreational side to the park, as this video shows.
Waterfalls of the Blue Ridge: A Hiking Guide to the Cascades of the Blue Ridge Mountains The natural geologic cut of the Appalachian Mountains, and the plentiful moisture and frequency of springs in the region, combine to produce a cascading system of waterworks from Shenandoah National Park down through the Blue Ridge Parkway and into Great Smoky Mountains National Park that provides more than enough incentive to take a hike.

Move Over Baseball, National Parks Have Trading Cards, Too

People have been collecting stuff forever. When adults visit national parks, they can collect passport stamps or pamphlets. Children earn Junior Ranger badges, though getting one takes a lot more effort and time than a passport stamp. But there’s something else out there to collect, too, and it looks a lot like baseball trading cards
Wildlife Watching in America Spotting wildlife in national parks seems intuitive. After all, bears, moose, elk and other wildlife are the calling cards for such parks as Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Great Smoky, and so many others. Still, knowing when and where to look can improve your success rate of spotting specific species, and this book can help you accomplish that.