With Some Quick Flourishes Of the Pen, Great Smoky Mountains National Park's "Road to Nowhere" Saga Ends

It promised to be the biggest event in Western North Carolina in 67 years – bigger certainly than when Eric Rudolph was caught dumpster diving in Murphy. The North Shore Road controversy in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was over. Swain County was going to get its $52 million over 10 years -- an amount calculated as the present value of the road that was flooded in 1943 to create Fontana Lake and Fontana Dam.

A Look Back at Last Year's Predictions for 2009 Park Travel. How Did the Forecasters Fare?

Park entrance station employee.
A number of NPS areas reported increases in visitation during 2009, but what was the outlook going into last year? Now that the actual results are coming in, let's see how the crystal balls fared.

Just Exactly What Is A National Park "Cooperating Association"? Here's the Answer

The next time you go into a national park visitor center to buy a map, look at the person at the register. She or he won't be wearing the green and gray of a national park uniform; rather an employee of a cooperating association will be taking your money. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains Association, a membership organization, runs the visitor center bookstores and does a lot more.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park's "Road to Nowhere" Saga Set to End Saturday

A decades-long dispute is expected to come to an end Saturday when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar travels to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to sign off on a monetary settlement over the "Road to Nowhere" saga.

Lost in the Boonies? What's Your Most Important Task?

Search dog and handler.
People who find themselves lost in the boonies, whether it's forest, field, desert or other terrain, frequently make the same mistake. If you find yourself unsure which route leads back to civilization, a recent incident at the Buffalo National River offers a clue about your most important task.

Were You One of the Almost 9.5 Million Who Visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2009?

Perhaps it was the sour economy that kept folks close to home on their vacations, or maybe it was the lure of Great Smoky Mountains National Park's 75th anniversary. Whatever the reason, Great Smoky saw nearly 9.5 million visitors in 2009, which is the greatest turnout in nearly a decade in the park.

Deadly Weather Buffets Great Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah National Parks

Powerful winds and heavy rains descended on the Appalachians on Sunday and lingered into Monday, downing trees, flooding roads, and resulting in a death in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Looking To Gain A Little Structured Education On Your National Park Trip?

Can you tell by looking at a wildflower in Yellowstone National Park what the underlying geology is? Or, while hiking through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, can you identify a bird simply by its song? Do you want to get relatively up close to the elephant seals at Point Reyes National Seashore? Here's how you can do all those things and more.

Updated: Federal Government Urged To Close Caves Inhabited by Bats on Public Lands to Stop Spread of White-Nose Syndrome

A conservation group is petitioning the federal government with a request that it close all caves and mines inhabited by bats on public lands in a bid to stop the spread of white-nosed syndrome among bats. At the same time, the Center for Biological Diversity wants the Eastern small-footed bat and the Northern long-eared bat to be listed as endangered species.