Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps

On Saturday, September 27, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host a day of activities celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps. At various times during 1933-1942, around 4,000 enrollees assigned to 22 CCC camps built roads, trails, fire towers, and other structures in the park.

National Park History: “The Spirit of the Civilian Conservation Corps”

The year was 1932, and America was in the midst of the worst economic downturn in history. Unemployment stood at 25 percent; homelessness at two million people. When Americans went to the polls, they overwhelmingly elected Franklin D. Roosevelt president. FDR immediately sought 'relief, recovery, and reform' to rebuild America's tattered economy. FDR was not interested in merely handing out money to people. Instead, he wanted to put them to work.

Visitation Decline at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Has Area Businesses, Residents, and Governments Worried

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the busiest of the flagship National Parks, reports 5% lower visitation at its main entrances and anticipates 250,000 fewer visitors this year. The related decline in visitor-based income and tax revenues has area businesses, employees, and governments fretting.

Fall Colors: What Can We Expect Across the National Park System?

A Labor Day weekend cold front dropped snow levels in some parts of the Rockies to below 10,000, which is a pretty good indicator that fall is not far off. And so, with that warning, it's only natural to wonder how the fall color displays will be in the national parks.

Sky-High Ginseng Prices Boost Illegal Harvest in Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park

With ginseng fetching record high prices, illegal harvesting has increased in Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is a serious federal crime. Convicted ginseng poachers get hefty fines and jail time.

Body of Kayaker Missing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Recovered

Rangers in Great Smoky Mountain National Park have recovered the body of a kayaker who was reported missing during a short paddle on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.

Vets To Determine Whether Bear That Attacked Father and Son in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Had Rabies

Veterinarians at the University of Tennessee are performing a necropsy on a black bear that attacked a boy and his father in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to determine whether the bruin had rabies or some other health problem.

Traveler's Picks for Where to Get Wet in the National Park System

We definitely are in the dog days of summer. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park the temperature's been well into the 90s, and with the high humidity, well, you really do need to find a place to cool off. With that understood, here are Traveler's Top Picks for where to get wet in the National Park System.*

Black Bear Attacks Child at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

An 8-year-old Florida boy sustained minor injuries Monday evening when attacked by a young black bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A bear thought to have been behind the attack was later killed by rangers.

Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Travel to just about any park with black bears and you'll either be handed information or see signs clearly detailing how to protect yourself and your belongings in bear country. While the accompanying video of a bear breaking into a car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park is nine years old, it could have been taken yesterday.

There’s a New National Park Service Website for Visitors with Disabilities or Special Needs

The National Park Service has launched a website for visitors with disabilities or other special needs. It’s a great new way to find information about accessible trails, vistas, programs, activities, and educational opportunities at the national parks.

Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Try Not To Breath the Air

High ozone levels have prompted Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials to issue an air pollution advisory for today and Saturday. So if you're visiting the park, you might want to ease back on your physical activity, especially if you already have respiratory problems.

Park History: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established 74 years ago this month. Now this big, automobile-convenient park attracts more than 9 million visitors a year and entertains them with forested mountainsides, winding roads, flowering shrubs, pioneer-era relics, and other delights. Great Smoky has great scenery, interesting history, and amazing biodiversity.

National Park Quiz 6: Watchable Wildlife

Wildlife viewing is a prime attraction of our national parks. Not every wildlife species we might encounter in the parks is as charismatic as a bison, a bald eagle, or a sea otter, but every species is interesting in its own way. Take this week's quiz and see whether your knowledge of watchable wildlife is as keen as you think. Answers are at the end. No peeking.

Coal-Fired Plants Obscuring National Park Vistas

On a clear day, you often can see for miles and miles. But as a report from the National Parks Conservation Association points out, clear days are harder and harder to find in our national parks under the Bush administration's relatively laissez-faire approach to coal-fired power plants.

National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?

A two-week search for a missing hiker in Yosemite National Park. A search for a missing snowshoer on Mount Rainier. Recovery of bodies from climbing accidents in Grand Teton National Park. A week-long, and unsuccessful, search for a missing 8-year-old at Crater Lake National Park. Each year, thousands of search-and-rescue missions cost the National Park Service millions of dollars. And each year the agency eats the costs.
AttachmentSize
Rescue Cost Recovery.pdf338.09 KB

Traveler’s Delightful Dozen: Windshield Touring Trips in the National Park System

We love our cars, we love our parks, and we love to drive our cars in the parks. Well, at least when the traffic isn’t too bad, and we really don’t mind just going along for the ride. The windshield touring season is nearly here, so it’s time to start thinking about park trips. All of the national parkways are recommended. Here are a dozen other traverses, loops, and shuttles that belong on your short list.

National Park Week Activities

National Park Week is being celebrated this year from April 20 through April 26. Across the system there are dozens, if not hundreds, of special events planned. Here's a look at some of them.

Creature Feature: Hellbenders

Despite their curious name, “hellbenders” are not demons of the night but rather amphibious environmental monitors of Southeastern creeks and streams. Known to some old-timers as “walking catfish,” these super-sized salamanders gained the “hellbender” moniker for their freakish size and dark, moody color.

Missing Cavers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ill-Prepared

Four spelunkers who found themselves stranded in a cave in Great Smoky Mountains National Park were ill-prepared for their adventure.

Missing Cavers Found At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Four cavers, said to be inexperienced, were found wet and cold but uninjured Friday in a cave in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ready For Spring Opening

Add Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the growing list of parks that are getting ready for their spring opening. In fact, many of the park's facilities open today, March 7.

Violent Deaths in the National Parks

During 2006, 11 homicides were investigated across the national park system. Two involved women who had been pushed off cliffs, one was a suicide, and one was the victim of a DUI accident.

Park Service OKs Monetary Settlement On Great Smoky Mountains National Park's North Shore Road

More than six decades after promising to build a road along the north shore of Fontana Lake in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the National Park Service has signed off on a deal to settle the matter with a cash payout of $52 million. Today's action brings an end to the long saga of the so-called "road to nowhere."

NPS Officially Comes Out Against North Shore Road at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Heintooga Ridge Road. NPS Photo.
While the proverbial handwriting has been on the wall ever since former U.S. Representative Charlie Taylor lost his re-election bid last November, the National Park Service finally has officially come out against building the so-called "road to nowhere" in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Fall's Brightest Colors Descending on National Parks

Cataloochee Creek against Fall's vibrant colors.
With Fall officially under way, it won't be too long before the season's most spectacular colors are daubed, stroked, and splashed across the national park system. The good news is that you haven't missed the peak yet. The bad news is that if you don't already have a room reservation, you probably won't find a vacancy in any of the well-known fall foliage parks.

Biodiversity Studies in the Parks Reveal Previously Unknown Species

New Moth Species at Great Smoky Mountains National Park; NPS Photo.
Imagine taking the time to go into your backyard, or the nearby woods, or even a pond close to your home, to catalog all the life you found in it. Not just the deer or snakes or fish, but the birds and insects, reptiles, plants and fungi and everything else biological or botanic. Imagine how fascinating that would be. At Great Smoky Mountains National Park they've been working on just that, and what they've found has been incredible.

Top 10 Most Visited National Parks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance sign; Jimmy Wayne photo.
Ever wonder what the most visited parks in the system are? How about least visited? The NPS office of statistics answers this question once a year with an ordered, ranked table cataloging recreation visits to each of the NPS managed units across the USA. So, what is the most visited park? Read on for the answer.
AttachmentSize
NPS.visitation.ranked2006.pdf14.89 KB
Syndicate content