Great Smoky Mountains National Park

National Park Quiz 60: Bears

This week’s quiz will be a snap if you know your bears. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “Sporadic euthermal arousal imparts an episodic character to hibernation.”

Recalling the Wonderland Hotel in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Demolition by Neglect?

Once a popular stopping spot in the Great Smoky Mountains, the Wonderland Hotel no longer exists. This video explains some of the hotel's history.

As Yellowstone National Park is to Wolves, Is Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Elk?

Yellowstone National Park has its wolves, and perhaps Great Smoky Mountains National Park has its elk.

Unresolved Search-and-Rescue Cases Are Scattered Throughout the National Parks

Each year there are thousands of search-and-rescue incidents logged across the National Park System. They typically involve missing hikers, visitors who get injured in falls, boating accidents, or climbing accidents. Far and away the bulk of the incidents quickly are resolved, usually in less than 24 hours.

Traveler's Checklist: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Shared by Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches for more than 521,000 acres in the rumples of the Southern Appalachians. The park is easily one of the National Park Service's largest properties east of the Mississippi, so it is no wonder that many first-time visitors are overwhelmed. Here are 10 suggestions to help make your trip planning easier.

National Park Quiz 58: Tunnels

Tunnel vision is one thing, but tunnel knowledge is quite another matter. See if you can sort things out in this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you hold the steel for a cross-eyed sledge wielder.

Vehicle Passes Still Available for Great Smoky Mountains National Park's 75th Anniversary Concert

Vehicle passes for those wanting to attend the 75th anniversary concert at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are still available, but if you plan to go, cross your fingers that the weather will cooperate. Park officials note that rain could wipe out the concert and there are no plans to make up the event and no refunds will be given.

It’s a Bear! Everybody Get Behind the Ranger!!

She was a big female with a cub in tow, and she was bearing down fast on the ranger and his frightened entourage. What was a city boy to do?

Body of Penn State Student Recovered from Stream in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The body of a 20-year-old student from Penn State has been recovered from a deep pool in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Visitation Jumps in April at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Perhaps the weather was nicer than usual, maybe it was because Easter showed up in April, but whatever the reason visitation to Great Smoky Mountains National Park was up by double-digits in April.

Creature Feature: Synchronous Fireflies Work Their Magic at Great Smoky

What some call the most beautiful mating ritual on the planet takes place at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in June when synchronous fireflies do their thing.

Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted

How comfortable have we become with national park settings? With the big sweep of granite that frames the Yosemite Valley, with Old Faithful's not-quite-so-faithful demonstrations of steam and hot water, with the fall's colorful deciduous forests of Great Smoky and Shenandoah?

Here's How You Can Follow Science At Great Smoky Mountains National Park From Afar

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most biologically diverse units of the National Park System. And now you can get a feel for that diversity without leaving the comfort of your home (though hopefully you'll be inspired to visit the park).

Endangered Species Day, What Have We Lost, What Might We Lose In the National Parks?

For many going to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge is a town they pass en route to the park. Others spot the Pigeon River, or even spend a day rafting it during their stay. The pigeon that influenced these place names no longer darts through the skies nor perches in the forests. It's extinct.

Mountain Life To be Celebrated In Festival at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There's something special about the Appalachian Mountains and the folks who homesteaded them and handed down their traditions to their kin. This Saturday you can experience a rich slice of that lifestyle at the annual "Cosby in the Park" festival at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Releases Final EIS on Restoring Elkmont Historic District

A slice of the past will be preserved, and a larger slice removed, under Great Smoky Mountains National Park's plans for restoring the Elkmont Historic District.

Accessible National Parks, Airline Division

Units of the National Park System are really closer than you think. Some are quite literally in your backyard. Today we're pointing out those that are within an hour's drive of an airport with commercial service.

Some Popular Trails are Closed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park as Crews Combat Wildfires

If you’ve made plans to hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park this week, inquire about trail closings before you leave home. Five of the park’s trails have been closed as crews deal with three wild fires and some flare-ups.

National Park Quiz 52: Celebrities

This week’s national park quiz marks the completion of one whole year’s worth of these puzzlers. Can you believe it? Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll sic the paparazzi on you.

Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices

Solitude. Who doesn’t treasure some from time to time? And some of the greatest draws of national parks is their peacefulness and the ability for you to pass through an entrance gate and escape the pressures of day-to-day life. Where can you find some of the best solitude in the National Park System? Read on for some of the Traveler’s top picks for solitude.

Staying Safe and How Not to Become A SAR Statistic in the National Park System

If you subconsciously want to become a search-and-rescue statistic in the National Park System, your best chance would be in either Grand Canyon National Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, or Yosemite National Park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Looking For Volunteers To Help With Elk Education

Head to the Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and you'll find one of the most beautiful low-country settings in the park. And if you're willing, you can spend a lot of time there this year helping to educate visitors on the valley's elk herds.

Junior Ranger Day - and an Essay Contest with a Serious Prize

Kids with ranger at Mesa Verde NP.
A number of NPS areas are offering special activities for Junior Ranger Day on April 25, 2009, and a related Junior Ranger Essay Contest offers a serious prize: a $1,000 Visa gift card.

Injuries From Fall Prove Fatal to 73-Year-Old Hiker In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A 73-year-old Kentucky man has died from injuries suffered in a fall while hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Where To Look For Spring Wildflowers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Smoky Mountains are home to more than 1,600 species of flowering plants. During each month of the year, some forb, tree or vine is blooming in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During the spring, wildflowers explode during the brief window just prior to trees leafing out and shading the forest floor (from about mid-April through mid-May).

"A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"

Little brown bats with white-nose syndrome.
Managers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have closed all of the park's caves to public entry until further notice. The move is in response to growing concern about white-nose syndrome, a new malady that the Fish and Wildlife Service calls "a wildlife crisis of unprecedented proportions."

Tracing The Postage Stamp-Sized History of the National Park System

You could call it a postage stamp-sized history of the National Park System, but the history of park scenes on U.S. postage is really quite colorful and carries a few stories with it.

National Park Quiz 47: Spring

Spring arrived at 11:44 UT last Friday, March 20, so let’s make spring the key word for this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 101 times: “The celestial coordinate system that employs the vernal equinox as the origin of the ecliptic longitude is known as the ecliptic coordinate system.”

Spring Blooms Not Too Far Away in Shenandoah, Blue Ridge Parkway, And Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sunflowers, violets, trillium and other wildflowers are just around the proverbial corner in the Appalachian Mountains. You can spot these and dozens of others in Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks, as well as along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Campgrounds Opening This Weekend In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Spring must be here. Or nearby. First the bears are coming out of hibernation in Yellowstone, and now Great Smoky Mountains National Park is opening many of its campgrounds.
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