Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Books We've Read This Year, And Actually Liked!

Despite the impending doom that pixels were expected to hand the printed word, we're happy to report that publishers are still turning out books, and more than a few that crossed our desks this year are worth your attention.

Trails I've Hiked: Lake Shore Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Road to Nowhere tunnel
Lake Shore Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great winter hike. It offers history, a visit to a cemetery and reminders that the area still makes news today.

Trails We Hiked During 2011

We managed to get out on some national park trails during 2011 -- not as many as we'd like, but still a few that brought smiles to our faces. Here's a look back at those trails.

Winter: A “Secret Season” in the South’s Loftiest National Parks

When the snow closure signs go up on portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains, cross country skiers and snowshoers are often seen striding and stomping into a winter wonderland.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Receives a Generous and Timely Gift

This gift won't fit under the Christmas tree, but Great Smoky Mountains National Park—and everyone who loves and enjoys the Smokies—can celebrate a generous donation to the park from the non-profit group Friends of the Smokies.

Visitation Continues To Slide At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

It might have been the weather, the doldrums of the economy, or the fact that Great Smoky Mountains National Park's 75th anniversary is two years gone. Whatever the cause, visitation to the park continues to slide.

100 National Park Quizzes

Traveler has published 100 national park quizzes for your edification and amusement. Here is the master list with hotlinks.

Hiker Wants Great Smokies Mountain National Park To Divulge Comments On Proposed Backcountry Fee

Officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are being asked to make public all the comments they received on a proposal to charge for overnight backcountry use.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ready For 36th Annual Festival of Christmas Past

The 36th edition of Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Festival of Christmas Past is set for Saturday at the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

Grant Will Rehabilitate Boone Fork Trail Portion of Mountains-to-Sea Trail on Blue Ridge Parkway

A $75,000 grant from the North Carolina Recreation Trails Program will fund rehabilitation and improvement of one the most popular trails in Julian Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Rehabilitating Forney Ridge Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Forever

Forney Ridge Trail pic 1 - before
The Smokies Trails Forever endowment has paid for the rehabilitation of Forney Ridge Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The formerly muddy and slippery trail is now a beautiful work of trail art.

Visitation Down At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Visitation to Great Smoky Mountains National Park was down 9.5 percent in Octoer, and for the year it is down almost 7 percent, according to park officials.

License Tag Law Threatens Support for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian National Scenic Trail

License tag money has helped support national parks in North Carolina for over a decade. But a new law enacted by the Republican legislature will decrease the amount of money that will go to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Four Men Given Jail Time For Digging Up Gingseng In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Jail terms ranging from 15 days to 120 days were handed to four men convicted of digging ginseng in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Here's A Handy List of 2012 Workshops In And Around Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If you're a diehard fan of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, here's a handy list of some of the classes and workshops to be held in the park next year.

Some National Park-Related Groups That Deserve Your Donation

While there are still two months left to 2011, it's not too early to think about making a tax-deductible contribution to your favorite national park-related organization.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Gets Approval For Elk Management Plan

For the past decade Great Smoky Mountains National Park biologists and staff worked to restore a permanent elk herd to the park's rumpled mountains. So successful were those efforts that they've removed the "experimental" tag from the herd and adopted a long-range management plan for the elk.

Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart

Camping and Woodcraft bookcover
Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart has been republished by the Great Smoky Mountains Association. With new photographs and completely remastered, this is the book to read for useful information and for just plain good reading.

How Many Elk Does it Take to Make a Jam?

It would be reasonable to expect a bit of traffic on a beautiful October afternoon in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—especially if the road in question is U.S. Highway 441 through the center of the popular park. So…how many elk does it take to jam up the works?

Backroads and Byways – Balsam Mountain Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If you're looking for an alternative to the more heavily-traveled roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, here's a great option for the fall color season, or for a late spring or summer drive next year: the Balsam Mountain Road.

Colors Peaking In The National Parks Across The Country

With mid-October practically here, the fall colors are really starting to put on their best in many national parks, places like Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, Olympic, and Acadia.

Trails I've Hiked: Little Cataloochee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cook Cabin
A walk on Little Cataloochee Trail offers a glimpse into life in this remote mountain community before it became part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This in-and-out hike, with a couple of diversions, takes you to two cabins, two cemeteries and a chapel.

Say What? Overheard in the Park...

The late entertainer Art Linkletter was known for his "Kids Say the Darndest Things" interviews, but a recent trip to a park reminded me that grown-ups aren't immune from that tendency either—especially when they're on vacation.

Reader Participation Day: Where Do You Go To See Fall Colors In The National Parks...And To Flee the Crowds?

It's easy to name colorful parks come fall. Acadia National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Shenandoah National Park are just three. But where do you go to see spectacular fall colors...without the crowds?

Fall Color Without the Crowds at the Great Smoky Mountains or the Blue Ridge Parkway?

Both Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway are justly famous for their fall color—and a flood of mid-October visitors. Can you avoid the heavy traffic and still enjoy some autumn foliage by timing your visit a bit earlier? Here's a Traveler trip report.

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.
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