Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Discriminating Explorer: Friends Groups Sample The Secrets Of The East’s Best National Parks

Cataloochee Valley Great Smoky Mountains National Park
It’s hard to argue that Acadia, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smokies, and Shenandoah don’t represent the cream of what the National Park Service offers in Eastern America. There are a lot of great experiences in these top East Coast national parks, but for the truly discriminating explorer, the friends groups for these parks have truly awesome best-kept-secret suggestions.

Poll Shows Vast Majority Of Voters Believe Federal Government Has Responsibility To Safeguard, Support National Parks

America's national parks, places such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, and Everglades, face problems both small and large due to poor federal funding, according to a survey of voters released today.
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Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park With Insider Tips From Friends Of The Smokies

Planning a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Use these insider tips from Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help make the trip memorable.

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Ideas And Funding For The Future

Great Smoky Mountains National Park lures more than 9 million visitors a year to an 800,000-acre swath of rich, and dense, southern Appalachian forest. Keeping trails open, fulfilling all needs, and coping with all those visitors, is a heady challenge for the National Park Service. And that's where Friends of the Smokies fills a mighty role. In this installment of the Traveler's Essential Friends project, we introduce you to the Foundation and its mission in the park

Minimum Impact Stock Use Training at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The question of stock use in national parks has long sparked plenty of debate. A recently completed course at Great Smoky Mountains National Park aims to ease those concerns by teaching ways to reduce the impacts of stock use.
Peter Greenberg, travel editor for CBS News, featured the Traveler's well-received Essential Friends magazine on his Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio show in late June. Listen to Peter's six-minute interview with the Traveler's Travel Editor Randy Johnson.

Access Returning To Storm-Struck Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Roads and some facilities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are beginning to reopen in the wake of a killer storm that left two park visitors dead.

UPDATE: Deadly Storm Kills Two In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A thunderstorm packing winds gusting to 70 mph tore through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, downing hundreds of trees, killing two visitors, and injuring several others. By early afternoon Friday officials believed everyone was accounted.

Wildlife Viewing: A Summertime Strong Suit of Southern Applachian National Parks

salamander on Grandfather Mountain
Any of these three parks is a great place to meet the Southern Mountains—but a visit to each or all is an even better way to meet the diverse and distinctive resident wildlife that populates the dense forests of the Southern Appalachians.

Reader Participation Day: Given A Choice, Which State Would You Visit To Tour Its National Parks?

If you could visit only one state to tour its national parks, which state would it be? Would you head to Utah with its five "national parks," to California with its eight "national parks" and handful of other designated park units, or choose Maine with its one national park (Acadia), a stretch of Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and lone international historic site?

Essential Friends: Ensuring Excellence In The National Parks

As lovers of national parks look forward to the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service—guardian of ”America’s Best Idea”—there has never been a better time to profile the rise and role of what may be our “Second Best Idea”—the friends groups, trusts, and foundations that support those parks.

Woman Stabbed On Trail In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A 44-year-old woman was attacked and stabbed several times Friday while hiking the Gatlinburg Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to park officials.

Unseasonably Warm Weather Bringing Synchronized Fireflies Out Ahead Of Schedule At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fireflies in the Smokies
The fireflies at Great Smoky Mountains National Park know it's getting warmer earlier than usual. According to park officials, the synchronized fireflies that show their stuff at Elkmont are coming out ahead of schedule.
Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to all 58 National Parks Coming soon to book dealers is a hefty new guide to the national parks -- the 58 "national parks" -- that strives to go a step further than the texts offered by publishers such as Fodor's, Frommers, and Falcon Guides.

Spring Blooming Season Underway Along The Blue Ridge Parkway

A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic delight any time of the year, but spring and early summer travel offers a bonus: blooming shrubs and wildflowers. Here are some tips for travelers on what to see and where to enjoy the show.

Reader Participation Day: How Long Should Park Personnel Look For Someone Reported Missing?

Earlier this year rangers searched extensively for two men In Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The searches went on for about a week without success. Which brings up this question: How long or how hard should park personnel look for someone reported missing?

Camping In The Parks: Big Creek Campground At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Midnight Hole on Big Creek - GRSM
Only a few miles from I-40, Big Creek Campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a quiet place to place your tent. Walk up Big Creek Trail to a great swimming hole.

New Reservation System In Place For Firefly Viewing At Great Smokies June 2nd—10th

The spectacular flickering firefly display in the moist cool forests of the Great Smokies near Elkmont Campground has soared to such popularity that the park this year will create a new on-line ticketing system, operated through

“Peaceful Side of the Smokies” Will Be Hopping During Townsend In The Smokies Spring Festival

Townsend band pavilion concert.
The “Peaceful Side of the Smokies” is going to be hopping May 4&5 when the Townsend in the Smokies Spring Festival arrives.

Smokies Announce Construction Closures On Extremely Popular Chimney Tops Trail

If you want to hike to a few of the Smokies’ most pyramidal, inspiring peaks—Chimney Tops— don’t target the trail Monday through Thursday from May through October 18th.

National Park Week Quiz #2 Revealed: The Edited List

We hope you had fun with this fixer-upper.

Top 10 National Parks: Is Your List Better Than Mine?

People like lists. No, check that, they love them. Particularly when they disagree with them and think they have a better list. So, here's my personal Top 10 list of national parks. How does it match up with yours?

Vista Clearing Coming to the Smokies

"Cut and Run" logging interpretive sign Great Smokies
In the first such effort in the Smokies in decades, the Park Service plans to clear forests below 34 popular overlooks in the park.

Study: Development Around National Parks Far Surpasses That In Other Parts Of The Country

Development and population density around units of the National Park System greatly outpaces that occurring around other parts of the country, according to a Montana State University study.
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Spring In the National Parks: Where Can You Find Wildflowers?

Spring is showing up in more and more corners of the country, which means it's a perfect time to check out what's blooming in the National Park System. Here's a quick list of some reliable sites to catch wildflowers in the weeks ahead.

Camping In The Parks: Smokemont Campground In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Spring on the Bradley Fork Trail
Smokemont Campground, a friendly, comfortable place to camp in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is close to many family attractions.

Reader Participation Day: Should Locals have More Say about a National Park Issue than Others?

Should locals living around a National Park have more say on an issue affecting a Park than other Americans?

Searches For Missing Men In Great Smoky Mountains National Park Scaled Back

With no trails to follow and no clues to act upon, rangers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are scaling back searches for two men thought to be missing in the park.

Appalachian Spring: The Video

The Blue Ridge Parkway, between Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks, is a prime venue to a secret season—the explosive beauty and bounty of Appalachian Spring.
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