While spring in some parks (mostly those in the Rockies, Sierra, and Pacific Northwest) is rightfully described as “mud season,” there are some great early season hikes—and some wonderful camping—to be found across the National Park System. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
A lawsuit challenging the backcountry user fee assessed at Great Smoky Mountains National Park can proceed, a federal judge has ruled.
Winter had loosened its icy grip on the high country. Faint stirrings from burrows and dens and caves led the young critters into a new world of running water, budding plants, and warm sunshine. Warm weather and life springs abundant.
Spring. It's a fresh, vibrant season in the National Park System, one of renewal, for the parks’ wildlife, vegetation, and even for human visitors. After long, dark months of cold and snow across much of the system, the arrival of March, April, and May provide greater warmth, daylight, and access in the parks.
Storm damage to a footbridge that crosses Ramsey Prong in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will force closure of the Ramsey Cascades Trail into late April.
Wanted: A very meticulous thief who managed to take a 4-foot-by-1-foot window from a historic cabin in the Elkmont Historic District in Great Smoky Mountains National Park without breaking a pane.
Readers Participation Day. The National Park Service has many standards in its interactions with visitors. Have you seen deviations from them? Do they bother you?
With the travel season not too far off, you should be planning your national park adventures. If you're looking for a great scenic drive, we offer the following for your consideration.
Corn from a Jar: Moonshining in the Great Smoky Mountains by Daniel S. Pierce traces the history of moonshining from its beginning in the U.S. to current, legal moonshining. Dr. Pierce humanizes moonshiners as sober, folks trying to provide for their families.
Nearly 1 million records and artifacts relating to Great Smoky Mountains National Park will soon have a new home, as the Interior Department has OKed funds to complete a $4.3 million Joint Curatorial Collections Facility.