News

  1. Smokies Life Fall 2018: Stories of History, Culture and Survival

    Smokies Life Fall 2018 Edition

    GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Great Smoky Mountains Association’s most recent issue of its award-winning Smokies Life magazine features an in-depth look at new groundbreaking bear research unique to Great Smoky Mountains National Park; the first four chapters of Willa of the Wood, a new best-selling fiction set in the Smokies; 10 compelling archival treasures stored at the Collections Preservation Center; and a comprehensive list of essential preparation techniques for staying safe while exploring the backcountry. 

    “Having lived in both Western North Carolina and East Tennessee, I enjoy sharing stories about the natural and cultural history of the Smokies with our readers,” said Frances Figart, interpretive products and services director and the editor of Smokies Life. “One of my favorite pieces in this issue is David Brill’s first-hand account of a recent trail mishap and rescue as it highlights the importance of being prepared while simultaneously expecting the unexpected in the Smokies.” 







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  2. My Ten-Mile Memory – Alum Cave Bluffs

    Whether you’re doing an out-and-back day trip, a car drop to incorporate more than one trail experience or planning a one-night backcountry trip, at some point, Alum Cave Trail falls into your lap as a must-do trail in the Smokies.

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  3. The Old ‘Crack-of-the-Bat’ Vintage Base Ball in Cades Cove by Craig Mortimore

    Abraham Lincoln stands ready 45 feet away, intently staring at his battery mate. His black suit and stovepipe hat are uncomfortable garments for this activity, conducted in the heat of a summer afternoon. He receives a nod from his catcher and stands straight, reverses his arm in the direction of second base, and then swings it forward in an elegant underhand pitch. The ball arcs through the air descending into the welcoming hands of his battery mate.

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  4. Things get wild at EYS

    On a foggy morning just off U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road, a park ranger’s truck was spotted hauling an olive green culvert to the back of Chimney Tops picnic area. A few folks had gathered to eat an early lunch and take photos of the river. Two rangers approached the group and pose the following question: “Would you like to see a bear today?”

    The thrilled visitors surrounded the culvert at the rangers’ request. To their delight, the rangers opened the culvert door and a young male black bear bolted up the mountain, heading deep into the woods.

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  5. DLIA Brings Beetle Mania to the Smokies: An interview with Claire Winfrey

    DLIA Brings Beetle Mania to the Smokies: An interview with Claire Winfrey

    Did you know… about one in every four animals on the planet is a beetle! Of the  roughly 400,000 species of beetles known, some are pollinators, others recyclers –some even help to offset the effects of climate change.

    “Insects are an instant connection to the wild and an extreme example of Earth’s biodiversity,” says Claire Winfrey, a beetle expert and second-year Ph.D. student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. “Especially in warmer months, take some time to look in almost any type of habitat and you can find them.”

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  6. Great Smoky Mountains Association Nominated for Two IBMA Awards

    GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Great Smoky Mountains Association’s Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition is nominated for two International Bluegrass Music Association Special Awards: Graphic Design by Karen Key and Liner Notes by Ted Olson. 

    The International Bluegrass Music Awards honor members of the bluegrass industry who work behind the scenes. Winners of the Special Awards will be announced Thursday, Sept. 27. Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association—the professional nonprofit association for the bluegrass music industry. 

    Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition is a two-disc set produced by Great Smoky Mountains Association in support of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It features 32 traditional folks ballads for a total of more than two hours of music. Featured performers include Doyle Lawson, Alice Gerrard, Laura Boosinger, David Holt, Rosanne Cash and many others.

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  7. Balsam Mountain Trial

    Balsam Mountain Trial

    After traversing its lower section three times, I dreamed for the next three years of finally hiking the upper section of Balsam Mountain Trail. I finally got my chance this past July.

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  8. Park Maintenance and Historic Preservation with Experience Your Smokies

    Park Maintenance and Historic Preservation with Experience Your Smokies

    Over the next several months, my Locally Grown column will feature details related to my sessions with Experience Your Smokies, an educational program that receives essential funding and scholarships each year from Great Smoky Mountains Association.

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  9. The most important Smokies author you’ve probably never heard of

    The most important Smokies author you’ve probably never heard of

    You may be familiar with Ron Rash, the author of the novels Serena and The Risen, as well as Charles Frazier who wrote Cold Mountain.But have you heard of Mary Noailles Murfree? How about Charles Egbert Craddock? The last was a trick question since Charles Egbert Craddock was actually the pseudonym used by Murfreesboro, Tennessee native Mary Noailles Murfree (1850-1922).

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  10. Hazel Creek Trail – Gentle and Wild

    Hazel Creek Trail – Gentle and Wild

    A lot can be said about hiking the easy grade of Hazel Creek, so named for the abundance of hazel trees that line its banks. But first you have to get there. Hiking Hazel Creek Trail requires equal parts planning, execution and trust. Planning is easy. You and your fellow hikers just need to agree on a date and time to commence your adventure. With that minor detail settled, execution begins when you catch the boat shuttle for the 30-minute ride across the western edge of Lake Fontana.

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