News

  1. What we can learn from the wild turkey

    What we can learn from the wild turkey If you traveled around in Western North Carolina or East Tennessee to visit friends or family and eat turkey for the Thanksgiving holiday, there is a high likelihood you passed a rafter of wild turkeys along the way. Though a group of them can also be called a flock, the term “rafter” is also correct and was adapted because when Read more...
  2. Bryson City Artist Elizabeth Ellison Represents Everything Smokies

    Bryson City Artist Elizabeth Ellison Represents Everything Smokies Readers of the Asheville Citizen Times have enjoyed the Nature Journal column by regional author and naturalist George Ellison since the 1980s. His work is often accompanied by that of his wife, Elizabeth Ellison, a North Carolina artist whose natural history documentation and inspired landscape paintings represent the Smokies region in a way Read more...
  3. Research Holds Key to Wildlife Crossing Success on I-40 in the Pigeon River Gorge

    Research Holds Key to Wildlife Crossing Success on I-40 in the Pigeon River Gorge On November 3, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) announced that when it begins to replace the Harmon Den bridge on Interstate 40 between Asheville and Knoxville later this month, a wildlife underpass will be included in the construction. Just 48 hours later, the House passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill including $ Read more...
  4. Don’t Miss the Beauty for Your Expectations

    Don’t Miss the Beauty for Your Expectations Have you ever noticed that expectations can potentially put a damper on a perfectly good day? That was the thought bumping around my brain after driving into Cataloochee Valley, one of the more remote sections of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Between friends and online searches, it sounded as if it was best to be there at dawn to see Read more...
  5. Trailside Talk: Look! A Salamander!

    Trailside Talk: Look! A Salamander! Many of the millions of visitors who cross into Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year arrive with anticipation of seeing wild animals. And when they see them, folks sometimes get so excited they can’t fully control their enthusiasm—especially when the animals are bears. Camera phones are whipped out of pockets. Children& Read more...
  6. Smokies Scenic Drives for Families: Newfound Gap Road

    Smokies Scenic Drives for Families: Newfound Gap Road The scenic drives in the Smokies can introduce you to plenty of wildlife, rushing streams, colorful flowers, lush forests, mountain vistas, and historic buildings—all from the seat of your car. To get the full flavor of the Smokies, be sure to park in plenty of the many pull-offs so you can get out and explore on foot as well. If possible Read more...
  7. Wildflowers 101: Showy Orchis and Yellow Lady’s Slipper

    Wildflowers 101: Showy Orchis and Yellow Lady’s Slipper Story and images by Tom Harrington As the 2021 Great Smoky Mountains wildflower season rapidly draws to a close, let’s go back and discuss two adorable orchids—the showy orchis and the yellow lady’s slipper. Yellow lady's slipper The showy orchis, or showy orchid as some call it, grows from six to eight Read more...
  8. Choosing the Path and Pace That’s Right for You…

    Choosing the Path and Pace That’s Right for You… photos courtesy of Sue Wasserman It’s impossible to believe two years have passed since GSMA’s last annual member meeting. Having come late to program registration, I was closed out of my top picks. Since I had little experience of the Smokies at that point, though, I was still excited about the outings I secured. Out of shape at Read more...
  9. Bats Hang in the Balance in Wake of Disease

    Bats Hang in the Balance in Wake of Disease Bats seem to be everywhere this time of year. Their little silhouettes hang as holiday decorations fashioned out of plastic on festive front porches and shop windows, just next to the skeletons and giant spiders. As for our real bats—the living, breathing keystone species that spend their nights hunting for insects on the wing— Read more...
  10. Trailside Talk: Finding the Gap

    Trailside Talk: Finding the Gap Newfound Gap is a gathering place for the many publics of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was not always this way. A “gap” is just that—an opening between mountains. For much of recorded time, mountain gaps were places of less resistance; in other words, to get from point A to point B it made sense to seek the lower Read more...

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