News

  1. Stay cool; get high

    Stay cool; get high

    By Logan Boldon

    Marketing Content Specialist

    Driving to and from work the past couple days, a common question I’ve heard coming over the radio is, “What’s your favorite part about summer?” Some answers I’ve heard include food like corn on the cob and activities like spending time at the beach. My favorite part about summer is when it’s over.

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  2. Back of Beyond theme resonates with GSMA staffer

    Back of Beyond theme resonates with GSMA staffer

    By Logan Boldon, Marketing Content Specialist 

    Horace Kephart. You’ll hear the name thrown around when you move to the Smokies area. It’s inevitable – especially if you’re coming to work in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It starts off with trail and place names: Kephart Prong Trail, Kephart shelter and Mt. Kephart. His name might pop up again when talking about hiking the 70-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail within park boundary. After all, it’s because of his efforts that the trail even runs along the peak of Clingmans Dome. Eventually, you’ll learn that Kephart was one of the most influential people advocating for a national park in the first place. This is how my Kephart journey began, at least. And that’s as far as it went until just a few short weeks ago.

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  3. GSMA musical release receives Independent Music Awards nominations

    GSMA musical release receives Independent Music Awards nominations

    UPDATE: WE WON Best Album - Compilation! Great Smoky Mountains Association's 2017 musical release, Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition, received two Independent Music Awards nominations for Best Album – Compilation and Best Music Producer – Roots / Country. Winners will be announced next Saturday, June 22, at the Independent Music Awards ceremony in New York City.

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  4. Studies Offer Insights into Behaviors of Park Bears

    Bear searching trash for food

    By Steve Kemp

    Four research projects focused on bears in the Great Smoky Mountains are currently underway or have recently been completed. Of the four, the results of two are troubling, one is encouraging, and on the last, it’s too early to tell.

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  5. Explore Big Creek on a Scavenger Hike

    Big Creek - Valerie Polk

    By Valerie Polk

    Guided by the Scavenger Hike Adventures book, my family and I set out for Big Creek eager for the challenge. Arriving at the parking area, we immediately recognized the old logging mill foundation and tried to imagine what it might have been like back in the day when the Big Creek basin was abuzz with lumber operations. Other scavenger hike items within the parking area were easy enough to find, teaching us about the importance of using bear-proof garbage cans and introducing us to the flora of the area.

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  6. Behind the scenes with PLA award winner Susan Sachs

    Susan Sachs

    By Frances Figart

    If you have followed GSMA news this year, the name Susan Sachs will be familiar. We nominated her for an Agency Leadership award through the Public Lands Alliance—and she won!

    Promoted last year to education branch chief, Sachs is currently acting chief of resource education. Her award recognizes a public land management agency employee for outstanding accomplishments by championing, cultivating and leading partnerships. We asked her to tell us some of the background that led up to this outstanding recognition.

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  7. The Road that Led Around the World

    Newfound Gap Road

    By Mike Aday

    What do Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Ethiopia, Panama and Alaska have in common? They can all boast major roads built by one man, Knoxville native John L. Humbard. Well, technically, a lot of men were involved, but Humbard supervised them all.

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  8. Curiosity Cabinet: Hellbenders

    Curiosity Cabinet: Hellbenders

    By Peyton Proffitt

    Growing up in a gateway community, I spent most of my childhood summers swimming in the rivers of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some of my happiest memories are of looking for salamanders with my friends and sketching the specimens in my notebook. For my first Curiousity Cabinet entry, I decided to feature the biggest salamander of all: the hellbender.

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  9. Little Sluice of Heaven: A tiny sliver of the A.T.

    Rhodo Tunnel Chestnut Branch

    By Lisa Duff

    Memorial Day Monday found me with a mild case of cabin fever, which was a bit strange since CF is typically a wintertime ailment. What happened was this: I’d successfully managed to add a few at-home days to the end of my vacation to allow for ease of real-world re-entry, and Monday, as it turned out, was one day too many.

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  10. Park Tourism Generates $953 million in Visitor Spending

    Foothills Parkway - View from Bridge

    A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 11,421,203 visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2018 spent $953 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 13,737 jobs in the local area. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, with every dollar invested by American taxpayers in the National Park Service returning $10 to the economy.

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