News

  1. Participation High for Third Year of Cherokee Sochan Gathering in Park

    Participation High for Third Year of Cherokee Sochan Gathering in Park By Frances Figart  While the word “harvest” usually brings autumn to mind, spring is the time of year for harvesting sochan. Also known as green-headed coneflower, sochan plays an important role in the cultural heritage of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who gathered food and medicine directly from the land in the Great Read more...
  2. Image for the Asking: Between the Campbells

    Image for the Asking: Between the Campbells Story and image by Don McGowan One of the great joys of living in the Southern Appalachians and in close proximity to the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains is the opportunity for close observation as the starkness of winter with its leafless deciduous hardwoods, slowly at first and then in a full-out run, brings to these old hills another Read more...
  3. Trailside Talk: The Waters of the Oconaluftee

    Trailside Talk: The Waters of the Oconaluftee By Mike Hembree Attempting to rank rivers in one of the country’s most beloved national parks is a dangerous business. Even listing a few wonderful streams and rivers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is like shooting a family photograph and leaving out one of the children. A quick, off-the-top-of-the-head list might include Little Read more...
  4. Wildflowers 101: Blooming Shrubs

    Wildflowers 101: Blooming Shrubs Story and images by Tom Harrington Many wildflowers in the Great Smoky Mountains have very unique fragrances that can be helpful in identifying them. As an example, let’s examine dog-hobble and witch-hobble. These plants are technically shrubs, but their gorgeous blooms are worth searching for around this time of year. Dog- Read more...
  5. Father–Daughter Duo Discovers New Aquatic Organism

    Father–Daughter Duo Discovers New Aquatic Organism By Frances Figart A new aquatic organism has been discovered from a wetland near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. It's a microscopic worm-like creature that feeds on algae and bacteria, and it appears to be pretty common across North America and much of the world, if one thinks to look for it. This slide image of a hairybellied Read more...
  6. Trailside Talk: Counting on Le Conte

    Trailside Talk: Counting on Le Conte By Mike Hembree If you have hiked to the top of Mount Le Conte, you have peaked Tom Layton’s interest. A former journalist and master of the pun, Layton is the overseer, editor, and only employee of a website devoted to one of the Smokies’ legend-filled mountains and to the people who hike its trails repeatedly. Layton, 66, gets Read more...
  7. Remarkable Women of the Smokies

    Remarkable Women of the Smokies By Sarah Shiver Many inspiring and influential women have ties to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some lived and died in the Smokies before the park was established, while others advocated for the park’s creation or drew artistic inspiration from it. In honor of Women’s History Month, here is a look at three women of the smokies Read more...
  8. Books Come to Life on the Storybook Trail of the Smokies

    Books Come to Life on the Storybook Trail of the Smokies The Cosby Nature Trail, home of the Storybook Trail of the Smokies. Photo by NPS/ Katie Corrigan. Reading is even more fun in the great outdoors. That’s the big idea behind the Storybook Trail of the Smokies initiative coming to the one-mile Cosby Nature Trail this spring. Soon young readers, school groups, and families Read more...
  9. New Sepia Tones Series Adds Missing Liner Notes to Smokies Music History

    New Sepia Tones Series Adds Missing Liner Notes to Smokies Music History The Great Smoky Mountains are positively full of music. The songs begin with the music of the Cherokee—the Principal People who passed down their myths, songs, and dance long before the invention of a written Cherokee language. Later, in the 19th and 20th centuries, the music came to include the songs of settlers, the enslaved peoples who Read more...
  10. Team BUSAR Assists GSMNP with Search and Rescue Operations

    Team BUSAR Assists GSMNP with Search and Rescue Operations By Sarah Shiver Photos courtesy of Team BUSAR When exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it is not uncommon for visitors to find themselves momentarily disoriented. Usually this confusion is resolved by quickly glancing at a map or asking a fellow hiker for directions. But for backcountry explorers who stray from the trail, face Read more...

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