News

  1. Smokies Volunteers Chase Butterflies for Science

    Smokies Volunteers Chase Butterflies for Science Every fall, Great Smoky Mountains National Park plays host to what might best be described as a moving miracle. In the sunny, open valleys around Cataloochee and Cades Cove, iconic monarch butterflies descend to nectar and take shelter in fields of native wildflowers and grasses.  After their pitstop, the butterflies resume their long Read more...
  2. When the Student Becomes the Teacher

    When the Student Becomes the Teacher Story and photos by Sue Wasserman The more you know, the more you care, the better you can do. It’s a naïve thought, but it’s what I choose to believe, especially in my capacity as Great Smoky Mountains Association’s 2022 Steve Kemp Writer in Residence. I shared this thought with an Illinois family I met on a late Read more...
  3. Wildflowers 101: Milkweed

    Wildflowers 101: Milkweed Story and images by Tom Harrington  Four-leaf milkweed Who does not enjoy seeing butterflies? Some visitors from Europe who are visiting the national park have told me that they no longer see butterflies in their countries. About this time each year, several people come to Cades Cove to take part in monarch Read more...
  4. Trailside Talk: Smokey the Bear

    Trailside Talk: Smokey the Bear Many people of a certain age have a special affection for Smokey Bear (or Smokey the Bear, as he has also been called). I remember reading Smokey’s story—how he was rescued from a wildfire in New Mexico in 1950 and became the symbol of fire awareness in the woods for generations. Posters and signs showing Smokey in a park ranger Read more...
  5. Park invites visitors to “We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga” Storybook Trail

    Park invites visitors to “We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga” Storybook Trail Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites visitors to experience the We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga Storybook Trail on Saturday, October 8, through Friday, November 12, on the Oconaluftee River Trail near Cherokee, North Carolina. This unique opportunity allows visitors of all ages to learn about Cherokee culture through dual-language Read more...
  6. Serendipity Leads to Learning about iNaturalist and the Smokies Most Wanted

    Serendipity Leads to Learning about iNaturalist and the Smokies Most Wanted Story and photos by Sue Wasserman Close friends tell me my middle name should be “Serendipity” given my often-impeccable timing for wondrous happenstance. While I tend to chuckle when they say it, I can’t disagree. Middle Prong Trail As if on cue, of course, such happenstance struck yet again just before a Read more...
  7. Camera in the Park: Leaf Season

    Camera in the Park: Leaf Season Story and images by Nye Simmons Well, folks, that time of year that photographers and non-photographers alike look forward to is nearly upon us: leaf season. The park gets busy during this time of the year, but with or without a camera and stuck in traffic or not, the classic grand landscapes are still there to enjoy: sunrise at Foothills Read more...
  8. Put safety first as elk herd enjoys 21st rut season

    Put safety first as elk herd enjoys 21st rut season While humans are focused on world events and weather updates, elk have only one thing on their minds. From now to early November, hormones kick in and these large ungulates go into overdrive. During the fall breeding season, bulls’ antlers reach maturity, and their ethereal bugling calls resonate through fields and forests within the park Read more...
  9. Moonshining in and around the Great Smokies: Part 1–The Economics

    Moonshining in and around the Great Smokies: Part 1–The Economics In the not-too-distant past, moonshiners were common in the Smoky Mountains and throughout the Southern Appalachians. They were mountaineers who made part of their living manufacturing spirits by moonlight in the hidden coves and caves in order to evade taxes levied by the United States government. In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed into law a Read more...
  10. A Sweet Harvest Tradition Returns

    A Sweet Harvest Tradition Returns Not so long ago, many farming families in Southern Appalachia celebrated the long-anticipated arrival of the harvest season with a special treat: fresh sorghum syrup. Today, thousands still flock to see the syrup-making process and get a taste of the sweet stuff when Mark and Sherry Guenther of Muddy Pond Sorghum host their seasonal Read more...

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