News

  1. Chief Ranger Lisa Hendy Works to Prevent Search and Rescue

    Chief Ranger Lisa Hendy Works to Prevent Search and Rescue By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director  Visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park topped 12.5 million in 2019. This year, despite the park having been completely closed March 24 through May 9 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the sheer volume of people is once again exerting great strain on all the park’s systems— Read more...
  2. Smokies Guide Summer Feature: Supporting Wildlife with Native Plants  

    Smokies Guide Summer Feature: Supporting Wildlife with Native Plants    Did you know you can read the official Great Smoky Mountains National Park newspaper online?  Skip the stop at a visitor center and go straight to the GSMA Smokies Guide page to read or download the latest summer 2020 Smokies Guide complete with park news, roadway maps, trip planning help, hiking essentials, junior ranger activities, and Read more...
  3. Image for the Asking: Snail Eating Up the Forest

    Image for the Asking: Snail Eating Up the Forest Story and image by Don McGowan They are easily overlooked and often quite readily ignored. They often leave a slimy trail wherever they go, which doesn’t necessarily endear them to a lot of people. Yet they are an important part of the web of life in these old mountains, and if you are willing to be completely honest with yourself, they Read more...
  4. Explore the Smokies Canopy in a New Podcast Episode with Author Rose Houk

    Explore the Smokies Canopy in a New Podcast Episode with Author Rose Houk By Aaron Searcy, publications associate From high above the tallest treetops in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, author Rose Houk asks, “What goes on in the uppermost layers of this forest? Does anything live up there? What creatures big or small live in what’s called the forest canopy? And what is the canopy anyway?”& Read more...
  5. The Obscure Tale of the Appalachian Cottontail

    The Obscure Tale of the Appalachian Cottontail By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director  What’s that cute, fluffy animal with long ears hopping at top speed across the top of Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Is it the common eastern cottontail, or could it be the rare Appalachian cottontail? The Appalachian cottontail (Sylvilagus obscurus) is a Read more...
  6. Permanent Camp: Rugel's Ragwort

    Permanent Camp: Rugel's Ragwort Story by George Ellison with image by Elizabeth Ellison This is the story of Rugel's ragwort (Rugelia nudicaulis)—one of the most rare and interesting plants in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—and its eccentric namesake, the German-born plant collector Ferdinand Ignatius Xavier Rugel. In 1840, Rugel (1806-1879) came to the Read more...
  7. Why the Great American Outdoors Act Will Be Game Changer Part 2

    Why the Great American Outdoors Act Will Be Game Changer Part 2 By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director On June 17, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (73-25) to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, and on July 23 it passed the House of Representatives (310-107). It now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. Part of the reason the Great American Outdoors Read more...
  8. Why the Great American Outdoors Act Will Be Game Changer Part 1

    Why the Great American Outdoors Act Will Be Game Changer Part 1 By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director  On June 17, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (73-25) to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, and on July 23 it passed the House of Representatives (310-107). It now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.  “The Great American Outdoors Read more...
  9. Image for the Asking: Why Come It’s Not a Holler Hardwood Forest?

    Image for the Asking: Why Come It’s Not a Holler Hardwood Forest? Story and image by Don McGowan The dictionary of Appalachian English, courtesy of Wikipedia, assures us that a “cove” is a “valley between two ridges.” It goes on to explain that a “holler” is a “valley between two hills.” Now since ridges and hills can be, and on occasion have been, mistaken for Read more...
  10. "Learning Is Still Alive and Well at the Little Greenbrier School" in Smokies Life Fall 2020

    Besides supporting Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the many perks of a Great Smoky Mountains Association membership is a subscription to Smokies Life magazine. Below is a sneak preview of one of the features in the upcoming fall issue. Become a member by July 31 in order to receive a copy in the mail. In 1881, Read more...

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