News

  1. Park Announces Foothills Parkway Opening

    Foothills Parkway

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials plan to open the long-awaited section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, TN on Saturday, November 10. The public will be able to experience the entire 16-mile roadway for the first time since construction began in 1966, including the 1.65-mile section known as the ‘Missing Link’ which is now connected by a series of nine bridges.

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  2. Things to consider when planning a visit to the Smokies

    Cades Cove Visitor Center

    When planning a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the government shutdown, here are some things to keep in mind:

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  3. We won! GSMA Brings Home Three Awards from Public Lands Alliance

    Photo of Susan Sachs at PLA conference

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park education branch chief Susan Sachs accepts her award for Agency Leadership and speaks to her years of partnership building during the Public Lands Alliance’s 2019 conference in Denver, CO.

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  4. A conversation with the authors of the new Kephart biography

    Book cover of Back of Beyond by George Ellison and Janet McCue

    Working with literary authorities George Ellison and Janet McCue to edit their new book, Back of Beyond: A Horace Kephart Biography, was like being a roadie for a dynamic singer-songwriter duo (imagine going on tour with Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell). George and Janet are so creative, so steeped in the literature of the Smokies region, and so attuned to all things Kephart that it was mesmerizing and magical to interact with them on a daily basis.

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  5. Back of Beyond excerpt, park entry fee question both featured in upcoming Smokies Life

    Smokies Life Magazine Cover for Spring 2019

    The most recent Smokies Life magazine – published by the nonprofit Great Smoky Mountains Association and due for release this month – tackles some complex issues currently facing the national park by asking questions like “Why not charge an entry fee?”, “Can highways be made safe for wildlife?” and “What secrets will the region’s best anglers freely share with strangers?”

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  6. Presidential Pets & the Great Smoky Mountains

    Presidential Pets

    The White House has been home to more pets than people over its long history. First Pets have ranged from the commonplace, like Bo, President Obama’s Portuguese water dog, to the Scottish terriers, English springer spaniel, and cat that President George W. Bush. Others have included the bizarre and downright dangerous, such as the zebra kept by Theodore Roosevelt and the alligator, a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette, that John Quincy Adams kept in a White House bathroom.

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  7. Exploring Laurel Falls again, 15 years later

    Exploring Laurel Falls

    By Elise Anderson

    Kemp Writer in Residence

    After attempting Ramsey Cascades as my first hike in the Smokies this year and turning around just ¾ mile shy of the top (wisely, or I’d have never made it back down), I decided to re-visit a classic for my second hike of the year: Laurel Falls. The 1.3-mile trail up to the waterfall is much easier than Ramsey Cascades, ranking at a difficulty level of 2 compared to Ramsey’s 12.

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  8. Back of Beyond, new Kephart biography from Great Smoky Mountains Association, invites readers to truly 'know the man'

    Back of Beyond book cover

    An icon of the Southern Appalachian region known for the seminal books Camping and Woodcraft (1906) and Our Southern Highlanders (1913), Horace Kephart was instrumental in efforts to establish the Appalachian Trail along the Tennessee-North Carolina border.

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  9. 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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  10. Science at Sugarlands: Grassy Balds

    Grassy Balds

    Mysterious and haunting, Southern Appalachian grassy balds have long fascinated scientists and hikers alike. How many balds are there in the Smokies? How did they evolve? How do they support rare plants? Can balds be found in other parts of the world?

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