News

  1. Charismatic Beetles Light up the Night

    Charismatic Beetles Light up the Night By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced Tuesday, April 27, that its popular synchronous firefly viewing event in Elkmont Campground will resume this year June 1–8 after a hiatus last spring to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In 2019, the spectacle had attracted more than 28,000 people Read more...
  2. The monarchs are coming!

    The monarchs are coming! By Will Kuhn, Director of Science and Research with Discover Life in America  Monarch butterflies have begun their yearly northward migration and are due to arrive in the Smokies any day now. This time of year, you may start to see Danaus plexippus flying around the region. These attractive orange and black butterflies have made the long Read more...
  3. Mountain Time: John Muir’s Lonely Way 

    Mountain Time: John Muir’s Lonely Way  By Arthur “Butch” McDade Renowned conservationist John Muir never set foot in the highlands that became Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but he made an epic trek through the Unicoi Mountains south of the Smokies in 1867, and he visited the highlands of Roan Mountain along the TN/NC border in 1898. So, he’d seen the Read more...
  4. Share Your Old Smokies Photos for National Park Week: Wayback Wednesday

    Share Your Old Smokies Photos for National Park Week: Wayback Wednesday By Valerie Polk Growing up in Townsend with parents who loved the outdoors, I have lots of childhood memories of picnicking and hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Of course, life was busy even then, and my parents were spending every moment they could building our future house. The chance to leave the work behind and escape away to Read more...
  5. National Park Week: Transformation Tuesday

    National Park Week: Transformation Tuesday By Sarah Shiver When you think about the transformations Great Smoky Mountains National Park has undergone, what comes to mind? Chances are you imagine the park’s creation—how it has changed from an area once populated by various communities to a swath of protected land that has largely been reclaimed by nature. But the park’ Read more...
  6. National Park Week: Military Monday

    National Park Week: Military Monday By Mike Hembree April 17-25 is National Park Week in the Smokies—and in every other national park. It’s time to celebrate spring, to break out hiking shoes and binoculars, to return to park roads and trails that many have missed for much of the past year. Activities are scheduled throughout the park system with the focus on how Read more...
  7. How Oconee Bells Created a 200-Year Wild Botanical Goose Chase

    How Oconee Bells Created a 200-Year Wild Botanical Goose Chase by Frances Figart, Creative Services Director This is the time of year when visitors flock to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see a plethora of wildflowers such as bloodroot, hepatica, phlox, rue-anemone, spring-beauty, trillium, trout lily, and a variety of violets. Several celebrated Smokies wildflowers—such as Rugel's ragwort ( Read more...
  8. Looking at Birds Through an Artist’s Eye 

    Looking at Birds Through an Artist’s Eye  Story and artwork by Gaynell Lawson  With a fascination and enjoyment of birds, how do I go from studying a bird to painting a fanciful image of the bird? For that matter, why paint a fanciful bird instead of a true likeness? Carolina Wren by Gaynell Lawson As I determine the bird’s habits and attributes, an Read more...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...

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