News

  1. What Are Fungi?

    What Are Fungi? Please remember that picking plants is prohibited in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but some fruits, berries, nuts, and certain mushrooms may be gathered for personal use within limits. No wild mushroom should be eaten unless its identification is certain, which usually requires an expert to determine. Many mushrooms are poisonous, some Read more...
  2. Plan Ahead for the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

    Plan Ahead for the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage Soon the long, sultry days of summer will be behind us, and autumn will be on the horizon. But some nature lovers in the Smokies may already be enthusiastically awaiting spring and a decades-old event that celebrates the remarkable diversity of wildflowers found in our region. For more than seven decades, the Spring Wildflower Read more...
  3. Trailside Talk: The Wonder of Falling Water

    Trailside Talk:  The Wonder of Falling Water The Smokies have waterfalls, dozens of them. Tall, wide, swift, slow. You can find them on the roadside and deep in the Smokies wilderness. Laurel Falls Cascades. GSMA Archives. Walking to a beautiful waterfall is the objective of many Smokies hikers. The hike is often its own reward, but to round a corner in the forest, Read more...
  4. Now accepting applications for 2023 Steve Kemp Writer's Residency

    Now accepting applications for 2023 Steve Kemp Writer's Residency Residency namesake Steve Kemp and 2022 writer-in-residence Sue Wasserman. Photo courtesy of Sue Wasserman. Great Smoky Mountains Association is now accepting applications for its third annual Steve Kemp Writer's Residency. Funded by GSMA, the residency is designed to connect writers with the Smokies in meaningful ways and to Read more...
  5. The Slowest Mile I’ve Ever Hiked

    The Slowest Mile I’ve Ever Hiked Story and photos by Hunter Upchurch Hunter Upchurch's oldest son exploring Arch Rock on March 18, 2017, after requesting to 'climb a mountain' for his fifth birthday. I have the curious distinction of being able to pinpoint precisely the slowest mile I’ve ever hiked: March 18, 2017, on Alum Cave Trail from the Read more...
  6. Scientists discover new salamander species hiding in plain sight

    Scientists discover new salamander species hiding in plain sight Until recently, it was thought that 30 species of salamander live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But a recent article in Bionomia, the international journal devoted to biological naming, announced that what was believed to be one species of salamander has been found to actually consist of at least four distinct species, two of which Read more...
  7. Camera in the Park: Goldenrod Season in Cades Cove

    Camera in the Park: Goldenrod Season in Cades Cove From about mid-August to the first Smokies frost, bright yellow clusters of goldenrods add intense patches of color to a mostly green landscape.  A quick Wikipedia search turns up interesting facts about the flower, including that it is the state flower of Kentucky, Nebraska, and South Carolina—and previously Alabama before being Read more...
  8. Trailside Talk: Approaching Autumn

    Trailside Talk: Approaching Autumn There are a few magical moments that bring in the seasons of the Smokies. The first snowflake blowing across the shoulders of Mount Le Conte or Mount Guyot beckons winter. The tiniest wildflower signals spring is close behind. An afternoon thunderstorm rolling across the ridge freshens the Little River and declares that summer has arrived. And Read more...
  9. Mountain Time: Roamin’ with Wiley Oakley, Legendary Mountain Guide

    Mountain Time: Roamin’ with Wiley Oakley, Legendary Mountain Guide Harvey Oakley leaned forward in his chair and said, “One of my father’s favorite sayings was, ‘I’ve never been lost—just been bothered a few days. And I always got out!’”   Wiley Oakley, the “Roamin’ Man.” Photo from the personal collection of the late Harvey Read more...
  10. The Only Thing You’ll Want to Buy at The Purchase is More Time

    The Only Thing You’ll Want to Buy at The Purchase is More Time Story and photos by Sue Wasserman Sometimes I’m amazed by how little I know about so much. Luckily for me, however, I’m endlessly curious and open to the possibilities. In my brief time as GSMA’s Steve Kemp Writer-in-Residence, the doors have swung wide open to expand my knowledge and help me understand the national park in Read more...

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