News

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Concept to Consumer: Heritage Dolls made exclusively for the Smokies

    Heritage Dolls

    By Sarah Shiver

    GSMA Summer Intern

    With a history as rich as Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s, small remnants of the past often become lost or forgotten. Inspired by a childhood memory, GSMA staffer and volunteer hike leader Charlene Shiver set about recreating a piece of her own past and revived a bit of park history in the process.

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  7. Foods of the Smokies: Pork Chops with Cherry Glaze

    Cherry Preserves

    By Latria Graham

    2019 Kemp Writer in Residence

    When I heard about the Cub Report’s cooking column, I knew I wanted to spend part of my writer’s residency focusing on that. Food is such a powerful medium: it can conjure up memories, soothe a grief-stricken heart, and communicate a hundred years of history, all in one meal. Food is also an interesting way to get better acquainted with an area and culture that might be unfamiliar. I only live a couple of hours from the Smokies, but the terrain and flora are different, and I enjoyed my time “cooking through the land.”

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  8. Curiosity Cabinet: Hickory Horned Devils become Regal Moths

    Citheronia regalis

    By Peyton Proffitt

    This month, curiosity drew me to the remarkable collection of insects housed at the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center. At first, I was overwhelmed by the number, age and diversity of the specimens, but after a few minutes, I decided to focus on specimens that made me think, “Oh, how pretty!”

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  9. Little Sluice of Heaven: Creek Crossings and Crippling Critters

    Little Sluice of Heaven: Creek Crossings and Crippling Critters

    By Lisa Duff

    When Great Smoky Mountains Association volunteer hike guide Lloyd Shiver suggested we knock out two trails with significant creek crossings this summer, I thought, “Can’t ask for a better time to cool off in the Smokies than late June and July.” Add to that the fact boat rides would be required to cross Fontana Lake at the conclusion of each, I jumped at the chance to join in.

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  10. Stay cool; get high

    Stay cool; get high

    By Logan Boldon

    Marketing Content Specialist

    Driving to and from work the past couple days, a common question I’ve heard coming over the radio is, “What’s your favorite part about summer?” Some answers I’ve heard include food like corn on the cob and activities like spending time at the beach. My favorite part about summer is when it’s over.

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