Author: Mike Hembree

  1. Trailside Talk: Finding the Gap

    Trailside Talk: Finding the Gap Newfound Gap is a gathering place for the many publics of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was not always this way. A “gap” is just that—an opening between mountains. For much of recorded time, mountain gaps were places of less resistance; in other words, to get from point A to point B it made sense to seek the lower Read more...
  2. Trailside Talk: Autumn’s Best

    Trailside Talk: Autumn’s Best For those wondering what the most difficult thing about visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park might be, here it is: choosing the best place in the park to see autumn color. Picking the place and time for brilliant fall color in the park is sort of a cottage industry. Scientists do it. Hoteliers do it. Tourism agencies do it. Even the Read more...
  3. Trailside Talk: Boughs of Balsam

    Trailside Talk: Boughs of Balsam Visitors to hotels sometimes grumble about the quality of the beds in their rooms. Mattresses are too hard, or maybe too soft. Pillows are too bouncy, or too flat. Fitted sheets won’t stay put. Perhaps surprisingly, some aspects of snoozing became an official topic of discussion in the Smokies even before the park was officially Read more...
  4. Trailside Talk: Words from FDR

    Trailside Talk: Words from FDR Although there are amazing places to visit along the trails of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and visual wonders deep in the backcountry, one of the most dynamic spots to put one’s feet is only a few yards from a heavily traveled roadway. At Newfound Gap, generally considered the “center” of the Smokies, you can stand in Read more...

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