Author: GSMA Admin

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Back of Beyond theme resonates with GSMA staffer

    Back of Beyond theme resonates with GSMA staffer

    By Logan Boldon, Marketing Content Specialist 

    Horace Kephart. You’ll hear the name thrown around when you move to the Smokies area. It’s inevitable – especially if you’re coming to work in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It starts off with trail and place names: Kephart Prong Trail, Kephart shelter and Mt. Kephart. His name might pop up again when talking about hiking the 70-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail within park boundary. After all, it’s because of his efforts that the trail even runs along the peak of Clingmans Dome. Eventually, you’ll learn that Kephart was one of the most influential people advocating for a national park in the first place. This is how my Kephart journey began, at least. And that’s as far as it went until just a few short weeks ago.

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  6. GSMA musical release receives Independent Music Awards nominations

    GSMA musical release receives Independent Music Awards nominations

    UPDATE: WE WON Best Album - Compilation! Great Smoky Mountains Association's 2017 musical release, Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition, received two Independent Music Awards nominations for Best Album – Compilation and Best Music Producer – Roots / Country. Winners will be announced next Saturday, June 22, at the Independent Music Awards ceremony in New York City.

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  7. Explore Big Creek on a Scavenger Hike

    Big Creek - Valerie Polk

    By Valerie Polk

    Guided by the Scavenger Hike Adventures book, my family and I set out for Big Creek eager for the challenge. Arriving at the parking area, we immediately recognized the old logging mill foundation and tried to imagine what it might have been like back in the day when the Big Creek basin was abuzz with lumber operations. Other scavenger hike items within the parking area were easy enough to find, teaching us about the importance of using bear-proof garbage cans and introducing us to the flora of the area.

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