GSMA News

  1. Clingmans Dome Visitor Center to host public Open House

    Clingmans Dome Visitor Center to host public Open House

    Before Clingmans Dome Road closes for the winter, Great Smoky Mountains Association invites all park visitors to an open house at the visitor center store in honor of the season.


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  2. Park, Congressional Leaders, and Governor Dedicate Foothills Parkway

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials were joined by Senator Lamar Alexander, Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr, Congressman Phil Roe, Governor Bill Haslam, and NPS Southeast Regional Director Bob Vogel to dedicate the long-awaited section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, TN before the public opening on Saturday, November 10. The public will be able to experience this new section of roadway for the first time since construction began in 1966, including the 1.65-mile section known as the ‘Missing Link’ which is now connected by a series of nine bridges. 

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  3. Haunting Views

    “Nah, there’s nothing to be scared of in there,” she told them. Her crooked, bone-thin finger pointed toward Daisy Town, the group’s ultimate destination.

    It was easy to see that her reflection in glass had once undoubtedly inspired poets. Flowing in gray waves down her ever-so-slightly twisted back, her hair evoked memories of raven’s wings. Her cheekbones stood as high as the Alps atop two identically sunken valleys cascading toward her strong jawline. The years had left marks; unflinchingly, she displayed them all.

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  4. Sorghum-making demonstrations return to the Smokies

    GATLINBURG, Tenn. — As cool air slowly creeps in and the leaves begin to change, it can only mean one thing – it’s sorghum making time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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  5. Park Announces Foothills Parkway Opening

    Park Announces Foothills Parkway Opening

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials plan to open the long-awaited section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, TN on Saturday, November 10. The public will be able to experience the entire 16-mile roadway for the first time since construction began in 1966, including the 1.65-mile section known as the ‘Missing Link’ which is now connected by a series of nine bridges.

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  6. Friends of the Smokies to expand its Kodak footprint

    Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Great Smoky Mountains Association, two of the national park’s oldest and most productive partners, have shared space at the Sevierville Visitor Center on Winfield Dunn Parkway near Interstate 40 for more than a decade. GSMA has operated a retail space on the ground level, where it offers visitors educational items designed to enrich their Smoky Mountain experience, while FOTS staff occupied office space directly above.

    However, the organizations’ roles have transformed over time. One has outgrown its share of the space, while the other has felt the need to scale back, making the next move obvious. GSMA plans to close its retail store by Nov. 1 and Friends of the Smokies will convert the first floor into much-needed additional office space.

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  7. Smokies Life Fall 2018: Stories of History, Culture and Survival

    Smokies Life Fall 2018 Edition

    GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Great Smoky Mountains Association’s most recent issue of its award-winning Smokies Life magazine features an in-depth look at new groundbreaking bear research unique to Great Smoky Mountains National Park; the first four chapters of Willa of the Wood, a new best-selling fiction set in the Smokies; 10 compelling archival treasures stored at the Collections Preservation Center; and a comprehensive list of essential preparation techniques for staying safe while exploring the backcountry. 

    “Having lived in both Western North Carolina and East Tennessee, I enjoy sharing stories about the natural and cultural history of the Smokies with our readers,” said Frances Figart, interpretive products and services director and the editor of Smokies Life. “One of my favorite pieces in this issue is David Brill’s first-hand account of a recent trail mishap and rescue as it highlights the importance of being prepared while simultaneously expecting the unexpected in the Smokies.” 







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  8. The Old ‘Crack-of-the-Bat’ Vintage Base Ball in Cades Cove by Craig Mortimore

    Abraham Lincoln stands ready 45 feet away, intently staring at his battery mate. His black suit and stovepipe hat are uncomfortable garments for this activity, conducted in the heat of a summer afternoon. He receives a nod from his catcher and stands straight, reverses his arm in the direction of second base, and then swings it forward in an elegant underhand pitch. The ball arcs through the air descending into the welcoming hands of his battery mate.

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  9. DLIA Brings Beetle Mania to the Smokies: An interview with Claire Winfrey

    DLIA Brings Beetle Mania to the Smokies: An interview with Claire Winfrey

    Did you know… about one in every four animals on the planet is a beetle! Of the  roughly 400,000 species of beetles known, some are pollinators, others recyclers –some even help to offset the effects of climate change.

    “Insects are an instant connection to the wild and an extreme example of Earth’s biodiversity,” says Claire Winfrey, a beetle expert and second-year Ph.D. student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. “Especially in warmer months, take some time to look in almost any type of habitat and you can find them.”

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  10. Great Smoky Mountains Association Nominated for Two IBMA Awards

    GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Great Smoky Mountains Association’s Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition is nominated for two International Bluegrass Music Association Special Awards: Graphic Design by Karen Key and Liner Notes by Ted Olson. 

    The International Bluegrass Music Awards honor members of the bluegrass industry who work behind the scenes. Winners of the Special Awards will be announced Thursday, Sept. 27. Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association—the professional nonprofit association for the bluegrass music industry. 

    Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition is a two-disc set produced by Great Smoky Mountains Association in support of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It features 32 traditional folks ballads for a total of more than two hours of music. Featured performers include Doyle Lawson, Alice Gerrard, Laura Boosinger, David Holt, Rosanne Cash and many others.

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