Tag: Hiking

  1. Plan Like a Ranger When You Visit National Parks

    Plan Like a Ranger When You Visit National Parks By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director Visitation at national parks is increasing and expected to continue to grow throughout the summer. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is experiencing high monthly visitor numbers, suggesting we may top 2019’s record-breaking 12.5 million visitors by the end of 2021. Even during Read more...
  2. Mountain Time: “The Green Tunnel” Through the Smokies

    Mountain Time: “The Green Tunnel” Through the Smokies By Arthur “Butch” McDade The Appalachian Trail (AT) is an iconic American long-distance path. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it runs over 70 miles along the park’s high ridges and gaps, including Clingmans Dome, the highest point on the AT. For many hikers, it’s the premier trail in the park. And while the Read more...
  3. Writer Not in Residence: Being Present in the Now

    Writer Not in Residence: Being Present in the Now By Sue Wasserman The difference between “here” and “there” is “now.”  The thought struck me as I remembered an experience last year in the Greenbrier section of the park. I had been told the Porter Creek Trail was rich in early spring wildflowers. Shortly after setting out, I met Mountain Mike, a well- Read more...
  4. Memories of Mount Le Conte 

    Memories of Mount Le Conte  By Mike Hembree Mount Le Conte isn’t the highest mountain in the Smokies, but it wins in the “most loved” category. Driving toward Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, on Highway 441, the view of Le Conte is as of a monolith, a strong-shouldered, imposing mountain that stands sentinel over the valleys below, its green peaks more than 6,000 Read more...
  5. Video Feature: An Early Spring Hike

    Video Feature: An Early Spring Hike By Valerie Polk, GSMA Videographer and Publications Associate We're happy to see that many of you have been enjoying our videos! Today I thought I would share a video from a hike I took two years ago with my husband and daughter. It was a cool day, and early spring wildflowers were just beginning to poke their way into the world. Birds were Read more...
  6. Little Sluice of Heaven: A tiny sliver of the A.T.

    Rhodo Tunnel Chestnut Branch

    By Lisa Duff

    Memorial Day Monday found me with a mild case of cabin fever, which was a bit strange since CF is typically a wintertime ailment. What happened was this: I’d successfully managed to add a few at-home days to the end of my vacation to allow for ease of real-world re-entry, and Monday, as it turned out, was one day too many.

  7. 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.

  8. Goshen Prong on Mother's Day

    Mother's Day camping

    By Lisa Duff

    Three years ago, as Mother’s Day was approaching, I decided it was high time my daughter and I started a new tradition in recognition of the day dedicated to mothers everywhere. No more would she need to worry herself about what tangible item or simple gesture might make an appropriate gift, I informed her. No shiny trinket, small kitchen appliance or fancy meal out would be necessary for me to feel appreciated.

  9. 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.

  10. Clingmans Dome Bypass Trail

    Clingmans Dome Tower

    Clingmans Dome Road, which carries passenger vehicles to the Top of Ol' Smoky, is expected to open to the public about 48 hours ahead of schedule this spring. Weather permitting, look for the gate to swing on the morning of Saturday, March 30.


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