Tag: History

  1. Family-Friendly Walks in the Smokies: Historic Walking Tours

    Family-Friendly Walks in the Smokies: Historic Walking Tours Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers more than a dozen family-friendly nature and historic walking trails. They’re perfect for a quick walk in the woods to see the park’s flora, fauna, and remnants of the past. This is the third in a three-part series of blog posts describing these trails. In my previous blogs, I covered Read more...
  2. Celebrating Four Decades of the Digital Age in the Smokies

    Celebrating Four Decades of the Digital Age in the Smokies Almost exactly forty years ago on April 28, 1982, an internal park service newsletter announced some terribly exciting news—Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be receiving its very first computer. “Eureka!” the editor’s note proclaimed. “We have one … a computer, that is …. Well, almost. The Read more...
  3. Taking a Walk Across Ancient Land

    Taking a Walk Across Ancient Land My boots make a crunching sound on the rocks. It’s a constant backdrop while hiking in the high country of the Smokies, except on those stretches of trail where I hit snow, ice, or leaves. The crunching has been an almost continuous background for my hikes in the Smokies over the decades.   More recently, I’ve been Read more...
  4. Trailside Talk: Quiet History and Scenic Beauty in Cataloochee Valley

    Trailside Talk: Quiet History and Scenic Beauty in Cataloochee Valley Visitors to Cades Cove, one of the most popular spots in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, might be interested to know that there were discussions in the park’s formative days of preserving parts of another Smokies community in similar fashion.  A view of Cataloochee Field, 1938. Courtesy of GSMNP archives. Read more...
  5. Marker to Honor Japanese Photographer George Masa, a New Kind of Picture-Maker

    Marker to Honor Japanese Photographer George Masa, a New Kind of Picture-Maker Most people know that North Carolina and Tennessee share the most visited park in the nation, and that the total number of visitors to the Smokies in 2021 exceeded 14 million. But many may not yet know that one of the figures responsible for the Smokies even becoming a park was a sprightly Japanese man with a big grin, a clunky camera that was Read more...
  6. Image for the Asking: The Many Connections of a Small, Nameless Stream

    Image for the Asking: The Many Connections of a Small, Nameless Stream Story and image by Don McGowan Although you may not be familiar with it, the wet weather creek in this image is associated with the founding history of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As far as I know, the stream at this point in its journey has no name, though it will eventually merge its waters into Walker Camp Prong—half of West Read more...
  7. The African American Experiences Project is Making the Invisible Visible

    The African American Experiences Project is Making the Invisible Visible By Atalaya Dorfield A year and a half ago, if you would have told me that today I would be working with the National Park Service, my response would have been, “What is the National Park Service?” I never would have imagined that I would be writing this column for Black History Month or that, in June of 2021, I would be hiking up Read more...
  8. Remembering Poet Laureate Ella V. Costner

    Remembering Poet Laureate Ella V. Costner “The world turned in its lathe of time, And the hot sands heaved amain... The neoplasm stirred, while from Above was the WORD And she crept into life again.” —from “Song of Life in the Smokies” Following publication of her book, Barefoot in the Smokies in 1969, Ella V. Costner was named Poet Read more...
  9. Trailside Talk: We Needn’t Love Our Trees to Death

    Trailside Talk: We Needn’t Love Our Trees to Death Discussion of almost any major national park often includes the refrain that it is being “loved to death.” This can obviously be applied to the Smokies, the nation’s most visited national park. Traffic jams can be found on park roads in almost every month of the year, and popular trailhead parking areas often are overwhelmed Read more...
  10. Image for the Asking: When the Mountains Speak in Smoke

    Image for the Asking: When the Mountains Speak in Smoke All parks need friends. In fact, I think it’s reasonably safe to say that without lots of friends, parks as we think of them, especially our national parks, would not exist. When it comes to our western parks, the simplified story line runs this way: Those spaces were created from lands already within the public domain; we the people Read more...

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