Tag: Nature

  1. Family-Friendly Walks in the Smokies: Nature Trails Part 1

    Family-Friendly Walks in the Smokies: Nature Trails Part 1 You don’t have to tackle long and arduous hiking trails in the Smokies to get the benefit of a great walk in the woods. Families will be happy to know that the national park offers more than a dozen nature and historic walking trails that are perfect for relatively easy family exploration. Most of the nature trails—developed by Read more...
  2. Trailside Talk: Want to Leave a Mark? Choose Footprints, Not Graffiti

    Trailside Talk: Want to Leave a Mark? Choose Footprints, Not Graffiti Image provided by Save Our Smokies The natural beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is unmatched in the eastern United States. No other wilderness or park preserve has the same blend of mountains, streams, plant and animal life, and stunning views. More than 14 million visitors enjoyed the park last year, a record for the most- Read more...
  3. A Day in the Life of Forestry Technician Kate Beckner

    A Day in the Life of Forestry Technician Kate Beckner Karetza (Kate) Beckner is a forestry technician at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Her job is largely focused on removing invasive or nonnative species so the park’s natural plant inhabitants can thrive. Karetza (Kate) Beckner is a forestry technician at Great Smoky Mountains National Park whose job is to remove invasive Read more...
  4. Trailside Talk: Water Up, Water Down

    Trailside Talk: Water Up, Water Down What is it about flowing water that so many of us find so mesmerizing and magnetic? The sound? The movement? The fall over a precipice to a pool below? The eternal pounding against rocks that become imperceptibly smoother by the moment? Whatever the attraction, the Smokies—and, by happy extrapolation, Smokies visitors—are blessed Read more...
  5. 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...
  6. More Walk, Less Talk: A New Year’s Resolution

    More Walk, Less Talk: A New Year’s Resolution By Janet McCue and Paul Bonesteel “Launched out on an adventure today,” the diary entry read. Masaharu Iizuka, a handsome young man with a wide grin, wrote the passage in Japanese characters on what we think might have been his birthday, January 18, 1915. To launch his adventure, he boarded a train in San Francisco and headed east Read more...
  7. Don’t Miss the Beauty for Your Expectations

    Don’t Miss the Beauty for Your Expectations Have you ever noticed that expectations can potentially put a damper on a perfectly good day? That was the thought bumping around my brain after driving into Cataloochee Valley, one of the more remote sections of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Between friends and online searches, it sounded as if it was best to be there at dawn to see Read more...
  8. Choosing the Path and Pace That’s Right for You…

    Choosing the Path and Pace That’s Right for You… photos courtesy of Sue Wasserman It’s impossible to believe two years have passed since GSMA’s last annual member meeting. Having come late to program registration, I was closed out of my top picks. Since I had little experience of the Smokies at that point, though, I was still excited about the outings I secured. Out of shape at Read more...
  9. Learning to be OF the moment

    Learning to be OF the moment Back in 2020, I was beyond ecstatic to have been chosen as GSMA’s Steve Kemp Writer-in-Residence. I was psyched to spend six weeks living in the park, not only shadowing Steve and learning more about this awesome national park, but also working on my own writing projects and creating some community-based programs. COVID-19 put a wrench in Read more...
  10. Wildflowers 101: White Snakeroot and Mountain Gentian

    Wildflowers 101: White Snakeroot and Mountain Gentian Images by Tom Harrington Have you ever heard of “milk sickness”?  What could something like that possibly have to do with wildflowers found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Read on to find out.  The first wildflower we shall examine is white snakeroot. White snakeroot generally grows from one to four Read more...

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