Tag: Trailside Talk

  1. Trailside Talk: Words from FDR

    Trailside Talk: Words from FDR Although there are amazing places to visit along the trails of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and visual wonders deep in the backcountry, one of the most dynamic spots to put one’s feet is only a few yards from a heavily traveled roadway. At Newfound Gap, generally considered the “center” of the Smokies, you can stand in Read more...
  2. Trailside Talk: The Scoop on The Loop

    Trailside Talk: The Scoop on The Loop by Mike Hembree One of Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s unique features often goes unnoticed. In fact, sometimes it takes a child to point it out. “Hey, Dad, we just drove over ourselves!” Junior might yell from the backseat. And it’s true. The Loop Over Bridge, located on U.S. Highway 441 between the park’ Read more...
  3. Trailside Talk: The Big Picture

    Trailside Talk: The Big Picture By Mike Hembree It seems safe to say that millions of photographs have been shot in the Smokies over the years—from 1950s tourists wielding those old Brownie cameras to today’s cellphones, to professional photographers hauling the very best of photographic equipment deep into the coves and high along the streams. The results, even Read more...
  4. Trailside Talk: The View vs. The Babble

    Trailside Talk: The View vs. The Babble Story by Mike Hembree If Great Smoky Mountains National Park ever allows me to build a cabin in the park, I will have a few big decisions to make. This is an event that is exceptionally unlikely to occur for me, or for you, but we can dream. Of course, there will be the decision about which person (or persons) is going to loan me the money Read more...
  5. Trailside Talk: The Deer and the Snake

    Trailside Talk: The Deer and the Snake Please remember to view wildlife in the Smokies responsibly. Park regulations forbid feeding, touching, or willfully approaching bear or elk within 50 yards (150 feet), or any distance that disturbs or displaces wildlife. Violation of this rule is a federal offense and may result in fines and arrest. If wildlife is approaching you or trying to Read more...
  6. Trailside Talk: Reports from the Rangers

    Trailside Talk: Reports from the Rangers Ranger giving information at kiosk. Photo courtesy of GSMNP archives. By Mike Hembree How much has Great Smoky Mountains National Park changed over the past half-century? A lot. And not much at all. The trees are bigger. The streams are wider and deeper. River rocks grow a tiny bit smoother with each passing storm. Parts Read more...
  7. Trailside Talk: The Wild and the Mild

    Trailside Talk: The Wild and the Mild By Mike Hembree The cloak of green that covers the Great Smoky Mountains in summer blankets streams, wildflowers, trails, animals, hills, and hollows in some of the Southeast’s finest high country. It also covers roadways, visitor centers, maintenance shops, parking lots, restrooms, vehicle barriers, stores, and administrative Read more...
  8. Trailside Talk: A Last Ride With Dad

    Trailside Talk: A Last Ride With Dad Story by Mike Hembree In his later years, my father showed considerable interest in things of his past: his service in World War II, the first car he owned (a Chevrolet, of course), and the cattle he raised, largely as a hobby. For most of his 87 years, he talked little of the past, particularly avoiding the war years. Like many of his Read more...
  9. Trailside Talk: Summer Days

    Trailside Talk: Summer Days By Mike Hembree The calendar will claim that summer starts June 20. School children everywhere will claim that is wrong. And there is evidence—however anecdotal—to support their claim. Summer starts the day—no, the very hour—that the school session is over. Summer comes early to the Smokies, too, and that might be Read more...
  10. Trailside Talk: The Waters of the Oconaluftee

    Trailside Talk: The Waters of the Oconaluftee By Mike Hembree Attempting to rank rivers in one of the country’s most beloved national parks is a dangerous business. Even listing a few wonderful streams and rivers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is like shooting a family photograph and leaving out one of the children. A quick, off-the-top-of-the-head list might include Little Read more...

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