Trailside Talk

  1. Trailside Talk: The Quest to Find Veterans Buried in the Smokies  

    Trailside Talk: The Quest to Find Veterans Buried in the Smokies    Primitive Baptist Church cemetery in Cades Cove. Photo by Joel Kramer/Flickr Joe Emert and his friends are on a mission that has no end.  Emert is one of the leaders of an effort to identify the final resting places of all military veterans buried in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Using military records, newspaper research, family Read more...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. Trailside Talk: Counting on Le Conte

    Trailside Talk: Counting on Le Conte By Mike Hembree If you have hiked to the top of Mount Le Conte, you have "peaked" Tom Layton’s interest. A former journalist and master of the pun, Layton is the overseer, editor, and only employee of a website devoted to one of the Smokies’ legend-filled mountains and to the people who hike its trails repeatedly. Layton, 66, Read more...
  5. Trailside Talk: Greenbrier

    Trailside Talk: Greenbrier By Mike Hembree It’s easy to miss the entrance to one of Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s most noteworthy sections. Drive too fast on Highway 321 east of Gatlinburg and you’ll zoom past the small GSMNP sign by the Little Pigeon River bridge, and you’ll miss a grand experience. You’ll miss Greenbrier. In a Read more...
  6. Trailside Talk: Mission 66

    Trailside Talk: Mission 66 By Mike Hembree A happy coincidence in the 1950s led to change for the national park system. The Baby Boom of the post-World War II period increased the population of children in the United States dramatically. At the same time, the country was becoming increasingly mobile. Many veterans returning from the military had the money to buy their Read more...
  7. Trailside Talk: Ode to Winter

    Trailside Talk: Ode to Winter By Mike Hembree; photo by Ann Froschauer It’s no surprise that most of the approximately 12 million people who visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park in a normal year do so in four months: June, July, August, and October. The summer months, of course, mean vacations for families, and they offer the Smokies at their greenest. October Read more...

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