¿Lees Español? Bilingual Storybook Trails have arrived in the Smokies for the summer

three kids at the Storybook Trail of the Smokies

The Storybook Trail of the Smokies is back, and this year, the popular self-guided outdoor education series is bringing both English and Spanish reading opportunities to new trails in the park and beyond. Great Smoky Mountains Association recently partnered with the City of Gatlinburg, the Sevier County School System, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park […]

“Sepia Tones” podcast miniseries honored with national award

Great Smoky Mountains Association received national recognition at the 2023 Public Lands Alliance Partnership Awards for its podcast miniseries Sepia Tones: Exploring Black Appalachian Music, which won the award for Outstanding Public Engagement. PLA publicly announced and honored the winners of its annual Partnership Awards at a virtual ceremony on Thursday, April 27. Funded by […]

An Appalachian salamander’s glow could shed light on a biological mystery

In the white light of day, the biofluorescence of the southern gray-cheeked salamander remains invisible to the human eye. Southern gray-cheeked salamanders maintain relatively small home ranges and inhabit the northern hardwood and spruce-fir forests of Southern Appalachia at elevations generally above 3,500 feet. Climate change and habitat disruption from pests like the hemlock woolly adelgid pose the most significant threats to the survival of this and other salamander species found only at the highest elevations in the Smokies. Photo by Todd W. Pierson.

Three years ago, researchers from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota captured the attention of biologists around the world with a surprising discovery. After observing a number of frogs, salamanders, and newts under blue and ultraviolet light, the team found that every amphibian they tested could glow, or ‘biofluoresce.’ Although biofluorescence has been studied predominately […]

Sepia Tones welcomes Amythyst Kiah and Jack Tottle

In a new episode of Sepia Tones: Exploring Black Appalachian Music, hosts Dr. William Turner and Dr. Ted Olson talk to Amythyst Kiah—an acclaimed, Grammy-nominated musician whose work blending the genres of folk, rock, and roots music has established her as a distinctive new voice in Appalachia.

Park invites visitors to “We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga” Storybook Trail

Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites visitors to experience the We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga Storybook Trail on Saturday, October 8, through Friday, November 12, on the Oconaluftee River Trail near Cherokee, North Carolina. This unique opportunity allows visitors of all ages to learn about Cherokee culture through dual-language storybook panels along the one-mile trail beginning at the […]

A sweet harvest tradition returns

In a live demonstration staged in the Cades Cove area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Mark Guenther puts sweet sorghum cane through a mule-powered mill. Milling is the first step of the sorghum syrup-making process. Photo by Valerie Polk, provided by Great Smoky Mountains Association.

Not so long ago, many farming families in Southern Appalachia celebrated the long-anticipated arrival of the harvest season with a special treat: fresh sorghum syrup. Today, thousands still flock to see the syrup-making process and get a taste of the sweet stuff when Mark and Sherry Guenther of Muddy Pond Sorghum host their seasonal demonstrations […]

Scientist uncovers secret life of soil

Some connections in the vast web of life are little easier to see than others. In the Smokies this time of year, black bears lumber up the swaying branches of native cherry trees to feast on dark, sun-ripened fruit. Wood thrushes swoop down from their perches to snatch fat caterpillars and worms from the forest […]

‘Sepia Tones’ welcomes guest Dom Flemons, American songster

In the latest episode of the award-winning podcast miniseries Sepia Tones: Exploring Black Appalachian Music, released on Friday, July 29, hosts Dr. William Turner and Dr. Ted Olson are joined by lauded musician Dom Flemons for a compelling conversation on the many Appalachian influences…

Superintendent Cash recognized for leadership by Public Lands Alliance

Superintendent Cassius Cash Featured Image

Last fall Great Smoky Mountains Association nominated Superintendent Cassius Cash for the Public Lands Alliance’s prestigious Agency Leadership Award. On Monday, May 24, PLA recognized him with this honor at its virtual 2021 Public Lands Alliance Partnership Awards. “The Smokies provide superintendents with nonstop challenges that play out on a national stage under the constant, […]