“The Green Tunnel” through the Smokies

Newfound Gap

The Appalachian Trail (AT) is an iconic American long-distance path. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it runs over 70 miles along the park’s high ridges and gaps, including Clingmans Dome, the highest point on the AT. For many hikers, it’s the premier trail in the park. And while the trail runs predominantly along the […]

Horace Kephart, “a student, first, last, and always”

Horace Kephart

In early 2009, during the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Libby Kephart Hargrave, the great-granddaughter of noted Smoky Mountain writer Horace Kephart, offered a complete manuscript of an unpublished novel, written in the 1920s by her ancestor, to the director of Great Smoky Mountains Association for possible publication. The novel, […]

Mountain time: Roamin’ with Wiley Oakley, legendary mountain guide

Harvey Oakley leaned forward in his chair and said, “One of my father’s favorite sayings was, ‘I’ve never been lost—just been bothered a few days. And I always got out!’”   My wife and I were in Harvey’s home in 2003 because I was presenting a talk about his father, Wiley Oakley, at an upcoming event, […]