Curiosity Cabinet: Hellbenders

By Peyton Proffitt Growing up in a gateway community, I spent most of my childhood summers swimming in the rivers of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some of my happiest memories are of looking for salamanders with my friends and sketching the specimens in my notebook. For my first Curiousity Cabinet entry, I decided to […]

Little Sluice of Heaven: A tiny sliver of the A.T.

By Lisa Duff Memorial Day Monday found me with a mild case of cabin fever, which was a bit strange since CF is typically a wintertime ailment. What happened was this: I’d successfully managed to add a few at-home days to the end of my vacation to allow for ease of real-world re-entry, and Monday, […]

Park Tourism Generates $953 million in Visitor Spending

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 11,421,203 visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2018 spent $953 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 13,737 jobs in the local area. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, with every dollar invested by American taxpayers in […]

Cades Cove Story re-released by GSMA

“No story of Cades Cove can ever be complete…” These humble words written by A. Randolph Shields in 1977 comprise the first line of The Cades Cove Story. The enduring legacy of this work continues to connect readers to the lives of the people who once lived in one of the most beloved places in […]

Goshen Prong on Mother’s Day

By Lisa Duff Three years ago, as Mother’s Day was approaching, I decided it was high time my daughter and I started a new tradition in recognition of the day dedicated to mothers everywhere. No more would she need to worry herself about what tangible item or simple gesture might make an appropriate gift, I […]

Park Announces Spring Opening Schedule

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials finalized the 2019 spring opening schedule for park facilities. Most campgrounds, picnic areas, and roads will open this Friday, April 19, in time for Easter weekend. The remainder of the facilities will open between now and Memorial Day weekend in preparation for the busy summer season.   “Our staff […]

Exploring Laurel Falls again, 15 years later

By Elise Anderson Kemp Writer in Residence After attempting Ramsey Cascades as my first hike in the Smokies this year and turning around just ¾ mile shy of the top (wisely, or I’d have never made it back down), I decided to re-visit a classic for my second hike of the year: Laurel Falls. The […]

Back of Beyond excerpt, park entry fee question both featured in upcoming Smokies Life

In 10 feature-length stories, all of which examine Great Smoky Mountains National Park-specific themes, GSMA’s spring Smokies Life looks at some of the earliest efforts to establish a national park in the eastern U.S., business endeavours that failed to take root in and around the park, and the impact climate change is having on the […]

Clingmans Dome Bypass Trail

Clingmans Dome Road, which carries passenger vehicles to the Top of Ol’ Smoky, is expected to open to the public about 48 hours ahead of schedule this spring. Weather permitting, look for the gate to swing on the morning of Saturday, March 30. When you find yourself in the Clingmans Dome parking lot next, consider […]