Spring Road Status
During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »
New Video Podcast Emphasizes Bear Safety
A video podcast, Day Hiking and Wildlife, associated with the recently launched program “Reward Yourself - Hike the Smokies Challenge”, is now available for viewing. This 6-minute podcast is the second of a three-part series on hiking safety and informs the viewer of wildlife behavior, particularly black bears, and the appropriate responses and regulations to be followed by Park visitors. The podcast, developed by Great Smoky Mountains Association, is attractively done and illustrated with beautiful footage of the Smoky Mountains and wildlife, and can be viewed at the Hike the Smokies Challenge webpage.
The chance of seeing wildlife in the backcountry is one of the exciting things about hiking, but it is important to understand the rules and regulations and proper etiquette for a safe and rewarding experience when visiting. The video podcast is an indepth educational piece about bear country and sets up practical advice and emphasizes park regulations for keeping bears wild and away from people and developed areas. Kim Delozier, the park’s chief wildlife biologist, is featured in the podcast and emphasizes the responses people should make and actions to take if encountered by a bear on a trail.
“We hope that this video will be another tool to help hikers safely observe wildlife in its natural habitat which is one of the privileges we gain by preserving this great landscape for all to enjoy,” said Cathleen Cook, Chief of Resource Education.
Did You Know?
What lives in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Although the question sounds simple, it is actually extremely complex. Right now scientists think that we only know about 17 percent of the plants and animals that live in the park, or about 17,000 species of a probable 100,000 different organisms.