Winter Road Status
During winter, roads in the park may close due to snow and ice, especially at night when water from melting refreezes on roads. For road status information please call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow road 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?
There are at least 30 different species of salamanders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This gives the Smokies the distinction of having the most diverse salamander population anywhere in the world and has earned the park the nickname “Salamander Capital of the World.” More...