December 29, 2014
Temporary Closures for Cades Cove Loop Road in January
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the temporary closure of the Cades Cove Loop Road for 6 days in January to complete hazard tree removal. The road will be closed to all pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists January 6 through January 8 and January 13 through January 15.
December 11, 2014
National Park Hosts Holiday Homecoming
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host a Holiday Homecoming at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center on Saturday, December 20, 2014. The visitor center will be decorated for the holiday season including an exhibit on Christmas in the mountains. Park staff and volunteers will provide hands-on traditional crafts and activities from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
December 05, 2014
39th Annual Festival of Christmas Past Programs
Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces the 39th annual Festival of Christmas Past celebration scheduled on Saturday, December 13, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at Sugarlands Visitor Center. The event, sponsored in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains Association, is free to the public.
December 03, 2014
Park Receives Annual Poinsettia for Rescue 40 Years Ago
Forty years ago, on December 3, 1974, park rangers from Great Smoky Mountains National Park rescued 15-year old Eric Johnson and a companion who had been trapped deep in the park's backcountry by a chest-deep snow storm. Today Eric's mother traveled from Johnson City to park headquarters in Gatlinburg to thank the park rangers for saving her son's life. A trip she has made every December 3rd since 1974.
December 01, 2014
Smokies Hosts Meetings on Firewood Pests
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are hosting public meetings to provide information about firewood pests and forest threats. Meetings will be held on Monday, December 8 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center Administrative Building near Cherokee, NC and on Tuesday, December 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Sugarlands Visitor Center Training Room near Gatlinburg, TN.
November 03, 2014
Laurel Falls Trail Temporarily Closed
Popular Laurel Falls Trail closed following damage caused by snow storm.
October 30, 2014
Park Plans Controlled Burns in Cades Cove Fields
Park fire management officials are planning a series of controlled burns in Cades Cove. Weather permitting, burn operations could begin in early November and continue intermittently through the rest of the month.
October 21, 2014
Park Offers Reward for Information on Cataloochee Artifact Theft
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are offering a reward for information regarding the recent theft of artifacts from the Palmer House in Cataloochee, NC. The missing artifacts, including a trowel, mill pick, and a coffee mill, were taken from locked display cases in the Palmer House where historical information and exhibits are provided for park visitors.
September 25, 2014
Park Hosts Star Gazing Event at Cades Cove
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in cooperation with the Smoky Mountains Astronomical Society, will offer a 2 ½-hour stargazing program in Cades Cove on Saturday, September 27 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
September 23, 2014
Celebrate National Public Lands Day at the Smokies
Join park staff in Cades Cove on Saturday, September 27, 2014 for the 21st annual celebration of National Public Lands Day. Volunteers are needed for this year’s event to collect seeds from native plant increase fields in Cades Cove.
September 18, 2014
Temporary Closure of Rich Mountain and Parson Branch Roads
Rich Mountain Road will be closed on September 22 and 23. Parson Branch Road will be closed on September 24 and 25. During the closures, the roads will be closed to all traffic including pedestrians.
September 16, 2014
Trail Restoration Work on Chimney Tops Trail Continues
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have extended the Chimney Tops Trail closure through December 11 to fully complete the 3-year trail rehabilitation. The trail will continue to be closed each Monday through Thursday as workers complete the full-scale rehabilitation.
September 15, 2014
Zhaniser to Speak at Wilderness Act Celebration
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a celebration on Saturday, September 27 at Sugarlands Visitor Center in honor of the Wilderness Act which was signed into law 50 years ago by President Lyndon Johnson.
September 10, 2014
Park Cautions Visitors on How to Safely View Elk
Visitors should exercise caution as they view and photograph elk to protect both animals and people. Elk are currently entering the fall breeding season, known as the rut.
September 08, 2014
Celebrate Fall Harvest at the Mountain Farm Museum
Enjoy hearth cooking, apple butter making, sorghum syrup making, blacksmithing, lye soap making, food preservation, music and more at the Mountain Life Festival on Saturday, September 20, from 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM.
August 25, 2014
Park and Tremont Partner to Offer Free Teacher Workshop at Knoxville Zoo
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is partnering with Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and the Knoxville Zoo to offer a free teacher workshop, “Making STEM Easy”, on Saturday, October 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Knoxville Zoo.
July 18, 2014
Tourism to Great Smoky Mountains National Park creates $734 Million in Economic Benefit
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 9,354,695 visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2013 spent $734,086,600 in communities near the park. That spending supported 10,734 jobs in the local area.
July 04, 2014
Twin Creeks Trail and Noah Bud Ogle Cabin Closed Due to Bear Activity
Twin Creeks Trail and Noah Bud Ogle Cabin Closed Due to Bear Activity
July 02, 2014
Park Receives 2014 Impact Grant from the National Park Foundation to Restore Wetland Vegetation
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of 23 national parks selected to receive a 2014 Impact Grant from the National Park Foundation.
June 03, 2014
Summer Closings for Historic Preservation Efforts
Three historic structures in the park will be closed over the course of the summer to allow the park’s Historic Preservation Crew to complete repair work on the buildings.
May 14, 2014
Cindy MacLeod Selected as Acting Superintendent
National Park Service Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin announced that Cindy MacLeod has been selected as the acting superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park effective June 1.
May 12, 2014
Awards for Bravery Presented to Smokies Park Ranger and Townsend Firefighter
Park Ranger Brad Griest and Townsend Fire Department Volunteer Firefighter Christopher Scarbrough were recognized in Washington, DC for their heroic actions that saved the life of a motorist.
May 07, 2014
Park Recruits Roadside Assistance Volunteers in North Carolina
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking volunteers to assist rangers in providing roadside assistance, managing traffic, and providing visitor information on park roadways in North Carolina.
May 02, 2014
Park to Conduct Road Striping Operations
A contractor for Great Smoky Mountains National Park will perform striping operations in TN beginning Monday, May 5 through Thursday, May 22 along the Spur, Little River Road from Sugarlands Visitor Center to Townsend, the top two miles of Newfound Gap, and Elkmont entrance road.
May 02, 2014
Chimney Tops Trail Rehabilitation Continues
The Trails Forever Crew will begin the next phase of the ongoing trail rehabilitation of Chimney Tops Trail. The trail will be closed each Monday through Thursday beginning Monday, May 5 through Thursday, October 16, for the project.
April 28, 2014
Firefly Viewing Scheduled for June 4-11
Trolley service for synchronous firefly viewing will run from June 4-11 this year. Reservations can be made starting at 10:00 AM (Eastern Time) on April 30th.
March 20, 2014
Park Announces TEEA Conference in the Smokies
Educators are invited to attend the Tennessee Environmental Education Association (TEEA) annual conference to be held September 26-28, 2014 at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.
March 06, 2014
Park Offers Reward for Information on Historic Window Theft
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are offering a reward for information regarding the recent theft of an antique window from a historic cabin in the Elkmont Historic District.
March 03, 2014
Collections Preservation Center Construction Timeline Announced
Park officials were joined by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Senator Lamar Alexander on Monday, March 3, to announce a timeline for the construction of a 13,000 square-foot Collections Preservation Center in Townsend, TN.
March 03, 2014
Tourism to Park Creates $741 Million in Economic Benefit
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 9,685,829 visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2012 spent $741 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 10,959 jobs in the local area.
February 25, 2014
Park Seeks Volunteers Interested in Citizen Science
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking volunteers to help with an important research project, in an effort to better track nature’s calendar or phenology. Park rangers are recruiting volunteers willing to adopt a tree monitoring plot on the North Carolina side of the park.
February 19, 2014
Volunteers Needed to Staff Information Center at Clingmans Dome
Great Smoky Mountain National Park is recruiting volunteers to staff the Information Center at Clingmans Dome, from April 1 through November 30, 2014. The center sits at an elevation of 6,300 feet and is a source of information for the national park. Volunteers are needed to provide educational, recreational and trip planning information.
November 18, 2013
Park Responds to Elk Concerns
On October 20, 2013, a photographer in Cataloochee was approached by a young male elk while sitting alongside the road taking pictures. Photos and video of the encounter have been circulated widely.
November 14, 2013
How to Safely View Wildlife
Park officials remind park visitors to exercise caution as they view and photograph wildlife to best protect both the animals and themselves.
September 20, 2013
Smokies Signs Sister Park Arrangement with Thailand Park
National Park established its first Sister Park Arrangement with Khao Yai National Park in Thailand.
July 22, 2013
Local Teachers and Students Become Park Rangers
Great Smoky Mountains Park officials announce the completion of two unique summer programs engaging selected high school students and teachers as park rangers.
July 18, 2013
Local Teen Wins Expressions of Freedom National Art Competition
David Noland of Sevierville, TN received an Honorable Mention in the Expressions of Freedom National Art Competition sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation.
July 03, 2013
Chimney Tops Trail Bridge Repair Complete
Bridge repairs are complete. However, from July 8 through Oct. 17, the trail will be closed each Monday at 7:00 a.m. through Thursday at 5:30 p.m. for a trail rehabilitation project.
July 01, 2013
Visitors Urged to Exercise Caution Near Rivers
Water recreation is not recommended in the park due to numerous hazards and dangers. Weather forecasts for the Fourth of July holiday week include heavy rain and thunderstorms which can cause river levels to rise rapidly.
June 24, 2013
A Step Closer to Completing the “Missing Link”
Great Smoky Mountains National Park celebrated the completion of Bridge 2 on the Foothills Parkway near Wears Valley, TN with a ribbon cutting event on Monday, June 24.
June 14, 2013
Man Injured by Falling Tree on Low Gap Trail
Park Rangers are involved in a rescue of a 53 year old male who had been struck by a falling tree during the storm event on Thursday, June 13. The man was hiking along low Gap Trail when the storm hit around 4:00 pm and sustained multiple injuries.
June 06, 2013
David Rockefeller Sr. Visits the Park
On Friday, May 31, David Rockefeller, Sr., son of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., paid a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
May 21, 2013
Next Phase of Work on Newfound Gap Road Gets Underway
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that a project to repave 6.1 miles of Newfound Gap Road will begin in May.
May 09, 2013
Park Hosts World Heritage Fellow
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a World Heritage Fellow, Anoop K.R., Director of Keoladeo National Park in India and Deputy Conservator of Forests in the Bharatpur District of Rajasthan.
May 01, 2013
Park Releases New Species of Predatory Beetles to Combat Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Great Smoky Mountains National Park resource managers plan to release two new predatory beetle species to aid in control efforts to stop the spread of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), an invasive insect pest that has devastated hemlock forests throughout the eastern United States.
April 30, 2013
Park Reopens Trails Damaged in 2011 Tornado
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the reopening of two trails that have been closed since 2011 after receiving extensive damage from a F4 Tornado in the western end of the park.
April 11, 2013
Park Completes Sugarlands Visitor Center Renovations
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are pleased to invite the public to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Sugarlands Visitor Center to view the recent renovations to the main lobby and visitor contact area of the 50-year-old facility on Friday, April 12th at 10:00 am.
April 01, 2013
Park Announces Completion of Sugarlands Visitor Center Renovations
Park officials are pleased to invite the public to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Sugarlands Visitor Center to view the recent renovations to the main lobby and visitor contact area on Friday, April 12th at 10:00 am.
March 12, 2013
Park Spring Opening Schedule
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has altered the facility opening dates for many park facilities for the 2013 season. The delayed openings are a direct result of staffing and hiring limitations which impacted the Park’s ability to conduct preseason preparation work on its facilities. Because of the five percent budget reduction
March 04, 2013
Smokies Officials Announce New Way to Explore Your Park in NC
Officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in conjunction with the Friends of the Smokies and the Great Smoky Mountain Association are announcing an opportunity to immerse yourself in the national park. The program, Experience Your Smokies, is a unique opportunity to get to know the park and its employees in a whole new way.
February 26, 2013
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Tourism Creates $818 million in Local Economic Benefit
Gatlinburg, TN – A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that the 9,008,830 visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park spent $818 million in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported 11,732 jobs in the local area.
February 07, 2013
Park Offers Reward for Information on Vandalism
On January 31st, Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitors reported the defacement of natural stone features and masonry stone walls at the Sinks. The Sinks is a popular roadside waterfall located on Little River Road between Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area and the Townsend Wye. Vandals spray painted pictures and profanity along the walkways, stone walls, and natural rock throughout the area.
January 22, 2013
Park Announces Implementation of Backcountry Changes
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced today that changes to its current
backcountry reservation and permitting process will take effect on February 13, 2013. As reported last March, the National Park Service approved the park’s proposal to begin
collecting fees for use of the park’s backcountry campsites and shelters.
January 14, 2013
Park Reminds Visitors to Avoid Contact with Bats
The park has recently received numerous reports of unusual winter bat activity. Park biologists do not know the exact cause of this unusual bat activity, but urge all visitors to exercise caution as bats are known to carry diseases such as rabies.
December 06, 2012
CD of Old-Time Smokies Music Nominated for Grammy
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is pleased to announce that the CD,
Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music, produced by the Park’s nonprofit educational partner, Great Smoky Mountains Association, has been nominated for a Grammy Award.
December 02, 2012
Suspect Responsible for Vehicle Break-in Apprehended
Blount County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a LaFollette, TN man, Brian Ivey, age 38, who was suspected of breaking into a car parked at Chimney’s Tops Trailhead inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
November 30, 2012
Robbinsville High School selected for Park Stewards Youth Program
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, through Friends of the Smokies, is one of twenty national parks to be awarded grants as part of the 2012 Park Stewards program.
November 21, 2012
Park Confirms Emerald Ash Borer Infestation in Backcountry
Park Resource Managers recently confirmed the Smokies first backcountry emerald ash borer infestation.
November 02, 2012
Stranded Hiker Rescued from Backcountry
A stranded hiker was successfully airlifted from the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park this afternoon.
October 17, 2012
First Phase of Chimney Tops Trail Rehabilitation Completed
Officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have announced that the first phase of the rehabilitation of the popular Chimney Tops Trail, from the trailhead to the junction with the Road Prong Trail, has been completed.
July 07, 2012
Park Continues to Clear Storm-Damaged Areas
Two days after a violent thunderstorm ripped through the west end of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, killing two and injuring several others, crews are still assessing damage and clearing roads.
July 06, 2012
Storm Leaves Two Dead in Park
Two fatalities resulted from a severe thunderstorm on Thursday. Cades Cove and Abrams Creek Campgrounds are closed. Several roads also remain closed. For information regarding closures call 865-436-1200.
July 03, 2012
Family Hiking Programs
Get out into the park on a family-friendly hiking program!
June 15, 2012
Investigators Seek Person of Interest in Assault Case
National Park Service investigators are seeking to identify and question an individual who a local couple says meets the description of the June, 8th assault suspect.
June 15, 2012
Park Offers New Programs For Families
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be kicking off the summer with new programs designed specifically families.
June 12, 2012
Search Continues in Assault Case
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is continuing the search for a man wanted in connection with the June 8 assault of a woman on the park’s popular Gatlinburg Trail.
June 11, 2012
Investigation Continues in Assault Case - Reward Offered
On June 8, at 2:43 pm, a 44 year-old female was sexually assaulted on the Gatlinburg Trail. National Park Service Special Agents have worked with the victim and a forensic artist to create a sketch of the suspect.
June 07, 2012
Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Park
Officials recently confirmed the presence of
invasive emerald ash borer beetles in the park. Last week, beetles were discovered near Sugarlands Visitor Center and in the Greebrier area, on the Tennessee side of the park.
April 24, 2012
Smokies Announces Firefly Viewing Reservation Plan
Beginning in 2012, advance reservations will be required for the trolley to Elkmont to view synchronous fireflies. Updated January 23, 2013.
April 19, 2012
National Junior Ranger Day Programs
The sixth annual National Junior Ranger Day will be held on Saturday, April 28th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Special activities will take place at all three of the Park's visitor centers.
March 22, 2012
Smokies Announces Extensive Vista Clearing Project
Over the next few months a Park contractor will be reopening 34 of the most popular roadside vistas along the Park’s main roads. Park officials say that this will be the first major vista-clearing initiative in decades.
March 20, 2012
Great Smoky Mountains Confirms White-Nose Syndrome in Bats
Biologists at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have confirmed that both a tricolored and a little brown bat found in a park cave tested positive for white-nose syndrome (WNS).
March 07, 2012
Smokies Backcountry Camping Fee Approved
Great Smoky Mountains Superintendent Dale A. Ditmanson has announced that the Park’s proposal to begin collecting for the use of the Park’s backcountry campsites and shelters has been approved by the National Park Service.
February 29, 2012
New Visitor Center Wins High Marks for Green Design and Construction
The new Oconaluftee Visitor Center which opened last April has just received certification at the Gold Level under the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System.
January 26, 2012
Smokies Officials Announce New Way to Explore Your Park
Officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in conjunction with the Friends of the Smokies and the Great Smoky Mountain Association are announcing a new opportunity to experience the Smokies.
January 26, 2012
Great Smokies is Top Money Generating National Park Service Unit in 2010
According to a recently-released National Park Service (NPS) study, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not only the nation’s most visited national park, it also tops the 397 national park units in visitor spending.
December 15, 2011
Park Accepts Land Donation from Friends of the Smokies
Great Smoky Mountains National Park got an early Holiday gift on December 14, when the Friends of the Smokies officially transferred 20 acres of new land to be added to the Park.
October 27, 2011
Elk Environmental Assessment Approved
Superintendent Dale Ditmanson announced the approval of a Finding of No Significant Impact of the Environmental Assessment on a proposed plan for managing a permanent herd of elk in the Park.
August 05, 2011
Temporary Closure of Gunter Fork Trail
Gunter Fork Trail between the Camel Gap Trail and the Balsam Mountain Trail is closed until further notice due to three landslides.
August 01, 2011
Drowning At The Sinks
The second drowning in the park this summer occurred at the Sinks on Saturday, July 30th.
July 29, 2011
National Park Managers Consider Backcountry Camping Changes
Managers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are considering some changes in the process by which backpackers make reservations for overnight camping at the Park’s nearly 100 backcountry sites and shelters.
July 26, 2011
Firewood Restrictions to Include Neighboring Counties
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced that its current policy to prohibit the transportation of firewood from federal and state quarantined areas into the park has been tightened to include several neighboring counties in Tennessee. The affected areas are Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Knox, Loudon, and Union counties.
July 25, 2011
Park Makes DUI Arrests During Special Operations
In conjunction with a two-year DUI prevention program, Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently conducted special law enforcement operations on the Park’s roadways during a 2-week period that resulted in seven DUI arrests and issuance of 36 citations and 66 warnings of various nature.
July 12, 2011
Oconaluftee Old Time Music Jam Sessions
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is starting an acoustic old time jam session every third Saturday of the month starting July 16 at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
July 11, 2011
Drowning at Townsend Wye
A drowning victim was recovered from Great Smoky Mountains National Park today in a section of the Little River at the Townsend Wye, a popular day use area in Blount County.
June 22, 2011
DUI Enforcement Operations Planned
Rangers have announced plans to conduct sobriety checkpoints and ramp up traffic patrols, in conjunction with a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
May 19, 2011
Offenders Get Jail Time for Ginseng Poaching and Theft
On April 20th, three North Carolina men were convicted and sentenced in Federal Court in Bryson City, N.C., pursuant to two separate cases in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
May 17, 2011
Volunteers Needed to Assist in Trail Rehabilitation
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is currently recruiting for volunteers to assist a Trails Forever trail crew on reconstruction projects on the Forney Ridge Trail Friday-Monday from May 20th to October 16th.
May 05, 2011
Tornado Prompts Closure of Seven Park Trails
Officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the National Weather Service have determined that a severe EF 4 tornado swept across the northwestern corner of the Park last Wednesday causing extensive damage to seven park trails.
April 21, 2011
Great Smoky Mountains Opens Appalachian Clubhouse to Public Use
The park’s newly-restored Appalachian Clubhouse is now available for public day-use rental.
April 19, 2011
Oconaluftee Visitor Center Officially Dedicated
A crowd of over 200 people joined the staff and partners of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday, April 15, in dedicating the Park’s new 100% partner-funded Oconaluftee Visitor Center.
April 13, 2011
Smokies Announces DUI Enforcement “Wave”
Rangers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have announced plans to begin a series of DUI vehicle checkpoints and traffic patrols this weekend in an effort to provide a safer visit for the approximately 20 million people who drive through the Park or travel the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge Spur and Foothills Parkway each year.
April 12, 2011
Oconaluftee Visitor Center Dedication
Great Smoky Mountain National Park officials are inviting the public to the Grand Opening and Ribbon-cutting at the Park’s new 100% Partner-funded Oconaluftee Visitor Center just inside the Cherokee, NC entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The event will take place at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 15 about 1.5 miles north of Cherokee, NC along Newfound Gap Road.
March 02, 2011
Adopt-A-Trail and Campsite Volunteers Needed
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting for volunteers to participate in Adopt-A-Trail and Adopt-A-Campsite programs to help park staff maintain the resources in the backcountry for a better visitor experience and to reduce potential human/animal conflicts.
February 04, 2011
Cataloochee Campground Added To Reservation System
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced that the Cataloochee Campground in North Carolina will go live on Recreation.gov on February 9. Campers will be required to make advanced reservations to stay at the 27-site campground when it reopens for the season on March 11.
February 02, 2011
Smokies Road Status Now Available via Texts or Twitter
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced that Park visitors and local travelers may now sign-up to receive status updates about the Park’s most frequently used roads via text message or the Internet.
January 26, 2011
Smokies Visitation for 2010
During a year of weather extremes, landslides, and major construction projects, Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitation in Calendar Year 2010 pulled through to match 2009 levels. Visitation through the Park’s three main entrances and outlying areas in 2010 was 9,463,538, just slightly below 2009, the Park’s 75th anniversary year which reported 9,491,436 visits.
January 19, 2011
New Video Concerning Threat to Smokies Bats
Bats play a significant role in the natural world and this biological function is being threatened by a disease that has already killed off millions of bats in the northeast United States. A new video recently released by Great Smoky Mountains National Park describes the potential threat of the often fatal disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) to the park's bat populations.
November 22, 2010
National Park Receives 7 Hybrid Vehicles through North Carolina Department of Transportation Pollution-reduction Grant
The park recently received seven Ford Escape Hybrid vehicles that were purchased using a $197,550 grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program.
October 26, 2010
Advance Reservations Now Required for Cataloochee Campground
When Cataloochee Campground reopens for the season next March 11, campers will be required to have advance reservations.
September 23, 2010
Park's DUI Enforcement Sweeps Result in 13 Arrests
A series of Great Smoky Mountains National Park DUI enforcement actions over the past three weeks resulted in 13 arrests – 10 for DUI and three for Public Intoxication.
September 01, 2010
New Video Emphasizes Water Safety
The last of a three-part series of hiking safety podcasts for Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now available for viewing. Water Safety and Day Hiking is part of the recently launched program “Reward Yourself - Hike the Smokies Challenge”.
August 24, 2010
Environmental Assessment of Long-term Elk Management Released
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is soliciting public comment on the Park’s plans to transition the Park’s management of its elk herd from an experiment to a long-term management strategy. Under provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) the public has 30 days to provide comments before the National Park Service can make a decision.
July 08, 2010
Park Issues Finding of No Significant Impact from Planned Improvements to Tremont
The National Park Service (NPS) has completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) of its Development Concept Plan which outlines plans to make improvements to the Park-owned facilities which house the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. The EA resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on the Park’s natural or cultural resources from the proposed improvements.
June 30, 2010
New Video Podcast Emphasizes Bear Safety
A new video podcast, Day Hiking and Wildlife, associated with the recently launched program “Reward Yourself - Hike the Smokies Challenge”, is now available for viewing.
June 28, 2010
Park Issues Finding of No Significant Impact for Planned Newfound Gap Road Reconstruction
The National Park Service has completed an Environmental Assessment of the planned rehabilitation of 14.5 miles of Newfound Gap Road from the park’s entrance at Gatlinburg, TN, to the TN/NC state line at Newfound Gap.
April 20, 2010
Smokies Approved for Additional American Recovery and Reinvestment Projects
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is starting four American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects to improve hiker parking areas and resurface two roads in the Park. The $12.2 million for these projects brings total Recovery Act funding for the Smokies to $77.5 million.
April 19, 2010
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Bat Tests Positive for White Nose Syndrome Fungus
Biologists at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have received confirmation that one Little Brown bat collected from its hibernating refuge in the Park’s White Oak Blowhole cave tested positive for the fungus that is the presumptive causative agent of White Nose Syndrome.
February 19, 2010
Environmental Assessment Available for White Oak Road
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced the release of the White Oak Road Environmental Assessment. The assessment analyzes a proposal to issue a right-of-way (ROW) permit to North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT) to allow widening of White Oak Road (State Rd. 1338) in Haywood County, NC, where the road crosses National Park Service property near I-40 at the Fines Creek exit.
February 06, 2010
Secretary Salazar Announces Settlement on North Shore Road
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today that a settlement has been reached in a dispute begun in 1943 over a proposed 34-mile stretch of road through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Under the terms of the agreement signed today by the Department of the Interior, Swain County, North Carolina, and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Department of the Interior will pay up to $52 million into a trust fund established for the County.
January 16, 2010
Smokies Awards $24.7 Million Contract for Next Phase of Foothills Parkway
Officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have announced that the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division has awarded a contract to Bell & Associates Highway Construction of Brentwood, TN to design and construct the next section of the uncompleted Foothills Parkway.
January 05, 2010
Smokies Lab Wins High Marks for Green Design and Construction
The Twin Creeks Science and Education Center at Great Smoky Mountains National Park has just received certification at the Gold Level under the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System.
November 19, 2009
Suspect Apprehended in Smokies Elk Poaching
Charges are pending against a Granville County, North Carolina man who is a suspected of shooting a bull elk inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
November 02, 2009
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act News Release
Next spring and early summer managers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park expect to make over $44 million worth of major improvements to 56 miles of park roads, a campground and a popular trailhead parking area. Funding for the projects has become available from a combination of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act along with previously-authorized Federal Lands Highway Program funds.
October 13, 2009
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fire Management Plan
Superintendent Dale Ditmanson has announced the release of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fire Management Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Fire Management Plan. The EA addresses the proposal by the National Park Service (NPS) to update, develop and implement a Fire Management Plan (FMP) for Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Park or GRSM).
September 10, 2009
US Mint Selects Great Smokies for New Quarter Design
The United States Mint announced recently that the nation will honor Great Smoky Mountains National Park through its new quarter-dollar coin program. The Smokies design, yet to be selected, will be the 21st to be featured on coins minted under the America the Beautiful Quarters program, and will be issued in 2014.
May 26, 2009
Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Receive $64 Million of Stimulus Money
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent, Dale Ditmanson, has received word that the nation’s most visited national park is slated to receive $64,006,150 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The bulk of the money is targeted towards road work, but the Park’s trails, cemeteries, public restrooms, and other buildings will also be improved.
May 08, 2009
Final Environmental Impact Statement and General Management Plan Amendment on Elkmont
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced that the Notice of Availability of the Elkmont Historic District Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and General Management Plan Amendment was published on May 1 in the Federal Register.
April 27, 2009
Newfound Gap Road Designated As Scenic Byway
The Newfound Gap Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park has recently received State Scenic Byway designation by both the States of North Carolina and Tennessee. Newfound Gap Road (US 441), stretching 34 miles between Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC, is a principle roadway that completely transverses the park leading to the highest elevations.
April 03, 2009
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Closes All Park Caves to Protect Bats
In response to a growing concern about a new malady that has killed an estimated 400,000 bats in the Northeast, managers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have closed all of its caves to public entry until further notice.
March 11, 2009
Repaving Work to Begin on Newfound Gap Road
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Dale A. Ditmanson has announced that an 18 month-long project to repave 6.5 miles of the Park’s Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) is set to begin on March 16.
February 11, 2009
Ginseng Poachers Receive Jail Time
On January 22, 2009, two North Carolina men were convicted and sentenced in Federal Court in Bryson City, NC, one for illegally digging American ginseng and both for a failure to obey a lawful order given by a U.S. Park Ranger in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Jeremy Farmer, 24, of Canton, NC and Larry Johnson, 46, of Clyde, NC were both found guilty, fined and sentenced to jail terms.
June 26, 2008
Toyota's Million Dollar Donation Enhances Environmental Education
Toyota and Great Smoky Mountains National Park have partnered to foster environmental education through Toyota’s contribution of $1 million and three hybrid vehicles to America’s most visited national park.
June 24, 2008
Smokies Rolls Out Two Zero-Emission Vehicles
Park operations in Deep Creek Campground and at Cataloochee Valley in North Carolina got a little cleaner and a little quieter this month with the addition of two new donated electric vehicles.
June 17, 2008
Smokies Launches Global Climate Educational Initiative
Great Smoky Mountains National Park launched a new "Do Your Part!" initiative aimed at educating visitors about measures that they can take, in the park and at home, to reduce their contributions to global warming.
June 04, 2008
Smokies Begins Sampling for Emerald Ash Borer Beetles
Visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have begun asking about some strange-looking bright purple triangular objects hanging in trees near the park’s campgrounds and picnic areas. They may resemble Japanese lanterns, but these are actually beetle traps the park is using to detect the arrival of a new, non-native insect pest, the emerald ash borer.
June 28, 2007
Park Issues Decision Following Brook Trout Assessment
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson announced today the approval of the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) signaling completion of the Final Environmental Assessment for Opening of the Brook Trout Fishery for Recreational Use. The FONSI was signed on June 11, 2007, and culminates nearly a year of planning in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.