April 26, 2013
Park Offers Mountains-to-Sea Trail Hike and Presentation
Join us for an opportunity to learn about the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) on Saturday, May 4 with a 2-hour hike on a section of the MST and a talk about the trail.
April 19, 2013
National Junior Ranger Day on April 27
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will celebrate the seventh annual National Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with special activities at all three of the Park’s visitor centers.
April 10, 2013
Park Volunteers Needed for Roving
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to assist park visitors in areas surrounding the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.
April 09, 2013
Prescribed Burn Near Wears Valley
Due to forecasted high wind gusts tonight and tomorrow, the prescribed burn at Wear Cove Gap is cancelled today.
February 14, 2013
Clingmans Dome Road to Open
Clingmans Dome Road, a popular high elevation visitor destination, will open to traffic as weather conditions allow as early as February 15.
January 02, 2013
Park Announces Renovations to Sugarlands Visitor Center
Sugarlands Visitor Center will remain open to the public as it receives much needed renovations January 7 – March 31, 2013.
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 05, 2012
"Women's Work" Event
On Saturday, June 16, a park event at the Mountain Farm Museum will pay tribute to the rural women of the past through demonstration of traditional women's work.
June 05, 2012
Temporary Closure of Rich Mountain Road
Rich Mountain Road in Cades Cove will be closed June 11 and 12 for vista clearing work.
May 30, 2012
Firefly Viewing Affected by Warm Temperatures
Due to the unseasonably warm spring, the synchronized fireflies found in Elkmont at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are displaying earlier than ever recorded.
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
Temporary Closure of Chimney Tops Trail
This Press Release is no longer relevant.
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.
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.