• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Trail Advisory

    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

News Releases


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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.

August 22, 2014
National Park Service Celebrates 98th Birthday!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park will celebrate the 98th birthday of the National Park Service on Monday, August 25. Park visitors are encouraged to participate in one of the many ranger-led programs at park visitor centers or enjoy exploring the park along a scenic roadway, trail, or river.

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 30, 2014
Park Proposes Firewood Changes
Park officials are proposing changes that will help protect park forests by limiting the type of firewood brought into the park.

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
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.

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 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.

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.

June 12, 2012
Historic Spence Cabin Open for Public Use
Spence Cabin in the Elkmont Historic District has been restored to its historic apperance and is available for day-use rental.

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.

December 03, 2010
Contract Awarded to Continue Construction of Foothills Parkway
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced the award of a $33.8 million contract to continue construction on the “Missing Link” of the Foothills Parkway


Information about park management issues such as Cades Cove Planning, the Elkmont Historic District, etc.

Did You Know?

Fontana Lake is formed by Fontana Dam.

At 480 feet, Fontana Dam, located on the southwestern boundary of the park, is the tallest concrete dam east of the Rocky Mountains. The dam impounds the Little Tennessee River forming Fontana Lake and produces hydroelectric power. More...