• 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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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.

October 02, 2014
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail Closes for Bridge Replacement
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail will close for the season on the evening of October 31, 2014 and will remain closed until April 30, 2015 to replace eight bridges along the 5.5-mile, one-way roadway. The road will be closed to all public use including hiking and biking.

September 25, 2014
Park Closes Area Near Caves to Protect Declining Bat Populations
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the closure of the Whiteoak Sink area effective now through March 31 to limit human disturbance to bat hibernacula and help hikers avoid interactions with bats.

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 20, 2014
Smokies Rangers Provide Training for SE Asia Park Staff
Park rangers are helping to provide training this week for 10 park officials from Cambodia and Thailand.

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 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.

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.

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 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 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...