November 30, 2016
Chimney Tops 2 Fire Update
Chimney Tops 2 Fire is currently burning in brush, hardwood slash, and leaf litter. Fire crews are working to assess fire damage and coordinate with local resources to provide structure protection.
November 29, 2016
Park Facilities are Closed Due to Fires
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed all facilities in the park due to the extensive fire activity, and downed trees. Park Headquarters is currently without power and phone services.
November 29, 2016
Gatlinburg Area Fire Update
Sevier County, City of Gatlinburg, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have reported widespread fire damage and continued fire activity throughout the Gatlinburg area and much of Sevier County including Wears Valley, Pigeon Forge, and Jones Cove.
November 14, 2016
Park Invites Public Comment on Mt. Sterling Solar Project
Park officials invite the public to comment on a proposed sustainable energy project through December 13, 2016. Duke Energy has proposed installing an array of solar panels, coupled with a zinc-air battery, to power critical park communications equipment located atop the remote Mt. Sterling in the Haywood County area of the park.
June 29, 2016
Park Extends Comment Period for Campground Fee Proposal
The park will continue accepting comments through July 12, 2016 and the comment process has been amended to allow anonymous comments
May 26, 2016
Park Proposes Frontcountry Camping Fee Increase
The park invites public comments for a proposed frontcountry campground fee increase.
January 20, 2016
Park Visitor Centers and Headquarters Closed Today Due to Inclement Weather
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed all park facilities today, January 20, due to impending inclement weather moving through our area today. Sugarlands Visitor Center, Oconaluftee Visitor Center, and all administrative offices including Park Headquarters are closed.
January 15, 2016
Temporary Lane and Bridge Closure on Northbound Spur
Park officials announced the temporary, daytime closure of the Legion Field Bridge near the Gatlinburg Welcome Center for northbound traffic on January 25-27.
January 14, 2016
Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial and “Hike 100”
In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial, Superintendent Cassius Cash has committed to hike 100 miles in Great Smoky Mountains National Park during 2016 and is challenging the public to do the same.
January 08, 2016
National Park Service Invites Proposals to Operate the Smokemont Riding Stable Concession
The National Park Service has issued a prospectus seeking proposals for the award of a concession contract to operate Smokemont Riding Stables within Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
December 14, 2015
Park Hosts Holiday Homecoming at Oconaluftee Visitor Center
The park will host a Holiday Homecoming at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center on Saturday, December 19, 2015. Park staff and volunteers will provide hands-on traditional crafts and activities from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
December 04, 2015
40th Annual Festival of Christmas Past
The 40th annual Festival of Christmas Past celebration will be held on Saturday, December 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Sugarlands Visitor Center.
November 23, 2015
Park Offers Black Friday Hiking Options
Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites visitors to join them for ranger-led hikes in the park on Friday, November 27. Hikes will be offered in Cataloochee, Elkmont, and Cades Cove and will provide an outstanding opportunity for people of all ages to #OptOutside and enjoy the park.
November 20, 2015
Prescribed Burn in Cataloochee to Begin Saturday
Weather permitting, burn operations will begin on Saturday, November 21. Crews should be able to complete the burn on Saturday, but smoke may be present in the area through Sunday.
October 23, 2015
Park Celebrates Bat Week
Join us from October 25-31, to learn about the important role bats play in our ecosystem. You're invited to visit bat information stations at Oconaluftee Visitor Center in North Carolina and Sugarlands Visitor Center in Tennessee from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 30.
October 23, 2015
Park Asks Visitors to View Bears Responsibly
Park wildlife biologists remind the public not to approach bears feeding on natural foods during this critical feeding period before winter hibernation. Bears depend on fall foods such as acorns and grapes to store fat reserves that enable them to survive winter. This year, these foods in the park are extremely rare leading bears to move long distances in search of food.
October 22, 2015
National Park Records Highest September Visitation in History
Visitation to the park is up 5.5 percent this year. The increase has led to record months for both May and September, with visitation surpassing 1 million people during each month.
October 19, 2015
Park Plans Prescribed Burns in Cades Cove
The park is planning a series of controlled burns within the Cades Cove area of the park. Weather permitting, burn operations could begin as early as Monday, October 26, and may continue intermittently through mid-November.
October 19, 2015
Park Plans Prescribed Burn in Cataloochee
The park is planning a 600-acre prescribed burn in the Canadian Top project area adjacent to Cataloochee Valley in North Carolina. Weather permitting, burn operations could begin as early as Monday, October 26, and may continue intermittently through early November.
October 15, 2015
Park Hosts Birds of Prey at Oconaluftee Visitor Center
A special birds of prey program will be presented by Doris Mager on Sunday, October 25 at 10:00 a.m. on the porch of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.
September 11, 2015
Park Closes Whiteoak Sink Area to Protect Declining Bat Populations
Park officials announced the closure of the Whiteoak Sink area effective now through March 31, 2016 to limit human disturbance to bat hibernacula and help hikers avoid interactions with bats.
September 02, 2015
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Welcomes 4th Grade Students through Every Kid in a Park Initiative
The park invites all 4th grade students to visit the park as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program.
August 26, 2015
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Battles Graffiti
Park rangers remind visitors that graffiti not only detracts from the natural beauty of the park, but can also permanently damage irreplaceable resources.
June 07, 2015
Park Closes Several Trails and Backcountry Sites Due to Bear Incident
Park officials have closed several trails and backcountry campsites in the Hazel Creek section of the park due to a bear incident.
June 03, 2015
Chilogatee Stream Restoration Project in Park Complete
A restoration project of a 4,613-foot section of Chilogatee Branch and four of its tributaries totaling 744 feet within the park has been completed. The streams had been degraded by clearing of riparian forest, channel relocations, and unrestricted livestock access prior to the property's inclusion in the park.
April 24, 2015
Park Announces Synchronous Firefly Viewing Event Dates
Park officials have announced the dates for the firefly viewing event in Elkmont will be Tuesday, June 2 through Tuesday, June 9.
April 23, 2015
Tourism to Great Smoky Mountains National Park creates $806 Million in Economic Benefit
A new National Park Service report shows that 10,099,276 visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2014 spent $806,719,900 in communities near the park. That spending supported 12,759 jobs in the local area.
April 02, 2015
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Joins National Find Your Park Movement
Great Smoky Mountains National Park joins parks, programs and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at FindYourPark.com. Launched Monday by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, Find Your Park is a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for its second century of service.
April 02, 2015
Volunteers Needed to Assist in Alum Cave Trail Rehabilitation
The park is recruiting volunteers to assist a Trails Forever trail crew on rehabilitation projects on the Alum Cave Trail every Wednesday from May 20th through October 28th.
March 27, 2015
Next Phase of Work on Newfound Gap Road Begins in April
Park officials announced that a project to repave 4.3 miles of Newfound Gap Road will begin on April 13. The section to be resurfaced extends from Sugarlands Visitor Center south to Chimney’s Picnic Area where the last phase ended.
March 06, 2015
All Streams in the Smokies Now Open to Fishing
Lynn Camp Prong is open to fishing effective March 6, 2015 following a seven-year brook trout restoration project. The reopening of the 8.5 mile-stream sections marks the first time, since the park’s establishment in 1934, that all streams in the park are open to fishing.
January 22, 2015
Park Completes Comprehensive Stream Mapping Project
Great Smoky Mountains National Park geographic information system specialists and scientists in collaboration with scientists from Tennessee, North Carolina, and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), completed a three-year stream mapping project. Park scientists used a combination of aircraft-mounted scanners and a Global Positioning System verification system to re-inventory streams throughout the park.
January 09, 2015
Over Ten Million visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2014
Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomed over ten million visitors in 2014 for just the fourth time in 80 years, and the first time since 2000. In 2014, 10,099,275 visitors enjoyed the national park, an 8% increase over 2013. The numbers were spurred by strong July and August visitation as well as the highest October visitation in 27 years.
January 06, 2015
Park Changes Firewood Regulations to Protect Forests
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced regulation changes that will help protect park forests by limiting the type of firewood brought into the park. Beginning in March 2015, only heat-treated firewood that is bundled and displays a certification stamp by the USDA or a state department of agriculture will be allowed for use in park campgrounds.
December 29, 2014
National Park Service Invites Proposals to Operate the Cades Cove Riding Stable Concession in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The National Park Service (NPS) Southeast Regional Office has issued a prospectus seeking proposals from individuals or businesses interested in competing for a 10-year concession contract to provide guided horseback rides and related services at the Cades Cove Riding Stable in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The new concession contract is expected to begin on January 1, 2016.
December 12, 2014
Chilogate Stream Restoration Underway near Foothills Parkway
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that work has begun through the Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program to restore the lower 5,000 feet of Chilogate Creek near the Foothills Parkway and the confluence with Chilhowee Lake. The restoration work will return the stream to its original meandering path which will both enhance riparian wetland habitat as well as reducing the risk of undercutting by the current stream alignment along Happy Valley Road and the Ft. Loudon Utility lines.
December 08, 2014
Park Plans Alum Cave Trail Restoration
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that the next full-scale, Trails Forever restoration will begin on Alum Cave Trail in 2015. The Trails Forever crew will focus restoration efforts on several targeted locations along the 5-mile trail to improve visitor safety and stabilize eroding trail sections. The restoration work will require temporary trail closures throughout the 2-year process.
December 04, 2014
Cassius Cash Named Superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
ATLANTA -- National Park Service Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin named Cassius Cash, a native of Memphis, Tenn., as the new superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cash, currently superintendent for Boston National Historical Park and Boston African American National Historic Site, will assume his new post in February.
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.
November 13, 2014
Collections Preservation Center Groundbreaking
National Park Service (NPS) officials were joined by representatives from Senator Bob Corker’s office, Representative John Duncan’s office, Friends of the Smokies, Great Smoky Mountains Association, Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, and AMEC Environment & Infrastructure Inc. to break ground on the new NPS Collections Preservation Center.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 01, 2013
Park 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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
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 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).
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.
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.