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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fall Stairs by Sam Hobbs.jpg

Sam Hobbs

A steep climb over a rocky trail leads to a switchback, and the trail then follows along the side of Sugarland Mountain. more

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Biologists estimate there are more than 1,500 black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for a population density of about two bear per square mile. more

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Get out on foot

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

All proceeds support Trails Forever, a partnership between Friends of the Smokies and the National Park Service. more

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Cheers

Jon D. Bowman photo

Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this vibrant city is a scenic spot to explore alone. more

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The only North Carolina State Park still closed in the western region is Grandfather Mountain. more

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Photo Essay, August 2018

Carla Passmore

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All campgrounds on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina are under a mandatory evacuation order. more

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has issued safety reminders for Elk Breeding season, also known as the rut. The season lasts from September 1 through October 31. more

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The September 11 hike is a fundraiser for Trails Forever, a partnership between Friends of the Smokies and the National Park Service. more

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Share with us your favorite smells, sounds or sights of Spring. more

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Christine Hoyer has always loved the outdoors and backcountry exploration. After a first career in research psychology, she decided it was time for a change and quit to volunteer on the Appalachian Trial. more

Mountain Explorer

small smokies hike Clingmans Dome  Bruce McCamish.jpeg

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In 2017, contractors began repairing deteriorated areas on the tower’s concrete columns and walls, stabilized support walls at the base of the ramp, and repaired stone masonry. more

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Programs highlight activities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park more

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small smokies hike Clingmans Dome  Bruce McCamish.jpeg

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Escape the summer heat on the high ridges with a guided hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. more

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A Year of Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park more

Mountain Explorer

Author Robert Beatty introduced a generation of readers to Asheville’s Biltmore Estate, the setting for his wildly popular Serafina novels. Now, he’s shining a similar light on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. more

Good Reads

Firefly talk

Radim Schreiber photo

A Great Smoky Mountains National Park entomologist since 1997, Becky Nichols knows a lot about the park’s nearly 10,000 insect species, but perhaps the most celebrated of the six-legged creatures is the synchronous firefly. more

Mountain Explorer

Birding in the Great Smoky Mountains

Mike Blevins photo

I was a real hotshot (in my own mind!) when I started birdwatching over 30 years ago. I took vacations to look at birds; pointed out species ad nauseam to friends and family; and became laser focused on my life list count. more

Mountain Explorer