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hiking

The final Classic Hike of 2018 follows the beautiful water of Kephart Prong to Kephart Prong Shelter. Read more

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Numerous versions of the story exist, but they all seem to possess a common thread. That a mother, perhaps named Molly, and a child escaped Indian captivity and when other settlers found them, the child proclaimed in a feeble voice, “Hungry, Mother.” Read more

Mountain Explorer

With more than 11 million people visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year, mishaps are bound to happen. Read more

Mountain Explorer

The North Carolina park system began in 1916 when the summit of Mount Mitchell - the tallest peak east of the Rockies - became first state park in the Southeastern United States. Read more

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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. Read 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. Read more

Blog

Tim Line saw many scary, strange and remarkable things during his 40-odd years at LeConte Lodge. Read more

Good Reads 3 Comments

Big South Fork: A Land of Gorges and Arches

NPS Photo/Bill Fultz

You hike through a forest on a rolling plateau. It’s pleasantly cool in the summer with the tree canopy above. After a while, you scan the landscape and perceive an openness through the forest ahead—it can give a queasy feeling of an upcoming void. Read more

Features

The towering Balsam Mountain Range stretches from south of the park to the Great Smokies’ crest at Tricorner Knob. Read more

Mountain Explorer

Big South Fork: Adventure Awaits

kentuckytourism.com

Straddling both Tennessee and Kentucky, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area provides visitors access to 125,000 acres with natural arches, waterfalls and a host of outdoor activities like camping, horseback riding and paddling. Read more

Features

Maybe it’s just me. Do others raised in these mountains forget what trails they’ve hiked? Do you lose track of which parts of these beautiful ridges you’ve seen up close and personal? Read more

Blog

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. Read more

Blog

Cheers

Jon D. Bowman photo

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

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

Blog

Photo Essay, August 2018

Carla Passmore

Blog

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

Blog

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

Blog

Heavy rains from subtropical storm Alberto caused a portion of the road leading into the park and a retaining wall on the upper parking lot to collapse. Read more

Blog

Carol and Jim Steiner say they understand that the idea of a jaunt on the Appalachian Trail can intimidate some would-be hikers. After all, the AT is about 2,181 miles long, known as the longest continuously marked footpath in the world. Read more

Features

Describing the weather in the Great Smoky Mountains as unpredictable is not engaging in hyperbole. Most any time of year, weather shifts in the Smokies can be sudden and dramatic. Read more

Mountain Explorer

Alone in the woods

Holly Kays photo

There’s always that moment of no return: the instant you are forced to admit that whatever foolhardy plan you’ve been batting around, there’s no longer any option to back out. Read more

, Mountain Explorer

  • alum_cave.jpg

    Bob Carr photo

    Alum Cave Bluffs.

  • View from Pinnacle Park

    Nick Breedlove photo

    View from Pinnacle Park

    Nick Breedlove wrote about his favorite hike—to the summit of Pinnacle Park in Sylva, North Carolina—in the October/November 2016 issue.