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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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Like many cities in the southeast, Lexington, Kentucky, has a seen a rebirth over the last decade. Withering metro areas following the economic collapse, these spots have become culinary, artistic and musical capitals of their respective states. more

Outposts

Iconic Parkway bridge needs maintenance, repaving. more

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One hundred years ago, the prime mode of transportation from the Great Smoky Mountains to the big cities was a steam locomotive. Today, riding historical and tourist lines in the area is a connection to that past. more

Features

It's All Downhill

Jon Ostendorff photo

The entwined story of people and caves is still unfolding today. A lasting legacy of caves-turned-tourist-attractions have left an indelible mark on small mountain communities. more

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An astronomical number of visitors will descend on the Smoky Mountains for the Great American Eclipse—an out-of-this-world, thank-your-lucky-star, universally spectacular event. more

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Classic spread

NPS photo

In my family, as in many others, your birthday means you get to decide what’s for dinner—the midday and main meal of the day. more

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Picnic time

NPS photo

For the Garland family of Maryville, Tennessee, summer Sundays in the late 1950s and early 1960s meant picnic-time in the Smokies. more

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The downtown, arts and crafts community, and many other places, suffered no damage from the 2016 forest fires. more

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Perfect storm

Don Hendershot

A confluence of events that came together in the Southern Appalachians in the fall of 2016, which precipitated this unprecedented fire season: Decades of fuel buildup, drought, warm temperatures, low humidity, wind and then ignition. more

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Clingmans secret tunnel

Deb Campbell

Hikers, outdoorsmen, photographers, and locals reveal their favorite treasures of “the back of beyond”—from secluded trails and fishing streams to quiet overlooks and picnic spots. more

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Being careful about the where and when of choosing a hike in the Smokies is nothing new to Terry Maddox, who recently retired from 26 years as executive director of the Great Smoky Mountains Association. more

Mountain Explorer

Southern Appalachia: 50 Events That Put Us On The Map

Illustration by Ali Douglass

From the conquistadors and colonists of centuries past to the Appalachian Trail backpackers and smartphone-toting tourists of today, travelers have always been drawn to Southern Appalachia’s dramatic geography. more

Features

When I was 11, a family road trip brought me to North Carolina’s Sapphire Valley. One afternoon, while panning for gems at one of the area’s tourist mines, I spotted a crystalline rock about the size of a thumbnail. more

Blog

Parkway view

Photo courtesy of the Blue Ridge Parkway • Travis Bumgardner photo illustration

Of all the factors that led to the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, postcards that depicted the beauty and grandeur of the Southern Appalachians may be the most overlooked. more

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Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center

Jeff Greenberg photo

It’s the most visited national park unit in the U.S. with more than 17 million annual visitors riding along the 469-mile ribbon of roadway that snakes through Virginia and North Carolina. It’s also one of the most loved. more

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