Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park The official page of Great Smoky Mountains National Park: America's most visited national park! Welcome to Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s official page.

We hope this will be a place where people feel comfortable sharing information and experiences about Great Smoky Mountains National Park with one another. While this is an open forum, it is also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and wall posts clean. Please be considerate of other’s opinions. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines

We hope this will be a place where people feel comfortable sharing information and experiences about Great Smoky Mountains National Park with one another. While this is an open forum, it is also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and wall posts clean. Please be considerate of other’s opinions. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines

One must have a mind of winterTo regard the frost and the boughsOf the pine-trees crusted with snow;And have been cold a...
12/26/2021

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

- Wallace Stevens, "The Snow Man"

What are some of your favorite wintertime poems?

Photo by Tony Wayman

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

- Wallace Stevens, "The Snow Man"

What are some of your favorite wintertime poems?

Photo by Tony Wayman

With mountainous views surrounding Newfound Gap, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a speech in front of a cheering cr...
12/21/2021

With mountainous views surrounding Newfound Gap, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a speech in front of a cheering crowd to dedicate Great Smoky Mountains National Park in September of 1940. Today, over 13 million visitors come to the park annually. What experiences have you been able to have in this park because of this momentous day? How have the decisions of people before you impacted the world you live in today? Take a moment to appreciate what has been created for you to enjoy and do what you can to ensure it remains for future generations to experience in their lifetime.

Photos courtesy of Kaili Schroeder

The Merlin, Falco columbarius, is one of three species of falcons that may be spotted in the Smokies. Much like its larg...
12/19/2021

The Merlin, Falco columbarius, is one of three species of falcons that may be spotted in the Smokies. Much like its larger cousin, the Peregrine falcon, the Merlin feeds mainly on small birds, preferring Horned Larks, Sandpipers, Waxwings, and other shorebirds. While courting, male Merlins display spectacular U-shaped dives, circles, and figure-eights to attract a mate.
Spotting a Merlin is rare, and their migration and range are rather unpredictable; they can be spotted almost anywhere in North America. The use of DDT and other harmful chemicals in the mid-20th century led to a widespread decline in Merlins and other falcons, but populations have been steadily increasing to a healthy level since pesticide banning in the seventies. In addition, Merlins have adapted to live closer to towns and cities, where they find an abundance of House Sparrows to eat and old crow nests to inhabit. In the park, look for this boreal species perched high on branches overlooking grassy fields, such as Cades Cove, or along forest treelines near running water.

Photo by Warren Bielenberg

The Merlin, Falco columbarius, is one of three species of falcons that may be spotted in the Smokies. Much like its larger cousin, the Peregrine falcon, the Merlin feeds mainly on small birds, preferring Horned Larks, Sandpipers, Waxwings, and other shorebirds. While courting, male Merlins display spectacular U-shaped dives, circles, and figure-eights to attract a mate.
Spotting a Merlin is rare, and their migration and range are rather unpredictable; they can be spotted almost anywhere in North America. The use of DDT and other harmful chemicals in the mid-20th century led to a widespread decline in Merlins and other falcons, but populations have been steadily increasing to a healthy level since pesticide banning in the seventies. In addition, Merlins have adapted to live closer to towns and cities, where they find an abundance of House Sparrows to eat and old crow nests to inhabit. In the park, look for this boreal species perched high on branches overlooking grassy fields, such as Cades Cove, or along forest treelines near running water.

Photo by Warren Bielenberg

Seeing big trees is often on the to-do list of visitors to the Smokies, and the park doesn’t disappoint!  With nearly a ...
12/15/2021

Seeing big trees is often on the to-do list of visitors to the Smokies, and the park doesn’t disappoint! With nearly a quarter of the park never having been logged, there are ample opportunities for visitors to walk amongst the giants. If seeing big trees is on your list, ask a ranger to point you towards the giants of the park. Remember to plan ahead and research trail distances and elevation changes before hiking, as some of these trails can be challenging. Hike smart and be prepared!

NPS Photo

Seeing big trees is often on the to-do list of visitors to the Smokies, and the park doesn’t disappoint! With nearly a quarter of the park never having been logged, there are ample opportunities for visitors to walk amongst the giants. If seeing big trees is on your list, ask a ranger to point you towards the giants of the park. Remember to plan ahead and research trail distances and elevation changes before hiking, as some of these trails can be challenging. Hike smart and be prepared!

NPS Photo

Daisytown, located near the Elkmont Campground, is a collection of summer homes from the 1920s and 30s. Unlike a traditi...
12/14/2021

Daisytown, located near the Elkmont Campground, is a collection of summer homes from the 1920s and 30s. Unlike a traditional ghost town, these houses were not abandoned after an industrial crash. They were owned by affluent residents of Knoxville who came to the mountains to get away for the summer.

There was a total of 88 buildings in the area, 18 of which have been preserved by the park service. Visitors can walk down what used to be a set of railroad tracks which brought vacationers in from the city and enter homes which have been restored to their former rustic glory. The experience provides a direct link for the tourists of today to tourists a hundred years ago, both brought here by the majesty of the Smoky Mountains.

Photo Credit: Kesia Lee

Many may recognize the Civilian Conservation Corps as the labor-intensive Depression-era relief program that helped cons...
12/12/2021

Many may recognize the Civilian Conservation Corps as the labor-intensive Depression-era relief program that helped construct hiking trails and infrastructure for state and national parks across the country. Did you know the CCC also supported artistic pursuits?
From 1934 to 1937, the CCC Art Project was implemented by the Treasury Department, employing some 300 artists nationwide to “secure a pictorial record of the life and achievements of these camps”. Here in the Smokies, artists were slated to capture pen and
ink drawings of Appalachian nature and landscape to inspire interpretive material in the early years of the park. Featured above are works from two artists that resided here; J.D. Chaffin and Irving Fromer. Their contributions and others helped showcase and
praise both the work done by CCC conservationists and the natural beauty that surrounds us in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Drawings courtesy of the Collections Preservation Center in Townsend

Stuck indoors this winter? Smokieees@Home allows “kids” of all ages to explore the natural wonders of the park through v...
12/09/2021

Stuck indoors this winter? [email protected] allows “kids” of all ages to explore the natural wonders of the park through virtual adventures…while still in their PJs and #ParkedAtHome!
Support for Smokiees.org provided by our partners: Friends of the Smokies; Discover Life in America, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont; Great Smoky Mountains Association
Photo by Smokieees.org

Stuck indoors this winter? [email protected] allows “kids” of all ages to explore the natural wonders of the park through virtual adventures…while still in their PJs and #ParkedAtHome!
Support for Smokiees.org provided by our partners: Friends of the Smokies; Discover Life in America, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont; Great Smoky Mountains Association
Photo by Smokieees.org

We’ve made a list, and checked it tw(ice), so take a look at our winter driving advice!Did you know that as the temperat...
12/09/2021

We’ve made a list, and checked it tw(ice), so take a look at our winter driving advice!

Did you know that as the temperature drops so does your vehicle’s battery power and tire pressure? Add that to slippery roads and reduced visibility due to snow or fog and even the most experienced driver can have difficulties driving in winter conditions. Before hitting the road this winter:

❄️ Check the weather before leaving your house

❄️ Plan your route to and within the park

❄️ Check park alerts and closures for the most up to date park conditions

❄️ Pack emergency supplies in case you become stranded

❄️ Check tire chain requirements of the park

❄️ Prepare your vehicle for winter

What are some of your best winter driving tips?

Learn more about winter driving at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/healthandsafety/winterdrivingsafety.htm

We’ve made a list, and checked it tw(ice), so take a look at our winter driving advice!

Did you know that as the temperature drops so does your vehicle’s battery power and tire pressure? Add that to slippery roads and reduced visibility due to snow or fog and even the most experienced driver can have difficulties driving in winter conditions. Before hitting the road this winter:

❄️ Check the weather before leaving your house

❄️ Plan your route to and within the park

❄️ Check park alerts and closures for the most up to date park conditions

❄️ Pack emergency supplies in case you become stranded

❄️ Check tire chain requirements of the park

❄️ Prepare your vehicle for winter

What are some of your best winter driving tips?

Learn more about winter driving at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/healthandsafety/winterdrivingsafety.htm

12/08/2021

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Catch up on the latest science news from national parks in #ParkScienceMagazine. The newest edition is out today, and it’s packed with cutting-edge natural and cultural resource science from across the National Park Service . From archeology in Acadia National Park to mangroves in Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve to rescuing a church from literally falling off a cliff in Alaska, the new issue of #ParkScience is sure to have something for everyone.

Check it out: Nps.gov/parkscience

📷NPS/Shina duVall/The Ascension of Our Lord Church lifted onto cribbing and beams in place in preparation for the move.

Photos from Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site's post
12/08/2021

Photos from Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site's post

Timeline Photos
12/08/2021

Timeline Photos

After a couple false starts, it looks like winter is settling in.

Photos from Harry S Truman National Historic Site's post
12/07/2021

Photos from Harry S Truman National Historic Site's post

12/07/2021

#OTD Doris Miller Displays Heroism at Pearl Harbor

When Japan attacked the US Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, Doris “Dorie” Miller was a 22-year-old mess attendant on the USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor. Miller was collecting laundry at 6:00 AM when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and an alarm sounded on the USS West Virginia.

According to Navy Rear Adm. John Fuller, "Miller went topside, carried wounded on his shoulders, made several trips up and down, wading through waist-deep water, oil-slicked decks, struggling uphill on slick decks." Next Miller took control of a .50-caliber anti-aircraft machine gun and fired it until it was spent. Miller said, "It wasn't hard…I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine. I had watched the others with these guns. I guess I fired her for about 15 minutes. I think I got one of those [Japanese] planes. They were diving pretty close to us."

Despite Miller’s valiant efforts the USS West Virginia was damaged beyond repair and slowly sank. For his bravery, the Navy presented Miller with the Navy Cross in May 1942. In 1943, Miller would die aboard the USS Liscome Bay when a Japanese torpedo struck his ship. Miller was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously for his actions that day. A Navy aircraft carrier is now named after him.

#FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #AfricanBurialGround #PearlHarborNM #PearlHarborNPS

Image Caption: Doris "Dorie" Miller
Image Credit: US NAVY

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Survivors, veterans, and visitors from around the world ...
12/07/2021

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Survivors, veterans, and visitors from around the world come together in remembrance. At Pearl Harbor National Memorial, home of the USS Arizona Memorial, you can learn more about one of the most pivotal moments in US history and the subsequent entry of the United States into World War II.

Details about the 80th commemoration ceremony and other commemorative events can be found at https://www.nps.gov/perl/learn/historyculture/national-pearl-harbor-remembrance-day.htm

Image: A line of park rangers salute commemorative wall of names within USS Arizona Memorial. #NationalPearlHarborRemembranceDay

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Survivors, veterans, and visitors from around the world come together in remembrance. At Pearl Harbor National Memorial, home of the USS Arizona Memorial, you can learn more about one of the most pivotal moments in US history and the subsequent entry of the United States into World War II.

Details about the 80th commemoration ceremony and other commemorative events can be found at https://www.nps.gov/perl/learn/historyculture/national-pearl-harbor-remembrance-day.htm

Image: A line of park rangers salute commemorative wall of names within USS Arizona Memorial. #NationalPearlHarborRemembranceDay

With the deciduous trees bare of leaves, now is a good time to spot birds. This little Field Sparrow found itself a nice...
12/07/2021

With the deciduous trees bare of leaves, now is a good time to spot birds. This little Field Sparrow found itself a nice perching spot among the snowfall last winter. Found during all seasons in the park, field sparrows prefer bushy pastures rather than open fields as their name implies. Be on the look out for this and other winged friends while in the park this winter.

Photo courtesy of Warren Bielenberg

With the deciduous trees bare of leaves, now is a good time to spot birds. This little Field Sparrow found itself a nice perching spot among the snowfall last winter. Found during all seasons in the park, field sparrows prefer bushy pastures rather than open fields as their name implies. Be on the look out for this and other winged friends while in the park this winter.

Photo courtesy of Warren Bielenberg

Straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park spans over 500,000 acres...
12/06/2021

Straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park spans over 500,000 acres of steep, rugged mountainous terrain. World renowned for its abundant ecological diversity and preserved remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, the Smokies also contains one of the largest trail networks in the National Park System at nearly 850 miles! We are looking for highly motivated individuals interested in helping to maintain and preserve these iconic trails.

These vacancy announcements will come available on USAJobs.gov on Monday, December 6th and will close on Monday, December 21st. To be eligible, you must apply through USA Jobs. Create an account and upload your resume in USAJobs.gov now!

"Be careful of the icy patch!" - Emily ‘Ma’ BearWhen winter comes around, it brings with it the opportunity to experienc...
12/06/2021

"Be careful of the icy patch!" - Emily ‘Ma’ Bear

When winter comes around, it brings with it the opportunity to experience parks in a whole new way. Colder temperatures can present its own set of risks and can make your trip challenging if you are unprepared. Whether you are hiking, driving, camping or visiting friends and family, don't let winter weather take you by surprise.

Did we mention the icy patch? Use extra caution when in a park. During the winter, trail surfaces may be covered with snow or ice making them extremely hazardous. If you don’t have the proper footwear or gear, or if the trail becomes too difficult to travel on, your waka waka may turn into a wert der ferk bork bork plop!! (You may need to turn around.) There are other beautiful locations at the park that you can enjoy. Oh, one more thing. Careful of the icy patch!

For weather updates and park alerts be sure and visit a park website before heading out!

Image: Four hikers make there way up a trail of packed snow and ice during the a winter at Grand Canyon National Park. NPS/Michael Quinn.

"Be careful of the icy patch!" - Emily ‘Ma’ Bear

When winter comes around, it brings with it the opportunity to experience parks in a whole new way. Colder temperatures can present its own set of risks and can make your trip challenging if you are unprepared. Whether you are hiking, driving, camping or visiting friends and family, don't let winter weather take you by surprise.

Did we mention the icy patch? Use extra caution when in a park. During the winter, trail surfaces may be covered with snow or ice making them extremely hazardous. If you don’t have the proper footwear or gear, or if the trail becomes too difficult to travel on, your waka waka may turn into a wert der ferk bork bork plop!! (You may need to turn around.) There are other beautiful locations at the park that you can enjoy. Oh, one more thing. Careful of the icy patch!

For weather updates and park alerts be sure and visit a park website before heading out!

Image: Four hikers make there way up a trail of packed snow and ice during the a winter at Grand Canyon National Park. NPS/Michael Quinn.

Address


General information

Current Road Updates: http://twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps Page Expectations and Guidelines: Welcome to Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s official page. We hope this will be a place where people feel comfortable sharing information and experiences about Great Smoky Mountains National Park with one another. While this is an open forum, it is also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and wall posts clean. Please be considerate of other’s opinions. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines here, as well as Facebook’s terms and policies. Be aware that if you do not comply, your message will be removed. We do not allow graphic, vulgar, profane, obscene, explicit, or racist comments or submissions, nor do we allow comments that are abusive, threatening, hateful, or intended to defame or violate the privacy of anyone or any organization. Comments that contain deliberate misinformation and off-topic comments may be removed. Repetitive posts copied and pasted by multiple users may be removed. People who post multiple, successive off-topic posts may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. Comments including phone numbers, e-mail addresses, residential addresses, or similar information will be removed. We do not allow comments that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems. We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial, or non-governmental agency. People who continue to post such content and/or links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. We do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial, or non-governmental agency. Such posts and/or links are subject to deletion. We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username, and any information provided. Posting of external links on this site that are intended as advertising (or to drive traffic to websites unrelated to Great Smoky Mountains National Park), or do not contribute to dialog and discussions about Great Smoky Mountains may be deleted. Messages intended to disrupt the functioning of the page may be deleted. People who continue to post such links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. External links do not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. National Park Service or the U.S. Department of Interior. Communication made through this service’s e-mail and/or messaging system will not constitute a legal or official notice or comment to the National Park Service or any official or employee of the National Park Service. If you wish to express a comment about something related to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in a formal and official capacity, several established methods and mechanisms are at your disposal. To get started, please visit the park website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm or contact the park directly at 107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. For official information about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/grsm. This Comment Policy is subject to amendment or modification at any time to ensure that its continued use is consistent with its intended purpose as a limited forum. Guidelines for Posting Photos 1. Photos must be of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 2. Photos should not contain any nudity or pornographic content. Photo(s) containing such content will be removed and you will be banned from the site. 3. Photos should not show activities that would be a violation of park rules or laws. Photo(s) containing such content will be removed. 4. Photos should not contain any references to websites or commercial businesses. Photo(s) containing such content will be removed. 5. Photos you post should be in the public domain or belong to you and be photos that you have taken. Please respect copyright laws and do not post photos that do not belong to you. 6. Once a photo has been posted, it is out there for all to see. Use your best judgment as to what you want everyone to see. 7. Due to privacy concerns, people in photos should not be readily identifiable. Photos of children are not allowed. Photo(s) containing such content will be removed.

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Comments

I love the Smoky Mountains! I used to go every fall with my parents! I connot wait to go back there!!!
Planning to visit the mountains in August. Is Townsend, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Cherokee mask free now? TIA
How recently have elk been spotted near Gatlinburg?
A lot of years ago, my family visited the Smokies a lot. On one trip, after setting up our tent, my parent wanted to drive my Grandparents to Clingman's Dome . It was about a mile from the camping area which we were staying. The campground was full so they left my sister and I to play in the creek with lots of other campers. My Mom told us that if we saw a bear on our picnic table trying to get into our cooler to hit it with a rock. Soooo, we I looked up and saw a bear I did as my Mom had told me to do. I went up to the bear and started hitting it with a rock in my hand. I must have been 8 or 9 at the time. Everyone in the whole campground froze, afraid to move. After hitting it several times, the bear turned and looked at me. Then he jumped off the table and ran away. He was a cub I guess but he was quite large to me. Everyone could not wait to tell my parents what I had done when they got back. This is a real story and I would caution parents to watch what you say to your kids. She never said to throw the rock, only to hit him with one! I realize that now the Rangers would tell you to leave them alone but I am 74 years old and this happened around 1955/1956.
There is nothing better than the beautiful moss covered rocks and rhododendron surrounding the creek along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail.
Has anyone been experiencing any crowds as the parks on the west coast are?
Can anyone here tell me about the parking situation for the Purchase K**b trails? I’ve looked at all the sites concerning these trails but there’s not much information about where to park. Thanks in advance.
I have heard that Parsons Branch Road is closed due to dangerous trees. Can one park at the road entrance (Cades Cove) and walk to the Gregory Bald trailhead? Thanks much - David Liles
Found this backpack at the Newfoundland Gap. Turned it into a park ranger at Sugarland Visitor Center.
Some national parks are requiring “reservations” to visit, do we need a reservation to enter the park? I am meaning driving only, not camping. Thank you for letting me know.
So another lack of planning from the leaders at GSMNP headquarters. Forge Creek Road was supposed to be opened in May and because of poor planning will be closed till July. Should have had ALL of the supplies needed to complete the job BEFORE starting it. Now, I am guessing that when the loop is closed for re-paving, for 3 weeks, that you haven't got ALL of the supplies needed for that job as well and will be closed till , oh say, Nov. And noticed that you didn't do any of these things while you are allowing the STUPID bike only days in the Cove. Got to get that money for the bike shop, huh ???? Two MORE injuries this week during bike day. How many more people have to get hurt or die because of poor leadership. The loop road , is just that, a road. It is NOT a bike trail. We need better leadership , those that are making these stupid decisions need to be replaced with people that have the National Park's best interest at heart.
Are there in-person Junior Ranger activities yet, or are they all still online only?