Plan a Visit to the Great Smokies Today!


The following is a guest post by Laura Chapman, who is a freelance writer. You can email Laura your thoughts and comments at

Elk in the Smokies: What to Know


When you think of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you think of black bears. Or maybe salamanders. But did you know that rangers are trying to reintroduce elk into the park? Elk used to be native to the area, and roamed the Great Smokies. But in the mid-1800s, they were eliminated from the area, […]

Pioneer Women to be Featured on Saturday

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recognizing traditions of rural mountain women this Saturday, June 15 with a day of tribute, according to The Knoxville Daily Sun. The celebration will take place at the Mountain Farm Museum in the park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is located next to the Oconaluftee […]

Flood-Damaged Trails Getting Repairs

I love the guy over at the Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog. He’s so on top of things! Today, he’s writing about the Smoky Mountain trails that have been damaged by winter floods. The two major trails needing repairs are Chimney Tops and Noland Creek Trail. Chimney Tops has been closed since January, when high waters […]

TripAdvisor Forum Recommends Gatlinburg Activities

A recent forum on TripAdvisor asks the following question: Looking for any input on a “must do” in Gatlinburg or the park. We will arrive on a Saturday and leave early on Wednesday and only have 3 full days in mid-March. I’m wondering how long it takes to do things. We will have several children […]

Part of U.S. 441 Washes Right Away

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Floods! According to The Knoxville News, part of U.S. 441 (Newfound Gap Road) washed away on Wednesday on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The road is expected to be closed for an extended period of time. According to The Hiking in the Smokies blog, the gap in the road […]

Plan Now to See Synchronous Fireflies in the Smokies


UPDATED WITH 2013 INFO! The Synchronous Elkmont Firefly viewing for 2013 dates have been set for June 6-13. The viewing will again be limited by advance reservation only. So don’t wait until the last minute to decide to see this natural phenomenon.

Smoky Mountain Visitors Up for 2012

The number of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is up by almost 20% from last year, according to park officials. They say that the warm weather probably has something to do with it. So far in 2012, just over 200,000 more people have visited the Smokies than did in the first part […]

10 Ways to Keep Kids Safe in the Smokies


We love the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We love hopping on rocks in the rivers (we call it “rock-hoppin’” Creative, huh?). We love setting off on hikes that are too intense for our kids. We love just driving along the tree-covered roads and marveling at creation. But for all the fun the Smokies offer, […]

The Great Smokies: Our Outdoor Playground

This blog was written by my friend Morgan Zoeller, who lives in Fishers, Ind. She grew up in a big family — four kids! And they are still rowdy when they get together! Like the Beutlers, my family grew up vacationing in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge. At home, my parents never let us stay in the house […]