"Autumn - Heintooga Ridge Road" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Great Smoky Mountains

Guide Spring 2020

brochure Great Smoky Mountains - Guide Spring 2020
SMOKIES GUIDE The official newspaper of Great Smoky Mountains National Park • Spring 2020 In this issue Smokies Trip Planner • 2 Return of Fireflies • 4 National Park News • 5 Safety in the Mountains • 6 Spring Driving Map • 8 Jr. Ranger Corner • 10 How to Help the Smokies • 11 Bears Emerge • 12 Park Etiquette • 14 Visitor Information • 16 The Blue Ridge two-lined salamander’s (Eurycea wilderae) larvae are aquatic, living in streams and under rocks. Image courtesy of John P. Clare Moving Rocks Harms Aquatic Wildlife! ge an n ian Jul eG r Biodiversity thrives beneath the surface of Smokies streams kR e le ar P ynse , Education Words with a Ranger My childhood was spent playing and fishing in the lakes and rivers of the Midwest. With more than 2,000 miles of streams flowing from the mountains to the valleys of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s easy to feel at home here. As an education park ranger, part of my job is to educate park visitors about the cultural and natural resources in the park and how to protect them. With more than 12 million visitors annually, the resources can sometimes be damaged, often unintentionally. Words with a Ranger continued on page 5 S pring is finally here! And as temperatures and humidity rise, visitors are tempted to dip their toes—and more—in the cool waters of the park’s 2,900 miles of clear mountain streams. The Smokies’ streams are fed by tens of thousands of rain-fed springs, constantly trickling water from crevices in the ancient mountain range. Residing beneath the surface is everything from native brook trout to 11 species of crayfish to 15 species of salamanders. These creatures currently face a huge threat—from some of the visitors who come to enjoy the park! “This time of year, people begin to stack rocks and create ‘cairns,’ channels, and rock dams in the park’s streams and creeks,” said Park Ranger Julianne Geleynse. “Many salamander and fish species lay their eggs under rocks of various sizes. The movement OUR PARK ON SOCIAL MEDIA or removal of these rocks disrupts breeding behavior and can completely destroy the nest and eggs of both salamanders and fish.” People visit the Smokies to escape the modern world—yet rock cairns, dams, and channels are evidence of human disturbance, changing the park’s wilderness character that now draws 12.5 million visitors each year. “When rocks are moved, the water temperature, flow, and dissolved oxygen are altered, completely changing the habitat and disrupting the aquatic life,” Geleynse said. “Some species of aquatic insects are immobile and die once removed from the stream.” Moving rocks poses a great threat in particular to aquatic wildlife like eastern hellbenders, endangered Smoky Madtoms, and Citico Darters. GreatSmoky MountainsNPS HOW CAN YOU ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO PREVENT MOVING ROCKS? Share positive messaging on how to protect aquatic life through your social media outlets. Parents and children can encourage each other to respect park streams and leave no trace. GreatSmokyNPS and SmokiesRoadsNPS GreatSmokyNPS SMOKIES TRIP PLANNER Camping in the national park The National Park Service maintains developed campgrounds at nine locations in the park. Only Cades Cove and Smokemont are open in winter. There are no showers or hookups other than circuits for special medical uses at Cades Cove, Elkmont, and Smokemont. Campsite reservations are required at Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, and Cataloochee campgrounds. Reservations also may be made at Cades Cove, Cosby, Elkmont, and Smokemont. Sites may be reserved up to six months in advance. Make your reservation at recreation.gov or call 877.444.6777. Site occupancy is limited to six people and two vehicles (a trailer = one vehicle). The maximum stay is 14 days. Special camping sites for large groups are available seasonally at Big Creek, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek, Elkmont, and Smokemont. Group sites must be reserved and may be secured up to a year in advance. Maps and guides: SmokiesInformation.org Additional information: nps.gov/grsm The list below shows number of sites, elevations, opening dates, nightly fees, and maximum RV lengths. For more information, visit nps.gov/grsm. Bicycles are permitted on park roads but prohibited on trails except Gatlinburg, Oconaluftee River, and lower Deep Creek/Indian Creek. • Abrams Creek 16 sites, elev. 1,125', opens April 24, $17.50, 12' trailers • Balsam Mountain 42 sites, elev. 5,310', opens May 15, $17.50, 30' RVs • Big Creek 12 sites, elev. 1,700', opens April 3, $17.50, tents only • Cades Cove 159 sites, elev. 1,807', opens March 6 after tunnel repairs this winter, $21-$25, 35'-40' RVs • Cataloochee 27 sites, elev. 2,610', opens June 11, $25, 31' RVs • Cosby 157 sites, elev. 2,459', opens April 3, $17.50, 25' RVs • Deep Creek 92 sites, elev. 1,800', opens May 21, $21, 26' RVs • Elkmont 220 sites, elev. 2,150', open, $21-$27, 32'-35' RVs • Smokemont 142 sites, elev. 2,198', open year-round, $21-$25, 35'-40' RVs. • Look Rock closed in 2020 Accommodations • LeConte Lodge (accessible by trail only) provides the only lodging in the park. 865.429.5704 or lecontelodge.com Firewood To prevent the spread of destructive insect pests, the NPS has banned outside firewood from entering the park unless it is USDA- or state-certified heat-treated wood. Campers may gather dead and down wood for campfires. Certified wood may be purchased in and around the park. MOVING ROCKS HARMS AQUATIC LIFE. SMOKIES GUIDE Smokies Guide is produced five times per year by Great Smoky Mountains Association and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. nps.gov/grsm SmokiesInformation.org Bicycling Most park roads are too narrow and heavily traveled by automobiles for safe or enjoyable bicycling. Helmets are required by law for persons age 16 and under. However, helmets are strongly recommended for all bicyclists. Publication dates are roughly as follows: Spring: mid-March Summer: early June Late Summer: mid-August Autumn: mid-Sept. Winter: mid-Dec. Editor Frances Figart For information on lodging outside the park: • Bryson City 800.867.9246 or greatsmokies.com • Cherokee 828.788.0034 or cherokeesmokies.com • Fontana 800.849.2258 or fontanavillage.com • Gatlinburg 800.588.1817 or gatlinburg.com • Maggie Valley 800.624.4431 or maggievalley.org • Pigeon Forge 800.251.9100 or mypigeonforge.com • Sevierville 888.766.5948 or visitsevierville.com • Townsend 800.525.6834 or smokymountains.org Pets in the park Pets are allowed in front-country campgrounds and beside roads as long as they are restrained at all times. Pets are not allowed on park trails, except for the Gatlinburg and Oconaluftee River Trails. Dogs on these trails must be leashed. Special events April 22–25, 2020 Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage: parkwide May 5–9, 2020 Wilderness Wildlife Week: parkwide June 20, 2020 Women’s Work Mountain Farm Museum Writers Valerie Polk Aaron Searcy Design Assistants Lisa Horstman Emma DuFort Lead Designer Karen Key NPS Coordinator Susan Sachs Smokies Guide Spring 2020 • 2 For rent The Appalachian Clubhouse and Spence Cabin at Elkmont can be rented for daytime events starting April 1. Contact recreation.gov. Visitor centers Spring hours of operation are Oconaluftee and Sugarlands: 8-5 in March; 8-6 in April and May. Cades Cove: 9-6 in March; 9-6:30 in April; 9-7 in May. Clingmans Dome (opens March 30): 10-6. Picnic areas Picnic areas open year-round are: Cades Cove, Deep Creek, Greenbrier, and Metcalf Bottoms. Chimneys Picnic Area opens March 13. Picnic areas opening April 3 include Big Creek, Collins Creek, and Cosby. Look Rock Picnic Area opens May 1 and Heintooga Picnic Area opens May 15. Please see the map on page 16 for locations. Picnic pavilions may be reserved for $12.50$80 at recreation.gov. Other services There are no gas stations, showers, or restaurants in the national park. Park weather • Spring - March has the most changeable weather; snow can fall on any day, especially at the higher elevations. Backpackers are often caught off guard when a sunny day in the 70s°F is followed by a wet, bitterly cold one. By mid- to late April, the weather is milder. • Summer - By mid-June, heat, haze and humidity are the norm. Most precipitation occurs as afternoon thundershowers. Planning Committee PT Lathrop Lisa Nagurny Becky Nichols Bill Stiver Paul Super Stephanie Sutton © 2020 Great Smoky Mountains Association P.O. Box 130 Gatlinburg, TN 37738 E Printed on recycled paper • Autumn - In mid-September, a pattern of warm, sunny days and crisp, clear nights often begins. However, cool, rainy days also occur. Snow may fall at the higher elevations in November. snowy with highs in the 20s. At the low elevations, snows of 1" or more occur 3-5 times per year. At Newfound Gap, 69" fall on average. Lows of -20°F are possible at the higher elevations. • Winter - Days during this fickle season can be sunny and 65°F or Fishing Fishing is permitted yearround in the park, and a Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license is required. Either state license is valid throughout the park, and no trout stamp is required. Fishing with bait is prohibited in the park. A special permit is required for the Cherokee Reservation and Gatlinburg. Licenses are available in nearby towns. These temperature and precipitation averages are based on data for the last 20 years. Temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit. An average of over 84" (7 feet) of precipitation falls on the higher elevations of the Smokies. On Mt. Le Conte, an average of 82.8" of snow falls per year. A free fishing map with a complete list of all park fishing regulations is available at visitor centers. wet (not cotton). Be prepared for sudden weather changes, especially at the higher elevations. Stay dry. Camping in the backcountry Springtime camping can be an exciting adventure for persons properly equipped and informed. To facilitate this activity, the National Park Service maintains more than 800 miles of trails and more than 100 backcountry campsites and shelters throughout the park. One of the greatest challenges for backcountry campers is deciding where to go. Here are some tools to help. 1. Get the map. Go online to view the park’s official trail map (nps.gov/ grsm/planyourvisit/maps.htm), which shows all park trails, campsites, and shelters. Park rules and regulations are also listed here. If you wish, you can purchase the printed version of the trail map for $1 by stopping at any park visitor center or calling 865.436.7318 x226 or shopping online at SmokiesInformation.org. 2. Plan your trip. Call or stop by the park’s backcountry office, which is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, for trip planning help. The office is located in Sugarlands Visitor Center, two miles south of Gatlinburg on U.S. 441. 865.436.1297. 3. Get a permit. Make your reservation and obtain your permit through the backcountry office at Sugarlands Visitor Center (by phone or in person) or online at smokiespermits.nps.gov. Reservations and permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. The cost is $4 per person per night. Reservations may be made up to 30 days in advance. Spring hikers should be especially aware of the danger of hypothermia— the lowering of body temperature. The combination of rain, cold, and wind is especially dangerous. At the park’s higher elevations, hypothermia can be a threat even during summer. To prevent hypothermia, carry reliable rain gear at all times. Layer clothing that provides warmth when Road Closures Many secondary and higher elevation roads are closed in winter and open later into spring. Please refer to the map on pages 8 and 9 for opening dates for Clingmans Dome and other seasonally closed roads. Road access to the Cataloochee area is closed through May 20 for NC Dept. of Transportation road repairs. Smokies Guide Spring 2020 • 3 Driving distances and estimated times Cherokee, NC to: Gatlinburg: 34 miles (1 hour) Cades Cove: 58 miles (2 hours) Newfound Gap: 18 miles (½ hour) Clingmans Dome: 25 miles (¾ hour) Cataloochee: 39 miles (1½ hours) Deep Creek: 14 miles (½ hour) Gatlinburg, TN to: Cherokee: 34 miles (1 hour) Cades Cove: 27 miles (1 hour) Newfound Gap: 16 miles (½ hour) Clingmans Dome: 23 miles (¾ hour) Cataloochee: 65 miles (2½ hours) Greenbrier Cove: 6 miles (¼ hour) Deep Creek: 48 miles (1½ hours) Townsend, TN to: Cades Cove: 9 miles (¼ hour) Newfound Gap: 34 miles (1¼ hours) Gatlinburg: 22 miles (¾ hour) Cherokee: 52 miles (1½ hours) Look Rock: 18 miles (½ hour) Cataloochee: 87 miles (3 hours) Smokies Glow with the Return of Fireflies Photinus carolinus lights up the Smokies’ night skies TH E F I R E F LY LOT TE R Y T he Smokies are world famous for their fireflies, and one species in particular, Photinus carolinus, puts on a particularly spectacular display. Of the 19 species of fireflies known to light up the night in the Smokies, P. carolinus is the only one with a synchronized light show. Fewer than 1 percent of some 2,000+ distinct firefly species are known to flash synchronously as part of their mating display. The bioluminescence common to fireflies helps males and females recognize each other at dusk. As word of the Smokies’ synchronous fireflies has spread, the Elkmont area has implemented a lottery and shuttle system to ensure resources are protected and viewers have a safe and enjoyable experience. The timing of viewing events relies on a firefly prediction system carefully managed by park entomologist Becky Nichols. Firefly habitats include tall grasses and open-cove forests, both of which have been dramatically reduced by human development. Fireflies also need darkness free of light pollution. Even flashlights and headlights can cause fireflies to stop flashing completely for several minutes at a time. You can help protect fireflies and enjoy the show too with the viewing tips below: • Let fireflies shine as they are and do not catch or collect them. • Keep light to a minimum—use a red-tinted light and keep it pointed toward the ground to reduce light pollution. Firefly-safe lights are available at park visitor centers. • Pack out all garbage and stay on trails at all times— firefly larvae and vegetation can be crushed by even the most well-intentioned footsteps. Smokies Guide Spring 2020 • 4 The Elkmont area is open only to campers and shuttle-bus riders during the peak of the synchronous firefly display. To enter the lottery, visit recreation. gov and search “firefly event lottery.” Winners will receive a firefly-safe light and a one-night park-andride pass for a $25 fee. For additional information, visit nps.gov/grsm. Park partner Discover Life in America is also offering exclusive guided viewing opportunities at a location outside of the park on May 29, 30, and 31. Tickets are $225 per person, and all proceeds support DLiA’s work to discover and conserve Smokies biodiversity. For details, see dlia.org/ event/fireflies-2020. Words with a Ranger continued from page 1 In recent years, visitors have moved rocks to create dams, channels, and cairns to such an extent that it has changed the aquatic habitat, leading to the death of thousands of aquatic animals. Salamanders, fish, and dragonfly larvae are just a few of the creatures that make their homes and nests under the rocks in the streams. Species like the eastern hellbender are so rare that the streams in the park are some of the last places they can be found. To an aquatic animal, moving rocks is like cutting down a tree that supports a bird’s nest. It harms the adults, eggs, and young. What can you do? Leave no trace, so future generations are able to enjoy the park and all the species that call it home. Share with others how they can help to protect the park. Thank you for not moving rocks and sharing this message with your friends and family. PARK NEWS Great Smoky Mountains National Park news briefs Cades Cove Access Update The Cades Cove area is now open to all visitors via Laurel Creek Road from the Townsend Wye entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors to the popular Cades Cove Loop Road this spring can expect greening fields, emerging wildlife, blooming wildflowers, and flowering trees. Camping and picnic areas are also available in the area known for its historic structures and hikes to nearby destinations including Abrams Falls and Gregory Bald. Cades Cove was closed to visitor traffic over the winter due to scheduled repairs to the Bote Mountain Tunnel in January and February 2020. The decision to close this area of the park completely to accommodate the repair was reached through NPS assessment and with the input of community leaders in favor of avoiding prolonged lane closures throughout 2020. The necessary Two gravel roads, Sparks Lane and Hyatt Lane, connect the north and south sides of the 11-mile, one-way Cades Cove Loop Road. Allow at least two to four hours to tour Cades Cove, longer if you walk some of the area’s trails. Image courtesy of Diego Ferron updates to the 72-year-old Bote Mountain Tunnel include repaired cracks in the concrete liner and replaced drainage features. Such repairs are a necessary part of maintaining aging facilities in the Smokies and across the national park system, much of which is currently impacted by the estimated $12 billion in deferred maintenance to national park infrastructure as a result of increasing demand and limited resources. As visitation continues to break records in the Smokies, projects like the Bote Mountain Tunnel repair will help make sure the Smokies continue to be safe and accessible for years to come. Cherokee Sochan Agreement Enters First Full Season This spring marks the first full harvesting season since the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the National Park Service finalized a landmark agreement to allow a limited number of permitted EBCI members to harvest sochan for traditional food purposes within Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). Sochan, or green-headed coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), is a culturally significant food of the Cherokee, and going to the mountains to gather its young leaves is a family tradition considered by some to be sacred. The tall, late-summer-blooming wildflower is common along streams and wet areas throughout the park. “It was a great opportunity to collaborate with the EBCI on this project,” said Josh Albritton, a park bio-science technician. “Maintaining long-standing cultural values and traditions is important for all of us, and this is certainly an opportunity to do just that.” Despite a delayed start last year, the first harvest “went very smoothly,” said Albritton. “All sochan harvesting and reporting by EBCI permittees went according to the guidelines.” This year, park staff will continue to monitor designated sochan populations and assess other plants EBCI members may wish to harvest. “I think everyone involved is looking forward to the coming season,” said Albritton. With the exception of such permits, federal law protects almost everything in national parks, including wildlife, plants, historic objects, and even rocks. Exceptions include game fish (with catch limits) and berries, nuts, and edible mushrooms (for personal consumption only). Smokies Guide Spring 2020 • 5 Green-headed coneflower, or sochan, is known for its showy late-summer blooms, but it is the young spring leaves, emerging well before the flowers, which are sought by the Cherokee as a favorite spring green. Image courtesy of GSMA. Setting Out for the S Mountains...Safely It is your responsibility to be safe and to know and obey park rules. You can find information and rules at visitor centers, trailhead bulletin boards, and the park website at nps.gov/grsm. B A S I C PAC K L I S T • Water, a water filter, tablets, or the ability to boil water • Food and plenty of snacks will sustain you • Extra layers (base layer, jacket, socks) for changing conditions • Sun protection with sunscreen, sunglasses, and/or a hat • Rain gear • Pack cover to keep what you are carrying dry (ziplocs inside your pack can do this too) • Map and compass and the knowledge of how to use them • Shelter in the form of a tent or tarp • Flashlight or headlamp and batteries • Fire starter with a lighter, strike stick, and something to light • Knife or multi-tool for a variety of uses • First aid kit with all the essentials to care for common accidents • Permit for camping overnight (provide itinerary so the NPS knows where to begin looking for you in an emergency) pring is a great time to get out and explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As you plan, it’s important to remember that the season also brings with it some of the most unpredictable weather and rapidly changing conditions of the year. Be sure to make responsible planning and safety a priority, whether you’re setting out on a day hike, packing for an overnight camping trip or taking in the sights on a drive through the mountains. “You might start out your hike on a clearblue-sky day and end up contending with cold wind, rain, sleet, or snow,” said Backcountry Management Specialist Christine Hoyer. “Even an experienced hiker, park employee, or iPhone can’t predict what Mother Nature has in store.” After years of experience working in the backcountry and with Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, Hoyer has arrived at a few basics for preventing the worst. “What you carry and what kinds of conditions you prepare for has nothing to do with how far you plan to walk. I pack the same essentials in my backpack no matter what,” said Hoyer. “Quality rain gear and appropriate warm layers are a must—and not just wearing them but carrying extras with you, too.” Beyond bringing layers, Hoyer urges visitors to pack ample water and food, sources of light and fire, and a reliable means of navigation, since much of the park is without cellular service. Hikers and motorists should factor wind advisories into their visits, too. As National Weather Service reporting shows, extreme winds are becoming more frequent in the Smokies. This means the risk of injury from motor vehicle accidents and downed trees is only growing—particularly in burn-affected areas and in both high and low elevations. “During an extended wind event, mountain wave winds can have devastating impacts on lower elevation areas as they make their way down northern, leeward slopes,” said Jim Renfro, the park’s air resource specialist. “That’s where you see more trees coming down in areas like Cades Cove, Sugarland Valley, or Greenbrier Cove.” From planning ahead to being mindful of emerging wildlife and seasonal hazards, the most important part of any trip in the great outdoors is coming back safely. “The best thing you can do is have a solid plan and the willingness to adjust your plan if you need to,” said Hoyer. “Take it slow—think before you act.” Smokies Guide Spring 2020 • 6 B E M I N D F U L O F: • Lightning • High winds • Rapid changes in weather • Emerging wildlife and black bears • Poison ivy and brambles • Slippery logs, rocks, and leaves • Water-crossings (Water can rise quickly, and rocks and logs near water are often very slippery; closely supervise children around all water) • Drones are banned on all National Park Service property, including the Smokies. • Campfires are permitted only within fire rings. Use only firewood purchased from campgrounds; imported wood contains dangerous and invasive pests. Do not leave food or trash in fire rings. • Pets are prohibited on all trails (except Gatlinburg and Oconaluftee River trails) to protect wildlife. Pets may be kept on a leash at all times in campgrounds, picnic areas, and along roads. Service animals that have been individually trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of persons with disabilities are allowed in all visitor use areas. • Metal detector use is prohibited. • Take only pictures. It is illegal to take any natural features including flowers, seeds, rocks, antlers, or historical artifacts or to disturb soils, rocks, or vegetation. Limited collection of some fish, berries, nuts, and mushrooms is permitted. • Pack out all trash and Leave No Trace to help protect the Smokies. Things to Do There are so many ways to explore and learn about the Smokies Historic Grist Mills Two water-powered grist mills operate in the park seven days per week from spring through fall, demonstrating the historic necessity of grinding corn into cornmeal. Cable Mill, located near Cades Cove Visitor Center, halfway around the Cades Cove Loop Road, opens March 7. Mingus Mill, located 2 miles north of Cherokee, NC, near the Mountain Farm Museum, opens April 1. Junior Rangers Kids 5-12—earn your Great Smoky Mountains National Park Junior Ranger badge today! Just stop by any park visitor center and purchase the Junior Ranger booklet ($2.50) appropriate for your age. Complete the activities described in the booklet and you’re on your way to Junior Ranger glory. Image of Mingus Mill by Jackie Novak Quiet Walkways These peaceful pathways are scattered around the park offering visitors an opportunity to step outside their vehicles and soak in the Smokies’ lush and intricate beauty. Parking is limited to three or four vehicles to keep the walkways quiet. A few of the trails are short loops, but most are linear trails inviting walkers to go as far as they wish and then return the way they came. Look for the Quiet Walkways signs along many park roads. Passport Stamps Ready to have your official Passport to Your National Parks® stamped? You’ll find free site-specific stampers at all park visitor centers and some campgrounds. If you don’t have one, pick up this collector’s edition book in one of the park’s visitor centers! Image by Bill Lea Field to Fork Audio Tour The National Park Service and Great Smoky Mountains Association have partnered with Antenna Audio to create a compelling tour of the Mountain Farm Museum at Oconaluftee (2 miles north of Cherokee, NC). You’ll learn how hard-working farm families scratched a living from the steep, rocky soils of the Smoky Mountains and lived a rich and happy life while doing so. Image by GSMA Self-guiding Tours Want to know a little about the sights you are seeing? Nonprofit park partner Great Smoky Mountains Association has published a series of colorful, inexpensive booklets keyed to numbered posts along park roads. You’ll learn about park history as well as some of the plants and wildlife you’ll encounter along the route. Self-guiding tour booklets are available at park visitor centers as well as dispensers beside the roads. Tours include: Cades Cove driving and walking, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, the Mountain Farm Museum, Newfound Gap Road, Tremont Logging History, and Mingus Mill. Image of Cades Cove (left) by Bill Lea Smokies Guide Spring 2020 • 7 In addition, stop in at any visitor center and get information about current ranger programs happening in the park! To Knoxville In Spring, Timing is Everything To I-40 To Newport ay Exit 443 Hartford CHEROKEE NATIONAL FOREST Exit 447 Park View 411 441 PIGEON FORGE Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: Paved, narrow, 5.5 mile one-way road offers old-growth forest, waterfalls and historic buildings. No RVs allowed. Opens April 10. Gatlinburg Welcome Center National Park Information Center 321 Pittman Center 73 321 Cosby Hen Wallow Falls a il 321 Exit 451 32 Gab TENNESSEE N OR TH C AROL I Mount Cammerer Mount Cammerer Trail Big Creek NA 40 Tr MARYVILLE es M ounta i n i ch ala Andrews Bald at i Ro Tw e n ty m Twentymile Cascade Fontana Dam Fontana A Lake Trail Cre 441 Restrooms are available at visitor centers, Cades Cove and Smokemont campgrounds, Cades Cove, Deep Creek and Greenbrier picnic areas, Newfound Gap and Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Vault toilets are also available at Rainbow Falls, Alum Cave, Abrams Falls and Clingmans Dome trailheads. Loop Trail Juney Whank Falls La ke vie Juney Whank Falls Trail wD Indian Creek Falls Tom Branch Falls CHEROKEE H RT al a g e R id e Parkw ay CHEROKEE INDIAN RESERVATION Soco Gap Cherokee Museum Horseback Riding (rental) Picnic Areas Major Hwys Deep Creek Major Roads 441 Paved Roads Gravel Roads 74 Trails Spring Auto Tours 23 74 SYLVA 143 28 WAYNESVILLE NANTAHALA NATIONAL FOREST 441 23 Great Mountain Views Wildflowers B w ar k id ge P lue R ©GSMA2019 Dellwood Nature Trails Trail Santeetlah Lake 129 Maggie Valley To Asheville Camping n JOYCE KILMER - SLICKROCK WILDERNESS AREA 276 19 r Swain County Visitor Center 28 ch Blu ia NO Ap p Mingo Falls 19 BRYSON CITY FONTANA VILLAGE Balsam Mountain ad Oconaluftee River Trail Deep eT ra i l Hazel Creek Trail Exit 20 ek Bone Valley Trail Heintooga/Round Bottom Road: Opens May 15. H Smokemont Oconaluftee Mill Visitor Center Cataloochee PISGAH Valley Overlook NATIONAL FOREST Co ve Ro Cre ad ek Smokemont Loop Trail Co ve PA R K Chasteen Creek Falls Bi g Clingmans Dome Road: 7-mile paved road leads to the Clingmans Dome trailhead. A very steep, halfmile walk takes you to Clingmans Dome tower and the highest point in the Smokies (6,643’). Opens March 30. Kan nd Bot ou a/R og o t in He Newfound Gap Road: This paved road is the only route over the Great Smoky Mountains. It stretches for 31 miles between Gatlinburg and Cherokee and climbs from an elevation of 1,300’ to 5,046’ (at Newfound Gap). Kephart Prong Trail Tr R n un t ai Mo Rich Ap p Newfound Gap rk Par k ( R O N LI Charlies Bunion M O U N TA I N S Thunderhead Mountain il CA TE NN E Trail Chimney Tops Chimney Tops Trail N AT I O N A L an R tooga idge Road ein SE Wolf Ridge Trail Lake Cheoah Alum Cave Bluffs Oconaluftee Valley Overlook SMOKY Mount Guyot tom Rd. ES Twentymile Loop Trail Deals Gap re sC ke Fern Branch Falls Mouse Creek Falls Cataloochee Valley (closed through May 20): 8 miles from I-40 (including 3 miles on a narrow gravel road). The short road through the valley offers wildlife viewing (including elk) and access to a historic church, school and homes. Mingus 129 Calderwood Lake p Trail ek T Alum Cave Trail il Tra m to l e s) hic ve Mount Le Conte r ve d ed b er Ga re Rainbow Falls Clingmans Dome Cades Cove Loop Road: 11-mile one-way loop road offers wildlife viewing and access to a historic grist mill, churches and log homes. Allow at least 2-3 hours. ad or ot cu m Tri lli u bo Tram Gap il Tra w F a ll il s Ri tR G R E AT a Appal chian Trail s clo Ro Ja Lit tle Middle Prong Trail il Tra lls Pa n r so ch Cu Carlos Campbell Overlook Ramsey Cascades Porters Flat Grotto Falls Road Maloney Point Elkmont GSM Institute at Tremont m sF a Chilhowee n B ra Little Lynn Camp Prong Cascades Cades Cove Visitor Center CHEROKEE NATIONAL FOREST Meigs Falls l on Ab ra Abrams Falls Abrams Creek “According to the National Phenology Network, trees in our region are greening up 15 to 20 days earlier,” said Paul Super, the park’s research coordinator. Caterpillars, which dine voraciously on tree leaves, appear to be likewise emerging earlier. Trail Sugarlands Visitor Center il ra op Trai ut T stn Ch e Fighting Creek Trail Laurel Falls Laurel Falls r Rive Tre m Look Rock Tower Little Greenbrier School Po r t e r s C o Heritage Center ad Cataract Falls Little Brier Gap Trail 73 Townsend Rich Mountain Road: Opens April 10. 321 Little Greenbrier Road: Opens April 10. s Trail ade asc Ramsey C Red light #8 in Ra th GATLINBURG Wears Valley Townsend Visitors Center i lls Greenbrier RVs o Fo Foothills Parkway No To Chattanooga ay Lo w Tra Gap il Fo F r kw s Pa hill t oo ek Tra il Walland 129 411 Big ek Trail Cre Spring wildflowers have adapted over millions of years to rely o

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