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

Great Smoky Mountains

National Park - NC, TN

Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The sprawling landscape encompasses lush forests and an abundance of wildflowers that bloom year-round. Streams, rivers and waterfalls appear along hiking routes that include a segment of the Appalachian Trail. An observation tower tops Clingmans Dome, the highest peak, offering scenic views of the mist-covered mountains.

maps

Official visitor map of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NP) in North Carolina and Tennessee. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Great Smoky Mountains - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NP) in North Carolina and Tennessee. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Tail Map of Appalachian National Scenic Trail (NST) in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Appalachian - Trail Map

Tail Map of Appalachian National Scenic Trail (NST) in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official visitor map of Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (NHT) in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail of Tears - Trail Map

Official visitor map of Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (NHT) in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official visitor map of Blue Ridge Parkway (PKWY) in North Carolina and Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Blue Ridge - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Blue Ridge Parkway (PKWY) in North Carolina and Virginia. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/grsm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Smoky_Mountains_National_Park Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The sprawling landscape encompasses lush forests and an abundance of wildflowers that bloom year-round. Streams, rivers and waterfalls appear along hiking routes that include a segment of the Appalachian Trail. An observation tower tops Clingmans Dome, the highest peak, offering scenic views of the mist-covered mountains. Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park. Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the borders of the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. The three main entrances to the park are in the Gatlinburg, TN; Townsend, TN; and Cherokee, NC. Cades Cove Visitor Center Park information. Indoor and outdoor exhibits of Southern Mountain life and culture, including a grist mill which operates spring through fall, the Becky Cable house, and other historic structures. Ranger-led programs conducted seasonally. Bookstore and shop. Public restrooms. Located halfway around the Cades Cove Loop Road. Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact Station Park information. Bookstore and shop. Public restrooms. Located at the end of Clingmans Dome Road, seven miles from Newfound Gap Road. Oconaluftee Visitor Center Begin your exploration of the park at a visitor center, where you can pick up a park map or newspaper, have your questions answered, and purchase books and guides to the park. Cultural history exhibits. Ranger-led programs conducted seasonally. Bookstore and shop. Public restrooms. Soda and water vending machines. The adjacent Mountain Farm Museum contains a collection of log structures including a farmhouse, barn, smokehouse, applehouse, corn cribs and others. Located on Newfound Gap Road (US-441) two miles north of Cherokee, NC Sugarlands Visitor Center Begin your exploration of the park at a visitor center, where you can pick up a park map or newspaper, have your questions answered, and purchase books and guides to the park. Free 20-minute film about the park. Natural history exhibits. Ranger-led programs conducted seasonally. Bookstore and shop. Public restrooms. Soda and water vending machines. Backcountry Permit Office. Located on Newfound Gap Road (US-441) two miles south of Gatlinburg, TN. Abrams Creek Campground Mountain ranges and a pristine creek are the backdrop for your camping adventure at Abrams Creek. At 1,125 ft, Abrams Creek provides a warm climate, characterized and hot, humid summers with moderate rainfall. Abrams Creek Campground offers campsites for tents as well as small RVs. Camping Fee 17.50 Camping Fee is per site, per night. Balsam Mt. Campground Mountain ranges and pristine streams are the backdrop for your camping adventure in Balsam Mt. At 5,300 feet, Balsam Mtn. provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild summer temperatures with heavy rainfall. Balsam Mtn. Campground offers an unforgettable outdoor experience with campsites for tents as well as RVs. Camping Fee 14.00 Camping Fee is per site, per night. Big Creek Campground Mountain ranges and a pristine creek are the backdrop for your camping adventure in Big Creek Campground. At 1,700 feet, Big Creek provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Big Creek Campground offers campsites for tents only. Camping Fee 14.00 Camping Fee is per site, per night. Cades Cove Campground Cades Cove combines the feel of primitive camping with the modern convenience of flush toilets and drinking water. A camp store provides visitors with basic necessities as well as bike rentals. Events like interpretive programs in the nearby amphitheater and bicycle-only days on the loop road provide visitors with a fun and unique experience. Camping Fee 25.00 Camping Fee is per site, per night during reservation season May 15th - October 31st. Cades Cove Campground Pileated Woodpecker Mist Settles Into The Valley Turkey Near Cades Cove White Tail Deer Near Cades_Cove Log Cabin Near Cades Cove Fall Colors Near Cades Cove Cade's Cove Cades Cove Campground Dramatic Sunset From Cades Cove Loop Road Creek Near Cades Cove Black Bear at Cades Cove Historic Home Near Cades Cove Cades Cove Group Campground Cades Cove combines the feel of primitive camping with the modern convenience of flush toilets and drinking water. A camp store provides visitors with basic necessities as well as bike rentals. Events like interpretive programs in the nearby amphitheater and bicycle-only days on the loop road provide visitors with a fun and unique experience. Group Site #1-2 35.00 20 person maximum Group Site #3 65.00 30 person maximum Group Site#4 53.00 30 person maximum Cataloochee Campground Mountain ranges are the backdrop for your camping adventure in Cataloochee. At 2,600 feet, Cataloochee provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Cataloochee Campground offers campsites for tents as well as RVs. Reservations are required. Camping Fee 20.00 Camping Fee is per site, per night. Reservations are required. CATALOOCHEE GROUP CAMP CATALOOCHEE GROUP CAMP CATALOOCHEE GROUP CAMP CATALOOCHEE GROUP CAMP Cosby Campground Mountain ranges and a pristine river are the backdrop for your camping adventure in Cosby. At 2,450 feet, Cosby provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Cosby Campground offers campsites for tents as well as RVs. Campsite Fee 14.00 Per site per night. Up to 6 people per site. Deep Creek Campground Mountain ranges and a pristine creek are the backdrop for your camping adventure in Deep Creek. At 1,800 feet, Deep Creek provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Deep Creek Campground offers campsites for tents as well as RVs. Camping Fee 17.00 Camping fee is per site, per night. Elkmont Campground Mountain ranges and a pristine river are the backdrop for your camping adventure in Elkmont. At 2,150 feet, Elkmont provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Elkmont Campground offers campsites for tents as well as RVs. Campsite 25.00 Reservations are recommended from May 15th - October 31st. Maximum occupancy of each site is 6 people. No hook-ups, rest rooms with running water are available. Riverside Campsites 27.00 Fee charged for riverside sites during reservation season May 15th - October 31st. Elkmont Campground Sun shining through the forest over an occupied campsite. Generations of campers have returned to Elkmont year after year, drawn by the sounds of the river, the tranquility of the forest, and the variety of recreational activities in the Elkmont area. Elkmont Campsite Sun rays beaming through the forest over an occupied campsite. Generations of campers have returned to Elkmont year after year, drawn by the sounds of the river, the tranquility of the forest, and the variety of recreational activities in the Elkmont area. Elkmont Campsite Unoccupied campsite in Elkmont Campground Generations of campers have returned to Elkmont year after year, drawn by the sounds of the river, the tranquility of the forest, and the variety of recreational activities in the Elkmont area. Elkmont River Site Unoccupied river campsite in Elkmont Campground. Generations of campers have returned to Elkmont year after year, drawn by the sounds of the river, the tranquility of the forest, and the variety of recreational activities in the Elkmont area. Elkmont Campsite Unoccupied campsite in Elkmont Campground on a sunny summer day. Generations of campers have returned to Elkmont year after year, drawn by the sounds of the river, the tranquility of the forest, and the variety of recreational activities in the Elkmont area. Elkmont Campground Office Elkmont Campground Office and information kiosk on a sunny day. Generations of campers have returned to Elkmont year after year, drawn by the sounds of the river, the tranquility of the forest, and the variety of recreational activities in the Elkmont area. Elkmont Campground Store Elkmont Campground store and vending machines. Generations of campers have returned to Elkmont year after year, drawn by the sounds of the river, the tranquility of the forest, and the variety of recreational activities in the Elkmont area. Elkmont Group Campground These sites offers an ideal setting for group camping excursions and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Camping Fee, Tent Only Area 53.00 Site #1, 30 people maximum, no RVs or trailers allowed. Camping Fee, Tent Only Area 35.00 Site #2, 20 person maximum Camping Fee, Tent Only Area 26.00 Site #3, 15 person maximum Camping Fee, Tent Only Area 35.00 Site #4, 20 person maximum Smokemont Campground Mountain ranges and pristine streams and rivers are the backdrop for your camping adventure in Smokemont. Whether blanketed in spring wildflowers or vivid fall colors, the scenery at Smokemont never disappoints. At 2,200 feet, Smokemont provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Smokemont Campground offers an unforgettable outdoor experience with campsites for tents as well as RVs. Camping Fee 25.00 Fee is per site, per night (May 15th-October 31st) Standard Site Campground Office Bradley Fork Trail F Loop Site 34 F-34 View D-Loop Site Restrooms HC Firepit Campsite in C Loop Smokemont Group Campground Mountain ranges and pristine streams and rivers are the backdrop for your camping adventure in Smokemont. Whether blanketed in spring wildflowers or vivid fall colors, the scenery at Smokemont never disappoints. At 2,200 feet, Smokemont provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Smokemont Campground offers an unforgettable outdoor experience with campsites for tents as well as RVs. Frosty Morning in Cades Cove A thick layer of frost covers the fields, trees, and mountains in Cades Cove. Wintertime brings a quiet beauty to the Great Smoky Mountains. "Smoke" Rising From the Mountains Wisps of fog hang over the forests in the mountains. The park gets its name from mists that often rise like smoke from the mountains. A Foggy Morning at Cades Cove Methodist Church Tombstones stand in front of a white, wooden church on a foggy morning. Historic buildings such as churches, gristmills, barns, and homes allow visitors to get a feel for life in the mountains before the national park was created. The Waters of Roaring Fork Below Grotto Falls Rhododendron bushes line the banks of a stream filled with large boulders. Abundant rainfall means lush forests and beautiful stream scenes in the Great Smoky Mountains. The "Wildflower National Park" A hillside in the forest covered with white trillium flowers Wildflowers, such as these white trillium, can be found blooming from February through November in the park. Fall Colors Near Newfound Gap Bright gold and red leaves shine through the fog in a forest. Fall leaf season is one of the busiest times of year in the park. Fall Meets Winter Gold and red fall colors fill the valleys while snow coats the mountain tops. In spring and fall, weather in the foothills can be pleasant, while snow and cold rule on the mountain tops. Listening to the Eclipse: National Park Service scientists join Smithsonian, NASA in nationwide project A solar eclipse is visually stunning, but what will it sound like? NPS scientists will find out by recording sounds in parks across the USA. An NPS scientist installs audio recording equipment in a lush valley at Valles Caldera NP. 2015 Recipients: George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service Six people and programs received the 2015 Harzog Award for their exceptional volunteer service. Check out their amazing contributions! Young volunteer giving a thumbs up sign 2014 Recipients: George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service Discover the inspirational stories and amazing dedication of volunteers honored with the 2014 Hartzog Award. Volunteer Thelma Johnson standing with her cooking equipment 2012 Recipients: George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service Every year, the National Park Service benefits from the extraordinary contributions of dedicated volunteers. Meet the six recipients of the 2012 Hartzog Awards honoring that service. Two volunteers assisting a visitor NPS Structural Fire Program Highlights 2014 Intern Accomplishments Study Finds Cleaner Air in the Smokies New research finds that ground-level ozone pollution in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NP) has dropped to its lowest levels since the mid-1980s. Newfound Gap, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Natural Partnership Forged in Fire: National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy Early in 2015, Great Smoky Mountains fire staff met with local TNC representatives to explore avenues for sharing resources on prescribed fire activities and getting more fire on the ground in the Smokies and the Southern Appalachians. Cultural Landscapes by Bicycle There are many ways to experience national parks by bicycle, with route options for all levels of experience and preference. Here are just three examples of ways to explore park cultural landscapes by bike in the southeastern part of the United States. Ride a loop road through an agricultural community in a fertile valley, follow the path of a former railroad that once brought tourists to Mammoth Cave, or travel mountain bike trails to a farmstead from the late 1800s. Two people with bikes gaze over a valley filled with fog, with blue mountains in the background. Testing Hypotheses for Plant Species Distributions in the Mountains Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a site with scientific value. One such scientific landmark is the work of Robert Whittaker, whose PhD dissertation research in the 1940s illuminated the complexity of ecological succession. His work has had a lasting effect on the field of ecology ever since. Orange, yellow and green foliage on a mountainside Park Air Profiles - Great Smoky Mountains National Park Air quality profile for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Gives park-specific information about air quality and air pollution impacts for Great Smoky Mountains NP as well as the studies and monitoring conducted for Great Smoky Mountains NP. Fall foliage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Canadian Top Prescribed Burn 2013 In May 2013, wildland firefighters in Great Smoky Mountains NP began a prescribed burn in the Jesse Ridge subunit as part of the Canadian Top Prescribed Fire Plan for the pines and mixed hardwoods found on ridges surrounding the Cataloochee Valley area in the eastern portion on the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The plan includes reducing hazardous fuel accumulations and restoring and maintaining a diverse and functioning ecosystem. Ozone effects on two ecosystem services at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA Protected areas such as national parks are recognized as important providers of ecosystem services, the benefits nature conveys to humans. However, some threats to these services, such as air pollution, can derive from outside a park’s boundaries. Stream and forest in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. NPS/Tamara Blett World War II Plane Crashes in National Parks During WWII, more than 7,100 air crashes involved US Army Air Force (USAAF) aircraft occurred on American soil. Collectively these crashes resulted in the loss of more than 15,599 lives (Mireles 2006). Many of these military aircraft accidents occurred in remote, often mountainous, areas managed by the National Park Service. plane crash at base of grassy hill Louis E. Voorheis The Voorheis Estate, a landscape within the North District of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, encompass the former mountain retreat developed by Louis E. Voorheis from 1928-1944. It is an example of Rustic style architecture and landscape architecture, evident in the form of structures and designed water features. A stone wall with a rounded top and a square stone basin, surrounded by woodland Foothills Parkway: The Next Steps Foothills Parkways, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is the last Congressionally mandated parkway that remains to be completed. Constructing a bridge on the Foothills Parkway Reef Bay Trail Rehabilitation Virgin Islands National Park wants to thank Great Smoky Mountain Trail Crew for their tremendous work in rehabilitate the Reef Bay Trail. In addition to clearing the trail much of it had to be reconstructed or redirected. Smoky Mountain Trail Crew Bat Projects in Parks: Great Smoky Mountains National Park There are more than one way to keep up with bats in a park. Find out all the Great Smoky Mountains National Park did! A bat with white fuzz on its muzzle Wildlife Connectivity Near Great Smoky Mountains National Park Jeff Hunter provides an overview of a collaborative wildlife connectivity project focused on 28-miles of highway corridor along I-40 near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The project seeks to improve the ability of black bear, white-tailed deer, elk (reintroduced in 2001), & other wildlife to safely cross this busy interstate highway and access Cherokee National Forest and other conservation lands northeast of the park. (March 2019) two black bears Creating BearWise Community Partnerships Creating BearWise Community Partnerships looks at the working relationship between Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), and how it has fostered community partnerships that encourage communities surrounding GRSM to become BearWise. (June 2020) evening city view with mountains in the background Women in Fire Science: Cynthia Worthington Cynthia Worthington is a fire effects monitor and has worked in several different units of the National Park Service during her career. The importance of collaboration with other fields and the built-in adaptability of fire programs is one of her favorite parts of working in fire that keeps her coming back. A woman in black rain gear stands with a clipboard in a meadow. Outside Science (inside parks): Smoky Salamanders Student interns get their hands dirty while looking for tiny salamanders at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. captured salamander in a baggie National Parks’ Homefront Battle: Protecting Parks During WWII Though the National Park Service (NPS) was only 25 years old at the outbreak of World War II, the agency found itself fighting a battle on the homefront. With little precedent to work from and dwindling budgets and staff, the NPS strongly defended its parks against a flood of demands to log, mine, graze, drain, and take over national parks Pollinators - Monarch butterfly More than beautiful, monarch butterflies contribute to the health of our planet. While feeding on nectar, they pollinate many types of wildflowers, yet one of the greatest threats to Monarch populations is loss of habitat. A Monarch clings to an orange flower Using Citizen Scientists to Document Life Cycle Changes Citizen scientists of all ages help uncover how the timing of natural events, such as flowering or migration, is changing from year to year in the Great Smoky Mountains. Two girls identifying a tree Partnerships Make Wetland Restoration Happen Tribes, volunteers, and students came together to restore a critically important wetland in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Teamwork made the project successful. group of people plant native plants in a grassy meadow Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Parks in Science History Parks in Science History is a series of articles and videos made in cooperation with graduate students from various universities. They highlight the roles that national parks have played in the history of science and, therefore, the world's intellectual heritage. A woman looking through binoculars Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Burned Area Recovery from the Chimney Tops 2 Fire, Great Smoky Mountains National Park After the 2016 Chimney Tops 2 Fire in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, staff has undertaken several projects to stabilize and restore the landscape, including a project for the cultivation and preservation of eastern hemlock. Two Americorps team members hold insecticide next to a tree. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development] valley with stream Cambrian Period—541 to 485.4 MYA The flat layers of rock exposed in Grand Canyon National Park encompass much of the Paleozoic, beginning in the Cambrian where they record an ancient shoreline. rock with fossil burrow tracks Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Dare to Imagine: Alix Pfennigwerth Scroll through this bright data visualization to learn how Biologist Alix Pfennigwerth studies and protects biodiversity hotspots in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This data story is part of a National Park Foundation funded project called the Dare to Imagine project dedicated to highlighting women in parks who are breaking barriers and showing what a scientist looks like. Meet Alix Pfennigwerth, a Biological Science Technician at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
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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
SMOKIES GUIDE The official newspaper of Great Smoky Mountains National Park • Winter 2019-20 In this issue Smokies Trip Planner • 2 Great Sights to See • 4 National Park News • 5 Jr. Ranger Corner • 7 Winter Driving Map • 8 Winter Wildlife Watching • 10 State of the Park • 12 How to Help the Smokies • 14 Park Etiquette • 15 Visitor Information • 16 Be sure to check the weather forecast and road conditions before traveling to the park. Image courtesy of NPS Winter in the Mountains Brings Beauty, Snow and Ice ey M en on St t Exploring the park this season is a delight made possible by Smokies road crews m uip ulfo q E r Op rd, Enginee or erat v or Super is Words with a Ranger As the roads supervisor on the Tennessee side of the park, one of the best parts of my job is going up the mountain to Newfound Gap when U.S. 441 is closed after a snow event and experiencing how peaceful and quiet it is. During winter storms, visitors may be disappointed to find that some park roads are closed. What the majority of people don’t realize is that we don’t use salt within the park because it can damage the plants and streams that Words with a Ranger continued on page 5 W inter in the Great Smoky Mountains may not bring the celebrated blooms of spring wildflower season, the long, warm days and lazy summer nights of June and July, or the famously brilliant colors of fall, but it possesses an allure that can be observed in quiet forests, frigid rushing streams, frosty fields, and snowy mountain landscapes. Visitors who seek these destinations are rewarded with fewer crowds compared to other seasons and a unique beauty only this time of year offers. That’s not to say that winter is a time of inactivity. In fact, the park’s roads crews may be busier than ever responding to winter weather events that close roads and disrupt travel. Many secondary roads in the park are winding, high-elevation roads or gravel backroads and therefore are closed during the winter season (see map on pages 8–9). Other roads, like Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441), are subject to extended weather-related closures and require a great deal of work to reopen. Newfound Gap Road stretches 33 miles across the mountains to an elevation of 5,046 feet and connects Gatlinburg, TN, to Cherokee, NC. When heavy snow falls or slick conditions develop, it is a team effort of crews coming from each side of the mountain and meeting at the top to get the road cleared across its mountainous path. “As roads crews in the nation’s most visited national park,” said North District Roads Supervisor Stoney Mulford, “it’s important that we support visitor enjoyment and safety by providing well maintained and safe roadways for travel. Continued on page 6 OUR PARK ON SOCIAL MEDIA GreatSmokyMountainsNPS 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. Due to work on the Bote Mountain Tunnel and no access to Cades Cove this winter (see page 6), Cades Cove Campground will be closed. Elkmont and Smokemont campgrounds are open. There are no showers or hookups other than circuits for special medical uses at Cades Cove, Elkmont and Smokemont. Campsites may be reserved up to six months in advance. Reservations are required at Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek and Cataloochee campgrounds. 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. Maps and guides: SmokiesInformation.org Additional information: nps.gov/grsm Group sites must be reserved and may be secured up to a year in advance. The list below shows number of sites, elevations, expected opening dates, nightly fees and maximum RV lengths. Call 877.444.6777 or contact recreation. gov to make reservations. • 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', closed Dec. 30, 2019–March 5, 2020, $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 2, $17.50, 25' RVs • Deep Creek 92 sites, elev. 1,800', opens May 21, $21, 26' RVs • Elkmont 220 sites, elev. 2,150', open During winter, wildlife is more visible because deciduous trees have lost their leaves. Use the rule of thumb (illustrated on the next page) to view all wildlife, including this bobcat. Image by Bill Lea SMOKIES GUIDE Smokies Guide is produced five times per year by Great Smoky Mountains Association and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. nps.gov/grsm Publication dates are roughly as follows: Spring: mid-March Summer: early June Late
SMOKIES GUIDE The Official Newspaper of Great Smoky Mountains National Park • Summer 2019 In This Issue Smokies Trip Planner • 2 Great Sights to See • 4 National Park News • 5 Elk Watching • 6 Park Etiquette • 7 Summer Driving Road Map • 8-9 Summer Ranger Programs • 10-14 You Can Help Park Science • 14 Jr. Ranger Corner • 15 Visitor Information • 16 Bright orange Tennessee Shiners surround a stoneroller on a chub nest in the West Fork of the Pigeon River. Image by Dave Herasimtschuk, Freshwaters Illustrated Smoky Mountain Fish Put On Colorful Breeding Displays gis tt Ku lp, lo Ma t Large stone nests protect native spawn on the river bottom Sup r e r v i s o r y Fi s h e yB io Words with a Ranger As the supervisory fishery biologist for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I am responsible for protecting, preserving and managing more than 70 species of fish, setting fishing regulations for five species of game fish, and maintaining and improving the water quality of more than 2,900 miles of park streams and rivers. We protect and preserve fish populations by monitoring them annually, restoring native fish in select streams and working with neighboring state Words with a Ranger continued on page 5 P inks and purples, neon oranges and wisps of bright yellow shimmer in a dance of color under the flow of a clear mountain stream. One of the most spectacular displays of living color in the Smokies doesn’t fly through the air or bloom with the wildflowers—it billows in a ball at the bottom of a river. Early summer means it’s mating time for many species of fish in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Males of some native species like the River Chub and the Tennessee Shiner put on a particularly striking show. Male River Chubs begin to take on a pinkish-purple coloration in April to attract a mate, but they also play an ecological role by building large stone nests for their spawn out of pebbles gathered from the river bottom. Several smaller species of fish, which also take on distinctive hues to attract mates, have adapted to rely on these very same mounds as safe spawning sites throughout May and June. At times in early summer, several species can be seen gathered at once in bright, shifting swarms above a single mound. “It’s quite a spectacle,” said Fisheries Technician Caleb Abramson. When the oranges and yellows of spawning Tennessee and Saffron Shiners intermingle, Abramson describes the shifting mass as a “fireball” of activity. Other fish including Central Stonerollers and Warpaint Shiners also use River Chub mounds as spawning sites. Although this summer show can be one of the more elusive for park visitors, spawning events can occur in most of the major lower-elevation streams throughout GSMNP, including the Little River and the Little Pigeon River. Research remains to be done into the complex levels of interdependence between these and other remarkable Smoky Mountain natives. TH A N K YO U FO R N OT M OVI N G RO CKS. Hellbenders live and nest under rocks. Leaving no trace protects this sensitive species. SMOKIES TRIP PLANNER Maps and guides: SmokiesInformation.org Additional information: nps.gov/grsm 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. Campsites at Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Elkmont and Smokemont may be reserved. For reservations call 877.444.6777 or contact recreation.gov. Sites may be reserved up to 6 months in advance. Reservations are required at Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek and Cataloochee campgrounds. Site occupancy is limited to 6 people and two vehicles (a trailer = 1 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. Call 877.444.6777 or contact recreation.gov. Group sites may be reserved up to a year in advance. The list below shows number of campground sites, elevations, camping fees and maximum RV lengths. For current dates of operation, visit nps.gov/grsm. • Abrams Creek 16 sites, elev. 1,125', opens April 26, $17.50, 12' trailers • Balsam Mountain 42 sites, elev. 5,310', opens May 17, $17.50, 30' RVs • Big Creek 12 sites, elev. 1,700', opens April 19, $17.50, tents only • Cades Cove 159 sites, elev. 1,807', open year-round, $21-$25, 35'-40' RVs • Cataloochee 27 sites, elev. 2,610', opens April 19, $25, 31' RVs • Cosby 157 sites, elev. 2,459', opens April 19, $17.50, 25' RVs • Deep Creek 92 sites, elev. 1,800', opens April 19, $21, 26' RVs • Elkmont 220 sites, elev. 2,150', opens March 8, $21-$27, 32'-35' RVs • Smokemont 142 sites, elev. 2,198', open yearround, $21-$25, 35'-40' RVs. • Look Rock closed in 2019 To p
INSIDE WILD FOODS FROM THE FOREST Page 12 RANGER PROGRAMS Pages 6-7 PARK MAP Pages 8-9 VERNON LIX PHOTO BILL LEA PHOTO Th e O f f i c i a l N e w s p a p e r o f G r e a t S m o k y M o u n t a i n s N a t i o n a l P a r k D A u t u m n 2 0 1 7 BLACK BEARS During fall, bears depend Approximately 200 elk now live in the vicinity of the national park. The Fall “Rut” Is On! his autumn, Smoky Mountain elk will be players in a courtship ritual that is one of the great spectacles of the North American animal kingdom. Mature male (bull) elk will compete for control of groups of females called “harems.” Most of the time, the competition between males will be pure showmanship— prancing, bugling, grunting, and other noncontact methods of intimidation. At times, however, the contests may turn deadly serious with bulls using their sharp antlers to attack other males. Bugling is one of the most widely-recognized parts of courtship (called the rut). Bulls toss back their heads and utter a long, loud, sonorous call that can be heard for as much as a mile away. Bugling is a way for bull elk to assert their dominance against rival males as larger bulls usually have deeper, louder calls. The best place to see elk during the rut is Cataloochee Valley or in the vicinity of Oconaluftee Visitor Center. The elk rut begins in Septem- T ber and peaks in early October. Most fields frequented by elk will be closed to the public during the rut, but visitors may observe from pulloffs or other designated areas. Approaching elk or bear closer than 50 yards is strictly prohibited. Male white-tailed deer (bucks) also have some dramatic courtship rituals. They generally stop eating during the rut and will chase or lock antlers with other bucks to determine dominance. Males may also be observed chasing females and making bleating sounds. The white-tailed deer rut lasts from October into January with a peak around Thanksgiving. Cades Cove is probably the best place in the park to watch deer. The 11mile Cades Cove Loop Road is open from sunrise to sunset throughout the year. Both deer and elk are especially unpredictable in fall. People should never approach or attempt to feed them. Use binoculars and cameras with telephoto lenses to observe their activities. heavily on acorns, hickory nuts, and other types of hard “mast” to gain weight for winter. If the trees provide plentiful mast, bears will not need to wander far and wide in search of food and females will give birth to 1-3 tiny bear cubs over the winter. If the mast crop is poor, bears will be crossing roads and searching for food in developed areas more frequently. Be alert! Construction of the Clingmans Dome tower was completed in 1960. Major Grant Funds Tower Rehabilitation T hanks to a $250,000 grant from Partners in Preservation (PIP), crews will be at work this fall rehabilitating the iconic Clingmans Dome observation tower. Their tasks will include stabilizing support walls at the base of the ramp, repairing deteriorated sections of columns, and repointing some stone masonry. For safety reasons the tower will be closed to the public during the duration of the project, which is likely to last through most of the fall. However, visitors will still be allowed to hike up the 0.5 mile paved trail to the top of the mountain, which is the high point in the Smokies and the third highest summit east of the Mississippi River. Visitors on the trail should be aware that construction vehicles may be headed up or down the route. Great Smoky Mountains National Park competed with 20 other parks for the Partners funding. In honor of the National Park Service centennial last year, grants were awarded to nine historic preservation projects in various national parks. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Company, among others, team up to provide the PIP grants each year. The modern design of Clingmans Dome tower was a radical concept when it was conceived by local architect Hubert Bebb and the NPS in the late 1950s. The observation tower was created to replace a wooden structure upon which visitors had to climb steep stairs to get a view above the Fraser fir trees. That tower had fallen into disrepair and was closed in 1950. The ramp of the new tower was designed to mimic the grade of the trail leading to the mountaintop and allows access by strollers and persons unable to climb multiple flights of stairs. smokies trip planner smokies guide Smokies Guide is produced four times per year by Great Smoky Mountains Association and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Publication dates are roughly as follows: SPRING: March 15 SUMMER: June 1 AUTUMN: September 15 WINTER: December 1 Contributing Editor Steve Kemp NPS Coordinator Nigel Fields Editorial Board Joy Absher Lynda Doucette Kristine Johnson Mike Maslona Laurel Rematore Contributors Lisa Horstman, Karen Key, Emma Dufort © 2017 Great Smoky Mountains Association GSMA P.O. Box 130 Gatlinburg, TN

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