North Carolina side of park needs bigger, better visitors center

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has known it needed a new visitors center on the North Carolina side of the park since the early 1980s. Finally, it appears the nation’s most-visited national park is going to get one, and the communities surrounding the park should be glad the time has finally come.

Fire on the mountain

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

A forest fire burned nearly 40 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Wednesday (Feb. 28), threatening the Purchase Knob research station.

Smokies National Park conducts 530-acre prescribed burn

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park conducted a prescribed burn on a 530-acre tract of forest in the Cataloochee Valley area last weekend.

N.C. side of Smokies goes biodiesel

About two dozen diesel vehicles used by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina side of the park will soon be fueling up with B-50 biodiesel.

Study credits park for tourist spending

According to a recently-released National Park Service study, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not only the nation’s most visited national park, it also tops the 388 national park units in visitor spending.

The Little River watershed

Nestled in the northern center of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Elkmont was once a thriving logging community that inspired Walt Disney’s screen image of Snow White’s cabin and now serves as a key research site for studying synchronous fireflies.

Things that go blink in the night

By Michael Beadle

As springtime visitors flock to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see the phenomenon of synchronous fireflies, researchers are hoping to learn more about how and why these beetles produce such amazing light shows.

It may well be the most beautiful mating ritual on the planet.

Moldies but goodies: Smokies’ slime molds climb the charts in groundbreaking research

When a heavy rain washed into Paul Super’s garage last month, soaking a couple of bags of freshly-purchased mulch in the process, it triggered a dormant slime mold in the mulch to spring to life in a bright yellow ooze, much to the delight of his four-year-old son.

The healing power of slime molds

New research on slime molds at the University of Georgia has generated hope for the millions of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases that a cure could one day be possible.

Call of the wild resounds loud and clear

Environmental groups and outdoors lovers packed the public hearing in Bryson City last week to decry the idea of building a road through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a national treasure and is part of the shared natural and cultural heritage that belongs to every American,” said Greg Kidd, associate southeast director for the National Parks Conservation Association.

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