High winds cause Smokies road closures

High winds ahead of a cold front expected to move in later today have caused the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to close several roads and issue a warning to hikers.

Kephart Prong Trail has a unique story

I like visiting those sites here in the Smokies region where there is what I think of as an “overlay.” That is, places where both natural and human history commingle. At such places, one encounters the confluence of all or several of the major strands in the region’s natural and cultural fabric: wild areas, plants, and animals; early Cherokee and pioneer settlement influences; and the impacts of the modern era, initiated here primarily with the coming of the railroad in the late 19th century. At such places the alert observer can experience what the French have defined as “frisson” — a moment of excitement and insight that arises when various forces coalesce.

Fire ban lifted in the Smokies

After being banned since Sept. 26, backcountry campfires are once more allowed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as of Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Drought arrives in Western North Carolina

A ban on backcountry fires in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was announced today following the release of a new drought map showing that 45 counties in central and western North Carolina are experiencing moderate drought.

The untold story: Smokies seeks to showcase history of African-Americans in the park

Many plotlines weave through the story of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but if the park were a book, some of those plotlines be written in bold, with others buried in small type. 

“We probably go overboard in telling the story of the white Appalachian settlers to this area,” said Susan Sachs, the park’s acting chief of resource education. “We do a better job of telling the stories of the Cherokee, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. But then when it comes to the African-American story, we know that we are failing there.”

Park Service seeks information regarding man’s death

Investigators with the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch are trying to determine the circumstances surrounding the death of David Carver, Jr., who was found in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Monday, July 8. They are seeking information from the public to make that determination. 

Motorist dies on Clingmans Dome Road

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers responded to a single-car motor vehicle accident on Clingmans Dome Road at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Monday, July 15. The driver of the vehicle, Timothy Patrick James McCauley, 37, of Farmington, Missouri died as a result of his injuries. The passenger, Angela Walker, 38, was flown to University of Tennessee Medical Center by Lifestar.

Deceased man found in Smokies identified

The identity of a man whose remains were found in an off-trail area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this week has been released.

Searchers found David J. Carver, 64, of Blount County, Tennessee, near Laurel Creek Road between Townsend and Cades Cove on Monday, July 8, after receiving a tip from an off-trail hiker. His remains appeared to be several months old.

The Knox County Regional Forensic Center identified Carver by comparing medical records. The cause of death and activity at time of death are under investigation. An autopsy is being performed, and no additional details are currently available.

Trillium Gap Trail Temporarily Closed Due to Trail Conditions

Trillium Gap Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be temporarily closed through Thursday, July 11, due to hazardous trail conditions. The area received heavy rainfall over the last couple of weeks causing extremely slippery, muddy conditions on the trail surface undergoing rehabilitation.

1999: Smokies works to overcome hurdles

It’s no coincidence that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the subject of The Smoky Mountain News’ first-ever front-page story in the paper’s inaugural issue June 2, 1999.

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