Smokies proposes park-wide parking fee

A visit to the nation’s most popular national park could cease being free if a groundbreaking proposal  put forth by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last week is enacted.

Smokies proposes parkwide parking fee

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park today announced a groundbreaking proposal to charge a daily fee for parking and significantly increase existing frontcountry and backcountry fees within the enormously popular national park. A public comment period is now open, and a virtual public meeting is planned for Thursday, April 14.

Crews quell fires as new weather system arrives

The wildfires that ripped through the mountains last week are now mostly under control, but as of Tuesday afternoon, April 5, fire danger remained high in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee — even as the first drops of rain from a large system headed north began to blanket the region.

Thomas Divide fire cools as Sevier County flames

Crews are getting the Thomas Divide Complex Fire in Swain County and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park under control, with the size of 941 acres measured last night representing a decrease from the 960 acres reported the previous day. The difference is due to more accurate mapping, and the fire is 60% contained.

High wind warning challenges Smokies firefighting efforts

The Thomas Divide Complex Fire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now 60% contained at 960 acres, but a challenging day awaits the 70 people engaged in firefighting efforts.

More than 1,000 acres burning in mountain region

High winds over the weekend felled trees and downed power lines, sparking a wildfire that covers 950 acres straddling the jurisdictional line between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Swain County. Meanwhile, a fire in the Cherokee National Forest near the state line is burning 180 acres.

Smokies, Parkway, top NPS visitation list for 2021

The two most visited national parks of 2021 are located right here in Western North Carolina, according to figures released by the National Park Service today.

Development in Swain driven by tourism

Development for Swain County often looks much different than other counties, mostly because Swain has such a limited amount of land available for development. 

Smokies visitation blasts past 14 million

For five of the past seven years, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has posted an all-time high number of annual visits, and 2021 showed the largest leap yet. The park recorded a whopping 14.1 million visits in 2021 — a 12.4% increase over the previous record of 12.5 million set in 2019. 

Making the invisible visible: Smokies marks three years of research effort in African American history project

Combing through the dustiest tomes of park history, Great Smoky Mountains National Park researchers have since 2018 been working to elevate a plotline that so far has been relegated only to the smallest of small type — the history and contributions of African Americans within the park and in its outlying communities. 

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