Highlands looks for balance of progress, preservation

Discussions going on right now in the town of Highlands are the same discussions happening across the nation as the short-term rental industry continues to grow, leaving little room for the local workforce and changing the housing landscape of the community. 

What’s new in downtown Sylva?

Like the rest of the world, Sylva has had to grapple with the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic and the ensuing economic fallout. However, Sylva not only maintained a healthy, downtown business district, it has added new businesses and new elements to the downtown scene throughout the course of the pandemic. 

Sylva wraps up summer festival season

Planning events during the COVID-19 Pandemic has been no picnic. Just as businesses and agencies make plans for their next festival or fundraiser, the virus takes another unexpected turn. 

Forest therapy trail approved for Sylva

Sylva may soon be home to the first certified forest therapy trail in North Carolina following the town board’s unanimous vote to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Mark Ellison, a certified nature and forest therapy guide who lives in Jackson County. 

Ticket, please: Smokies to explore paid parking, shuttle service as crowd control tools

As visitor use in the already-crowded  Great Smoky Mountains National Park continues to climb, for the first time ever the park will try out paid trailhead reservations as a potential answer to overcrowding. 

Let’s talk about all the visitors

In the middle of the tourism season, is there any way to politely state the obvious: this region is being overrun by visitors.

Smokies, Parkway spared drop in park visitor spending

Visitor spending in national park communities during 2020 was just over two-thirds the amount spent in 2019, but parks in Western North Carolina were spared that drop, according to a new report from the National Park Service. Together, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway accounted for more than 10% of visits to national park units in 2020. 

Living in bearadise: Encounters highlight need for human responsibility in bear country

After flying into town and renting a car for their Memorial Day Weekend visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, three adults visited Cades Cove on Saturday, May 29. 

Made by mountains: Regional brand aims to drive entrepreneurship, stewardship in WNC’s outdoor economy

The outdoor industry has for years been on an upward trajectory in Western North Carolina, and a regional branding campaign unveiled May 18 aims to boost it even further. 

Town of Canton joins municipal TDA bill

A week after Haywood County Republican Rep. Mark Pless’ municipal TDA bill came out of committee wholly rewritten to include only the town of Maggie Valley, a third version has emerged and passed the House with an additional town listed. 

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.