kids on large rock in the smoky mountains

This Is the Safer Way To Hike in the Smoky Mountains, From a Local

How to make hiking in the Smokies safer As a local, I’m frequently asked the question: Is it safe to hike in the Smoky Mountains? The answer is an unequivocal yes from a statistical standpoint. Millions of people visit the Smoky Mountains annually. The number of those who encounter trouble or dangerous situations is very few. Still, there is nothing

The tunnel at the Road to Nowhere

The Road to Nowhere in the Smoky Mountains That Locals Hate

The Road to Nowhere in the Smoky Mountains has become an unlikely tourist attraction They say you shouldn’t mess with Texas. But there are other places in the world with well-earned reputations of grittiness that surpass ordinary folks like you and me. But while some talk a good game, other folks are all about that life without catchy slogans or festive

fdr memorial on newfound gap road

Newfound Gap Controversy: The Road Once-Described as “an Atrocity”

The now-popular Newfound Gap Road was once described as “an atrocity” by those who opposed its construction As someone who has been driving around these mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina for nearly 35 years now, I’ve been on many mountain roads that I have no desire to drive on ever again. I don’t ever want to do

Eastern Hellbender

5 Secrets of the Smoky Mountains That May Surprise You

Tennessee local lists favorite little-known facts about the Smokies I always say that it’s no surprise an ancient mountain range cloaked in a thick forest and shrouded in mist has secrets. Each year, the mountains reclaim that which was forgotten or abandoned when the park drove away those who’d lived in the mountains. Of course, the National Park Service has

entrance to ghost town in the sky in north carolina

7 Abandoned Places in the Smoky Mountains That Will Give You Chills

Local lists favorite spooky abandoned attractions, homesteads in the Smokies As a local, I’ve seen a lot of business come and go. I’ve also stumbled across a few forgotten places in the mountains. Sometimes I find them above the streams and along the old roads. They are forgotten places that generations of people used to live and work and call

morton overlook

Morton Overlook: One of the Best, Most Accessible Views in the Smokies

A Smoky Mountain local talks about one of his favorite area overlooks We were cutting through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, returning home from Bryson City, North Carolina on Newfound Gap Road – aka U.S. Route 441. I was driving so my attention was on the road and I missed some of the natural beauty of the spruce-fir forests. I

the walker sister place and the sisters

The Sisters Who Lived Inside the Smoky Mountains Park for 20 Years

The Walker Sisters Place and the women who lived within, surviving off of the land, selling trinkets to tourists In the Great Smoky Mountains, history is often found in the hollers, in the lingering crannies found in the shadow of giant mountain ridges. It’s in these historic places that the great passage of time, which in our everyday lives is

a cabin on a lake

The Effort to Turn Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains Into a Lake

In the 1930s, official plans were drawn up to turn the Cove into a reservoir Driving along the edges of East Tennessee’s lakes, there are signs that things are not always as they have been. Decaying grain silos rise inexplicably from the water and ancient roads and trails lead down to lakebeds without turning. In the days before the Tennessee Valley Authority,

a pinkish purple lake

The Legend Of Atagahi – A Hidden Lake In The Smoky Mountains

According to Cherokee legend, the enchanted lake only reveals itself to those who are pure of heart The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is dotted with well-preserved conclaves of cabins and barns. And the occasional mill or silo. Places like Cades Cove or Greenbrier or Roaring Fork serve as reminders of life in the mountains in the decades leading up

clingmans dome in north carolina

Clingmans Dome Controversy, the Tower That Weathered a Media Storm

A Smoky Mountain local recalls the tale of the tower that was almost canceled The Hatfields and the McCoys. The Jets and the Sharks. The Capulets and the Montagues. The National Park Service and the National Park Association. Queue freeze frame, quizzical look and record scratch. What? That’s right. The organization that was to be the voice of the National Parks