Dollywood Flowers And Food Festival. Dollywood has added a new festival to the mix during this season. The Flower and Food Festival kicked off when Dollywood opened on June 1, 2020. Visitors will enjoy over half a million new flowers and plants throughout the park. Many displays are Smoky Mountain turtles, frogs, black bears, and a tribute to “Coat of Many Colors” with a butterfly and scenic sculpture of Dolly’s mother sewing the coat. The tallest sculpture is Dolly’s mother, which is 14-feet tall! The sculptures are called “mosaics.” Mosaiculture is the art of creating larger-than life plant sculptures using thousands of plants to cover a steel frame. There are more than 6,000 plants in Dolly’s mosaics. The mosaics aren’t the only “flower” elements in the park! There are also beautiful floral carpet beds around the walkways and plenty of flowerbeds.Continue reading…
10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. Packing the 10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains is like your insurance policy for a back country emergency. Ninety-nine percent of the time you will not need them but when you do, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The 10 Essentials were originally conceived in the 1930’s by The Mountaineers club based in Seattle, WA. For over eighty years the 10 Essentials were the standard until 2003 when the group updated the list to a “systems” approach instead of an individual items list. This systems approach categorizes necessities allowing a more thorough level of preparedness.
10 Essential Systems for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains:
1 Navigation (map/compass/GPS)
2 Sun Protection (sunscreen/sunglasses)
3 Insulation (extra dry clothing)
4 Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
5 First-aid Kit/Supplies
6 Fire (waterproof matches/lighter)
7 Repair Kit and Tools
8 Nutrition (extra food)
9 Hydration (extra water/water purification system)
10 Emergency Shelter (Mylar blanket)
Here are the many advantages to the systems approach to the 10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Navigation – Map and compass are viewed as a single necessity. Know how to use them. Unless you plan to walk an impossible to miss footpath, invest in a quality topographic map for the area you plan to explore. A GPS is great as long as the batteries last and you know how to operate it.
Sun Protection – Especially at the higher elevations in the National Park, this can be critical. There is nothing worse than a nasty sun burn after a great hike. Even on a hazy day, your skin is at risk for overexposure.
Smoky Mountain Full Buck Moon Is On The Rise!
No fireworks this year? No problem. Watch the full Buck Moon rise on the 4th of July instead! Discover why July’s full Moon is called the Buck Moon and learn about the penumbral eclipse that will occur on the same day.Continue reading…
Great Smoky Mountains Facilities Open.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has opened some campgrounds, visitor centers, and additional roads will be accessible to visitors as part of the current phase in the park’s plan to restore public access across the park.Continue reading…
Cades Cove car ban implemented by Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
National Park officials announce the implementation of vehicle-free access on the Cades Cove Loop Road each Wednesday beginning June 17, 2020 through September 30, 2020. This move is being called a “pilot study” to improve the visitor experience. For many years vehicle free hours have been each Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10 a.m. during May through September. The park proposed the study due to congested parking areas and disruption of visitor services associated with the vehicle-free periods.Continue reading…