Public Input Requested for Smoky Mountain Proposed Air Tour Management Plan

Public Input Requested for Smoky Mountain Proposed Air Tour Management Plan. The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are asking the public to comment on the draft Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) proposed for Great Smoky Mountains National Park through October 13, 2021. The agencies encourage anyone with an interest in or concern about air tours over Great Smoky Mountains National Park to review and comment on the draft ATMP. The proposed plan would authorize up to 946 air tours per year on defined routes. There were on average 946 air tours per year conducted by two air tour operators reported at Great Smoky Mountains National Park from 2017 – 2019.

Continue reading…

Cades Cove Handicapped Accessible Trail Open To Public

New John Oliver cabin trail opens in GSMNP!
New John Oliver cabin trail opens in GSMNP!

Cades Cove Handicapped Accessible Trail Open To Public. National Park officials celebrated the completed trail accessibility project in Cades Cove at the historic John Oliver Cabin. The new trail meets standards of the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) and provides access for visitors of all ability levels to one of Cades Cove’s most popular historic homesites.    

The work of making our parks more accessible for all is so important,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Now all visitors have the opportunity to leave the roadway and be more fully immersed in the Cades Cove story through a trail experience within the historic landscape.”

The trail provides a unique view across the pastoral fields associated with the home of John and Lucretia Oliver, Cades Cove’s first European settlers. The family settled in Cades Cove in 1818. The path provides fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities for deer, turkey, bears, and grassland birds. The half-mile, paved trail is approximately eight feet wide to provide adequate space for wheelchairs and other mobility devices to pass one another. Funding for the project was made possible through a $150,000 donation provided by the National Park Foundation and a $57,000 donation provided by the Friends of the Smokies.  

“It is such an honor to partner with Superintendent Cash and his staff in helping fulfill this vision of making park experiences more accessible,” said Sharon Pryse, Board of Directors Chair for Friends of the Smokies. “We’re grateful for the donations of all our ‘Friends’ who make it possible for us to support special park projects.” 

 “The new trail provides a pathway for all to experience the natural wonder and history of Cades Cove,” said Will Shafroth, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Thanks to the initiative of Friends of the Smokies and support from NPF and our donors, more people will be able to access and to share the beauty of this place.” 

Smoky Mountain Elk Rut

Love is in the air for Smoky Mountain Elk.

Smoky Mountain Elk Rut is on. The call of the wild echoes in the Smokies as Bull Elks seek mates.

Early autumn sends the powerful mating call of bull elks across many areas of the Smokies during the fall breeding season. This loud bugling sends a challenge to other males in the area, and attempts to attract cows for the bull’s harem. Known as the rut, this annual fascinating ritual, which occurs during mid September through October, is played out each day during the elk mating season. 

Continue reading…

Newfound Gap Road Construction

Smoky Mountain travel advisory
Smoky Mountain Travel Advisory.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will resume daytime traffic closures due to road paving along an 8-mile section of Newfound Gap Road from Chimneys Picnic Area to Newfound Gap beginning August 16, 2021. The project, which began in March of 2021, is expected to be completed by November 30, 2021. This deadline is subject to change depending on weather delays.   

Continue reading…