Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

At almost a 10 million visitors a year the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has more vistors any other national park. The park spans both the Great Smokey Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains which in turn are both part of the larger Appalachian Mountains.The park spans both North Carolina near the city of Cherokee and Tennessee near the city of Gatlinburg spaning over 800 square miles in total. In 1983 the park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many streams that run throughout the park and fishing, hiking, camping, and horseback riding can all be enjoyed by visitors to the park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Info


Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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News

Park Hosts Star Gazing Event at Cades Cove

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in cooperation with the Smoky Mountain Astronomical Society, will offer a stargazing program in Cades Cove on Saturday, November 17, 2018 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Experienced astronomers and numerous telescopes will be on hand to provide a discovery of the fall sky’s position of stars, galaxies, and constellations, including the Milky Way. In case of rain or cloud cover where night skies are not visible, the program will be cancelled.

Visitation Increase

“The new section of the Foothills Parkway is a spectacular scenic driving destination and we’re pleased that so many people have already enjoyed it,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We hope that people take the time to explore it across the seasons.”

Park Hosts Walking Opportunity on the Foothills Parkway

Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites the public to walk approximately two miles along the new section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley on Thursday, November 8 for a Community Day celebration.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Photos

"Charlotte" a black bear sow in Cades Cove, Tennessee. | Judy Royal Glenn Photography

Judy Royal Glenn Photography posted a photo:

"Charlotte" a black bear sow in Cades Cove, Tennessee. | Judy Royal Glenn Photography

“Charlotte”

Charlotte is the prettiest black bear in Cades Cove. She is a sweet mama bear.

The cinnamon coloring on her face, ears, and back make it easy to identify her. She also has tags in her ears.

I have been fortunate to see several generations of her cubs.

Isn’t she beautiful?

Location: Cades Cove, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

To purchase wildlife and nature fine art prints, please visit my website:
www.judyroyalglennphotography.com

Smoky Mountain Stream 2013-11 01

Jim Dollar posted a photo:

Smoky Mountain Stream 2013-11 01

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November, 2013 – An iPhone Photo

The Roaring Fork (Explored)

Ramen Saha posted a photo:

The Roaring Fork (Explored)

The Roaring Fork motor trail is the best experience on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The motor trail is a 5.5 mile one-lane, one-way loop road that could be driven in less than an hour. Instead, we spent the whole day slowing down on this road. We hiked to a waterfall, made multiple roadside stops, explored historic buildings for hours while imagining yesteryear lives in them (Jim Bales' barn was my favorite), and played with fireflies after nightfall. The above image was shot close to the point where the motor trail crosses over the Roaring Fork stream. While shooting this scene at the river level, I saw many motorists drive across the nearby bridge. A significant few didn’t care to stop – they must be in a hurry to live their lives elsewhere. Among those that paused, most never got out of their vehicles. Windows rolled down, their phones recorded a beautiful scene for their Instagram followers, windows rolled up and off they went for the next expedition across their galaxy of comfort. I wish they knew what they were passing by.

On this day in this patch of the Appalachia, the air was moist with humid comfort of the South and the Spring was busy waking up sleepy rhododendrons. Rhododendrons in this area are not brightly colored; they are mostly white with an occasional patch of shy pink. True to its name, the Roaring Fork stream roars – like most of us – only when it rains inconsolably. On most days otherwise, the stream – like, pampered time – flows gently as warblers' songs. Speaking of bird songs, June is the peak of bird chatter in the Smokies. The audio next to the stream displayed above was a musical cacophony: a sweeter version of the audio in a 1st or 2nd grade classroom without the teacher in it. One can hear many more birds than they can see because of the thick vegetation. Due to this dense newly-leafed canopy, when it rained later in the afternoon, I didn't feel the drizzle on my skin but only heard it in the sky. In the meantime – as you may feel it in the photo – time lost its way, twined in these timeless elements, and slowed down to a lazy water-song effusing from a teasingly-beautiful forked stream.

"Free" A pinto horse runs through the fields at Cades Cove, Tennessee. | Judy Royal Glenn Photography

Judy Royal Glenn Photography posted a photo:

"Free" A pinto horse runs through the fields at Cades Cove, Tennessee. | Judy Royal Glenn Photography

“Free”

I love to watch the horses in the pastures of Cades Cove. My favorite time to photograph them is when they are set free in the pasture after their long day of riding on the trails.

The mane of this beautiful pinto horse is half black and half white—it flows in the wind as he charges through the field.

Location: Cades Cove, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

To purchase wildlife and nature fine art prints, please visit my website:
www.judyroyalglennphotography.com

The Bluegrass Neverland

Ramen Saha posted a photo:

The Bluegrass Neverland

Some of my most endearing and memorable childhood memories involve fireflies. I grew up in a suburban rural community next to a waterbody, where summer twilights were special. After sunset, hundreds of fireflies would blink their way into the forest and my imagination. Chasing them, holding them, and letting them fly away was a pure joy never to be attained in any other way. My childhood twinkles brightly, in many parts, because of these fireflies. When something is so special, my son must endow it from me.

One problem with that idea… California has no fireflies.
Solution… The Appalachian does!

Thus, the other week, Rishabh and I flew cross-country with the specific intent of seeing fireflies in Appalachian mountains and forests, where many firefly species exist and display their fiery mating rituals for a few summer weeks. Of all these species, Photinus carolinous is special; this species has attained popularity as synchronous fireflies of the Smoky Mountains. As males of this mysterious species synchronize their flashing, the entire forest blinks in unison – like an IMAX theater displaying a fluid form of Van Gogh's 'Starry night'. Thousands of flying fireflies flash about six times synchronously, and then after a brief period of total darkness, the cycle is repeated. This light show occurs only in a handful of places in the world and for a few scores of hours every year. If that is not exclusive enough, these fireflies do not flash if it rains, which it often does in these humid mountains around this time of the year. They also refuse to fly and fire if its too cold. Last but not the least, they are bothered significantly by any other light source and therefore are best viewed in secluded areas.

Because of such inbuilt rarity, synchronous fireflies have captured the public’s imagination. Thousands flock to trails near the Little River Valley in Elkmont, where the largest concentration of synchronous fireflies are reported within the Great Smoky Mountain national park. When we arrived at sunset, trails in Elkmont looked like a county fair without an admission fee; there were lots of people everywhere with their bug sprays, umbrellas, lawn chairs, kids and babies, and eagerness to experience something unique and uncapturable on video. While I appreciate everyone’s interest in nature, however, those crowded trails were a far cry from memories of my childhood, where I would often be the only one playing with fires of the darkness. Neverland can't be this crowded.

After diligent research, Rishabh and I found several alternative options. Over the next five consecutive nights, we saw, shot, and played with fireflies in several non-traditional locations spread across three national parks. The image presented above is of one such location by the Roaring Fork stream in the Great Smoky Mountains, where two kids – Rishabh and I – were the only witness to the firefly show. Standing within that mute orchestra of light and beauty, I realized why bluegrass music could have originated nowhere else, but only in this land of synchronous symphonies.

Technical information: The displayed EXIF data are for the background forest, which was shot at twilight before firefly flashing began. The image is a composite of several 20 second exposures (ISO 3200, f/2.8) shot later at the exact same location.

Pileated Woodpecker

Tim Lumley posted a photo:

Pileated Woodpecker

We had some noisy neighbors while camping in Cades Cove Campground. A pair of pileated woodpeckers must have had a nest on the outskirts of the campground, although we couldn’t find it. Even though they can make a lot of racket I hope we can see them again next year.

Cades Cove Campground, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee, USA. Elevation: 1,936 ft. April 23, 2019

Black Bear Snack Time-Cades Cove, TN

dubrick321 posted a photo:

Black Bear Snack Time-Cades Cove, TN

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Shy Black Bear Cub-Cades Cove, TN

dubrick321 posted a photo:

Shy Black Bear Cub-Cades Cove, TN

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Determined Little Bear-Cades Cove, TN

dubrick321 posted a photo:

Determined Little Bear-Cades Cove, TN

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Curious Black Bear Cub - Cades Cove, TN

dubrick321 posted a photo:

Curious Black Bear Cub - Cades Cove, TN

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Picture of Innocence-Cades Cove, TN

dubrick321 posted a photo:

Picture of Innocence-Cades Cove, TN

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

eatcheeseonastick posted a photo:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

eatcheeseonastick posted a photo:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

eatcheeseonastick posted a photo:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

eatcheeseonastick posted a photo:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

eatcheeseonastick posted a photo:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

eatcheeseonastick posted a photo:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

eatcheeseonastick posted a photo:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

eatcheeseonastick posted a photo:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

eatcheeseonastick posted a photo:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park