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Wednesday, 20 January 2010 16:12

New club nurtures growing interest in bees

A beekeepers association has formed in Haywood County. The club meets at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Office in Waynesville off Raccoon Road. The club has seen a huge level of interest…
The North Carolina Wildlife Commission is at odds with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the status of the newly reintroduced elk herd. The N.C. Wildlife Commission has come under fire for its plan to remove elk from the…
Elk could lose their status as a species of special concern under a new rule change proposed by the N.C. Wildlife Commission. A public hearing on proposed changes to state hunting and fishing rules will be held at 7 p.m.…
A failed megadevelopment in the Lake Lure area around Chimney Rock has been conserved at a fire sale price, but a state budget crunch is leaving a local land trust with a big fundraising goal to pay for the conservation…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Take a gander along the Smokies Scenic byway

The stunning beauty that surrounds U.S. 441 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park outside Cherokee draws thousands of tourists each year who come to enjoy the cool mountain summers or marvel at the vivid fall foliage along the route.…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Gun ban in national parks lifted

Loaded guns are now legal in national parks. The new rule is two years in the making. Previously, guns had to be unloaded and stowed in the trunks of vehicles when traveling through a park. While hunting or firing a…
A bill before Congress could help save views along the Blue Ridge Parkway by setting aside $75 million over five years to buy adjacent land threatened by development. Blue Ridge Parkway Protection Act was introduced in honor of the 75th…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

Cataloochee grows racing tradition

No one expected Franco Rossi. The Italian, raised in Milan in the shadows of the mighty Dolomites, stepped off the lift, unzipped his snowsuit, and mounted the start platform in bright yellow racing tights. He had driven just under three…
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 12:46

Former ASU coach to lead basketball camp

“The New Model for Youth Basketball” camp, led by former ASU and Georgia Tech Coach Kevin Cantwell, will take place at Waynesville Recreation Center from Sept. 13 through Oct. 26. Cantwell is the current head basketball coach of Carolina Day…
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 20:40

Senior trip to see the elk

Seniors will get a chance to see the Cataloochee elk up close and personal on Sept. 13. The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department is offering the trip to everyone age 50 and above. Learn some of the rich history of…
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 20:39

Coexisting with bears

A group of wildlife lovers area has launched an initiative to make the Cashiers and Highlands area a “Bear Smart” community. “Black bears can live with people. Can people live with black bears?” asked Bill Lea of Franklin, both a…
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 20:38

Fish expert to deliver “State of the Trout”

Matt Kulp, fisheries biologist with Great Smoky Mountain National Park, will be speaking at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, at The Plateau Fly Fishing club meeting in Cashiers. Kulp will discuss “What’s going on in the Great Smoky Mountain National…
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 20:37

Fall leaf forecast: get ready for good color

Visitors to Western North Carolina’s mountains can look forward to a vibrant display of color this autumn, predicts Kathy Mathews, Western Carolina University’s fall foliage forecaster and associate professor of biology. “It’s been a hot year in North Carolina, with…
The Wildlife Commission has unveiled its proposed changes to hunting and fishing rules, but the list is a super short one this year and controversial proposals are markedly absent. A public hearing on the proposed changes will be held at…
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 20:35

GSMNP seeking volunteers for trail work

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host two volunteer trail projects on Saturday, Sept. 25, in recognition of National Public Lands Day — the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy.     The…
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 20:35

Apples are in, let the pressing begin

A field trip to the Wykle family apple orchard in Macon County will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9. Learn about heirloom pommes, pick your favorites and press them into fresh cider. A home-made apple press will…
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 20:34

Bike ride to benefit injured cyclist

A cyclist who was seriously injured during the Blue Ridge Breakaway race last month in Haywood County is showing some progress, but a full recovery is not expected, according to his doctors and family. Gary Williams, 62, from the greater…
A race for amateur paddlers will be held on the Tuckasegee River in Cullowhee on Saturday, Sept. 11. Paddlers in the second-annual Citizens Race will canoe or kayak through 10 slalom gates on a flat section of river off Old…
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 20:32

Educate yourself on waterfall safety

A new video podcast emphasizing water safety for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now available for viewing.   The podcast, “Water Safety and Day Hiking,” is a four-minute video that showcases creeks, waterfalls and rivers in the park…
This year, Mountain Research Station in Waynesville is investigating organic farming on the Western North Carolina landscape on a greater scale than ever before. The launch of the test farm’s new organic unit has already turned heads and sparked mixed…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Meet the thru-hikers

It’s a sure sign of spring for Southern Appalachian communities along the Appalachian Trail: hikers loaded down with backpacks hitchhiking to town and back to stock up on supplies, eat that hamburger they’ve been craving, and knock back a few…
For years, Appalachian Trail thru-hikers have been stopping in Franklin for supplies, rest, and Internet access, but last week the town solidified its place as a trail destination. Mayor Joe Collins signed a proclamation accepting the town’s designation as an…
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 19:03

U.S. Open brings paddlers to Nantahala gorge

The best of USA Canoe/Kayak’s whitewater team will descend on the Nantahala River this weekend intent on making a clear impression about their Olympic aspirations. The Bank of America Whitewater U.S. Open (March 27-28) is the first measuring stick in…
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 19:03

Buffer buyout launched along Pigeon River

A trail alongside the Pigeon River may materialize between Canton and Clyde, but recreation will not be its primary purpose. The goal is to create a buffer zone clear of any development 100 feet from the riverbank as a safeguard…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

AT license plates fund mini trail grants

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy will hand out mini-grants for projects in the region that benefit the long-distance hiking trail. Grants can include trail work, conservation projects and trail promotion and education. Past projects have included: • Efforts by the Nantahala…
Chronic wasting disease, a deadly disease that affects deer, elk and other hoofed animals, has been detected in white-tailed deer in Virginia. The discovery has ramped up concerns about the disease migrating into North Carolina. Chronic wasting disease is a…
Scot Ward isn’t a missionary, but he does have a burning message. An experienced thru-hiker who carries a copy of Peter Jenkins Walk Across America in the retrofitted box-truck he calls home, Ward wants people to hike the Mountains to…
The town of Franklin has been officially designated an Appalachian Trail Community. A new program of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will highlight the value of towns along the trail. Towns are more than waypoints along the trail for hikers to…
Wednesday, 10 March 2010 16:12

Learning to treat injuries in the wild

What can you do with a foam pad, rain pants, sleeping bag and an old T-shirt? A whole lot apparently, according to students who have been through wilderness medical training with Landmark Learning. Broken leg? No problem. Dislocated shoulder? Gotcha…
Cherokee’s trout streams have earned their reputation as the crown jewel of North Carolina’s trophy waters, and now the area has an outfitter shop of the same quality. Business partners Joe Street, Chris Anderson and Steve Mingle, building on the…
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 17:37

NOC’s Great Outpost

Nantahala Outdoor Center is positioned to become a major player in the outdoors scene on the Tennessee side of the Smokies with a gigantic new outfitter’s store smack in the middle of downtown Gatlinburg. The $4 million Great Outpost gives…
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 17:37

A hub for all things outdoors

For the outdoors lover, stepping into NOC’s Great Outpost in Gatlinburg is like being a kid in a candy shop. The outdoor gear and paraphernalia is as extensive as that found in major stores like REI or Bass Pro, but…
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 17:37

Alcohol banned at recreation sites

The US. Forest Service has banned alcohol use at 11 recreation sites in the Nantahala National Forest. The sites include: Balsam Lake Recreation Area, Big Choga Dispersed Camping Sites, Bristol Fields Campground, Cheoah Point Swimming Area, Dry Falls Recreational Area,…
Friday, 03 September 2010 13:46

Trout Festival comes to Maggie Valley

From buttered trout fillets to a trout race, all things trout will be celebrated during the 21st annual Great Smoky Mountain Trout Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. The…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Veterans take to Cherokee waters for healing

I don't do people, Bart Crowe said matter-of-factly. But there he was getting his fishing tackle together to hit the trophy waters in Cherokee with a couple of fishing buddies. Crowe carried an M-60 machine gun during Operation Desert Storm…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Haywood Waterways’ new leader

After years of being the in-the-stream science guy behind Haywood Waterways Association, Eric Romaniszyn is taking the helm as the nonprofit’s executive director, something he sees as a natural outgrowth of his work in conservation biology. “Doing what I do…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Catching air on the Nantahala

Big names in paddling will dish up their best stunts and tricks in the NOC Freestyle Shootout kayak rodeo on the Nantahala River this weekend, April 17 and 18. Freestyle kayaking, like skateboarding or snowboarding on a half-pipe, involves technical…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Dillsboro bats looking for new homes

Throughout the years-long bickering over the future of the Dillsboro Dam, the little brown bats that spent the summer in the dam’s powerhouse had no voice. Each April, the little browns would return to the Tuckaseegee from their winter homes…
Nine bat species across the South are at risk from a deadly fungus decimating certain bat populations known as white-nose syndrome. The disease has now been confirmed as close as Tennessee and Virginia. Susan Loeb, a leading bat expert with…
New federal standards for ozone will be issued by year’s end, and the verdict will determine whether Western North Carolina is out of compliance with air quality. Western North Carolina likely can’t fix its air quality problem alone. Charlotte, Knoxville…
The Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail has added a new stop on the map for anglers — the Raven Fork trophy water on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. The fly-fishing trail leads fishermen to 15 different fishing spots in Jackson…
A pair of endangered peregrine falcons has established a new nesting spot on Whiteside Mountain near Highlands, forcing a relocation of the climbing route on the face of the mountain. Whiteside Mountain has been home to a nesting pair of…
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 15:18

Flying saucers hit the links

On a sunny Friday afternoon, I shanked my flick Hyzer into Copperhead Row in the company of the Doctor, Yoda, and the Kid. For those uninitiated into the manners and lingo of disc golf, allow me to shed some light…
A collaborative effort between The American Chestnut Foundation and the Coker family has put Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley on the frontlines of the effort to reintroduce a tree that was integral to life of early settlers in Western North…
The cause of a fish kill on an isolated stretch of Jonathan Creek in Maggie Valley last Saturday is eluding environmental agencies and will likely remain a mystery. A number of trout, from fingerlings to foot-long fish, turned up dead…
Catch the steepest and deepest in high-adrenaline outdoor sport films when Radical Reels Tour comes to Asheville on Monday, Sept. 13. Hurtle down steep untouched powder, feel the cold spray of stomach-dropping kayak first descents, fly high with the world’s…
Landscape design, botany, horticulture and gardening will be the highlight of “Landscaping and Gardening With Native Plants” conference held in Highlands on Sept. 10 and 11. Hundreds attend the annual conference featuring two days of fieldtrips, workshops and speakers. Get…
A 5K race will traverse the front nine holes of the Old Edwards Club in Highlands on Saturday, Sept. 11, serving up a tranquil setting and a twist on the typical 5K route through town streets. “Doing the PAR 5K…
With guns now allowed in national parks, red tape faced by hunters crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway en route to a hunting spot has been lifted. Hunting is still illegal in national parks, but this year it became legal to…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:21

Fox sightings up

Fox sightings in town are on the rise, including residential suburban neighborhoods and they have even been reported on busy town streets. Simply seeing a fox is not a cause for alarm, according to the N.C. Wildlife Commission. Nonetheless, don’t…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:16

Cataloochee Elk deemed a success

Fans of the elk herd in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be surprised to learn that until now, the elk’s existence here was merely an experiment — they theoretically could be rounded up and hauled away at any…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 19:03

A busy summer on the Nantahala River

Nantahala Outdoor Center raft guides can finally relax after working the busiest season the outfitter has seen in the last 10 years. “There are a lot of sore shoulders,” said Charles Connor, director of marketing at NOC. “We’re all kind…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:18

Nantahala Gorge ready for the world

“The Nantahala River has been many things to many people, but it’s never been a World Championship destination,” said Joe Jacobi, CEO of USA Canoe/Kayak, the governing body for whitewater sports in America. In April, the International Canoe Federation named…
Hikers and map geeks will revel in poring over a new map of the Bartram Trail being released this week. The map covers a 75-mile stretch of the Bartram Trail that winds through the Nantahala National Forest of Macon and…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:55

Coastal Crusaders

When asked how he felt about the catastrophic BP oil spill, Robert Young paused for the first time during the interview, visibly moved. “It’s depressing...don’t make me cry,” Young said before walking over to his desktop and opening up a…
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 14:03

Exploring Sylva’s secret garden

Jay Coward is no stranger to Pinnacle Park. When the work day ends, Coward often trades in his attorney’s suit and tie for hiking attire and escapes into the 1,000-acre wilderness at Sylva’s doorstep. An intergral player with the Pinnacle…
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 13:59

The Naturalist's Corner

Skulker of the tangles The other morning at 6 o’clock at Hickey Fork in the Pisgah National Forest’s Shelton Laurel Backcountry Area in Madison County, the loud ringing song of a Swainson’s warbler shattered the early morning stillness. The mnemonic…
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 13:13

Program to ponder the mystery of Masa

George Masa was one of the greatest landscape photographers of Western North Carolina, but where he came from and what happened to the thousands of photographs he took remains a mystery even today. Known as the Ansel Adams of the…
George and Elizabeth Ellison, the artist and naturalist husband-wife team from Bryson City, will give a talk called “Blue Ridge Perspectives: The Natural World Thru Words and Images” at 7 p.m. on Aug. 5 in Highlands. George is a writer,…
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 13:15

Lake Logan offers cool venue for hot race

Triathletes from across the country will descend on Lake Logan in Haywood County Aug. 7 and 8. The weekend line-up includes two triathlons — one longer and one shorter — with a combo of swimming, biking and running. There is…
Volunteers continue knocking out a new section of the Mountains to Sea Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waterrock Knob. Working under the tutelage of trail builders with the Carolina Mountain Club, who have spent years tackling a missing…
Last Thursday morning was atypical for song sparrow IR-IF. While defending his territory from the song of an intruding male, he landed in the net of Jeremy Hyman, a biology professor at Western Carolina University. Held tightly in Hyman’s hand,…
Ruffin Shackelford led a group of boys, referred to his program by a juvenile court judge, deep into the Shining Rock Wilderness. That night one of the boys started beating up another, and when Shackelford separated them, the aggressor said…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:26

The allure of falling water

Although most people are drawn to waterfalls, many pause before they can articulate why. For some, it’s the sound of the water tumbling over the rocks. For others, it’s the sheer beauty or tranquility. “Everybody loves them, but nobody can…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:29

A few wrong turns on the way to paradise

I grabbed my guidebook and pen and wrapped my camera in a plastic grocery bag as it started to rain. Stuffing it all into my backpack, I headed down the ancient looking road, nothing but two narrow ruts overgrown by…
The mountains of Western North Carolina are rapidly becoming the top destination for serious cyclists east of the Mississippi. The latest long-distance race to join the local cycling scene is the Blue Ridge Breakaway on Aug. 21, the first of…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:49

America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Not even the looming shadow of the nation’s worst environmental disaster in two decades could spoil the mood at the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative listening session in Asheville last week. Recreation, conservation and preservation-minded environmentalists from all over Western North…
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 13:49

Fishing out of water

Gary Mann was working as a mortgage banker in Philadelphia when he read Cold Mountain during a trip to the beach. The book, written by his second cousin Charles Frazier, made his heart ache for Haywood County. “About the second…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:34

Stand up paddling takes off

Okay, so we didn’t cross the Kauai Channel, but last Friday Mark Singleton, executive director of Sylva-based American Whitewater, took me stand-up paddling for the first time. The sport –– which is basically standing up on a surfboard with a…
North Carolina’s farmland is rapidly disappearing. The state has lost more than a million acres of it since 2007, and only 17 percent of the land in cultivation in 1950 is still farmed. In the mountains, the pressure to develop…
Before summer slips by, take in one of the many ranger guided programs in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, from naturalist hikes to history talks. Here’s a line of up of free programs on tap in the Smokies this…
Monday, 02 August 2010 15:51

Folkmoot 5K race results

Folkmoot 5K overall results Folkmoot 5K age group results
Cool off with a snorkeling trip on the Little Tennessee River on Saturday, Aug. 14, while gaining a new perspective on aquatic life. Snorkeling reveals a whole new world of fish, mussels, salamanders and the like that live below the…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 20:31

Parkway to celebrate 75th at Waterrock Knob

A celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7, at the Waterrock Knob Visitor Center between Balsam and Maggie Valley. The festivities, called “Blue Ridge…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 20:33

New Smokies Audubon chapter forms

A new Great Smoky Mountains chapter of the National Audubon Society formed just a few months ago but can already claims a few hundred members in its ranks. The Great Smoky Mountains Audubon Society meets at 6:30 p.m. on the…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 20:36

Take your biking indoors

Too hot to road bike? Why not try a spinning class. While pedaling a stationary bike might not sound like the most exciting workout, the instructor in a spinning class leads the group through various drills and visualizations on the…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 20:36

On the beauty of hibiscus flowers

I had my first introduction to plants in the Hibiscus genus when I was a boy. Rose-of-Sharon was a common dooryard shrub in the piedmont region of Virginia where I grew up, just as it is here in Western North…
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 13:52

Canoe Club Cup this weekend

Whitewater clubs from across the Southeast will have their final showdown for the Canoe Club Cup at the Nantahala Outdoor Center Saturday, August 14. A downriver race starts at 10 a.m. Going into the final race of the three-race series,…
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 13:53

Mount Lyn Lowry tract on Parkway preserved

A 35-acre tract of forested land next to the Blue Ridge Parkway on the Haywood-Jackson countyline in Balsam has been protected thanks to work of the Conservation Trust of North Carolina and the help of private donors and land conservation…
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 13:55

Wilderness Therapy program starts at SCC

A new program in Wilderness Therapy at Southwestern Community College caters to a rapidly-expanding sector in the outdoors job field. “In the past 10 years wilderness therapy has became a growing field in this area, and that opens up opportunities…
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 13:56

Early registration for Haywood bike race

Take your passion for cycling to a new level during the Greater Haywood County Chamber of Commerce Blue Ridge Breakaway. The first annual Blue Ridge Breakaway, presented by MedWest, will take place August 21, 2010. Slated to be an annual…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:39

Foot Rx brings 5K race to Jackson County

A cross-country style 5K race in Cullowhee sponsored by Foot Rx of Asheville, a running shoe store, will be held this Saturday, Aug. 21. The Foot Rx 5k Cross Country Challenge starts at 9 a.m. at the Jackson County Recreation…
Photographers should get to work now to come up with their best mountain images for the eighth annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. The photo contest celebrates the unique people, places, and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians. The contest has…
The tenth annual Southern Energy and Environment Expo this weekend in Asheville will features dozens of programs and exhibits on how to create a more sustainable society. Thousands of people attend each year to hear the talks, attend workshops and…
An eight-week course on the Fundamentals of Green Building will be held at Haywood Community College starting Aug. 30. The course is designed to help construction workers and contractors land work in the emerging green construction industry. The course is…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:45

A forest guide for the novice

A new book titled The Forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park serves as a guide to understanding and identifying southern Appalachian forest types for the non-scientist. The book explores the evolution of the diverse forests of the Smokies,…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:47

Overlooks in southern Appalachia

High-elevation overlooks are one of our finest natural resources. These vantage points allow us to rise above our everyday humdrum existence and see the world with fresh eyes. Many of the finest overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway, in the…
Growers looking for greenhouse space may find what they need at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro, where large greenhouses are heated using energy from methane given off by decomposing trash. There is more than 4,000 square feet…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:48

Jackson lakes lowered

Boating at Tanasee Creek and Wolf Creek lakes will be reduced while Duke Energy repairs a hydroelectric generator below the two lakes. Both lakes are 18.5 feet below full, rendering the boat ramp at Wolf Lake useless. The current schedule…
Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley is hosting a chestnut celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11. The festivities will honor the all-important role of chestnut trees for early Appalachian settlers and efforts to repopulate the mountains with…
A 110-acre tract along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesville has been protected thanks to the longtime landowner selling the land to the Conservation Trust of North Carolina at a bargain rate. The Conservation Trust in turn plans to deed…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:51

Franklin 5k for Clean Water in Africa

The Franklin Blue Planet 5K for Clean Water will be held Saturday, Sept. 4, along the Little Tennessee Greenway. The Interact Club at Franklin High School is putting on the race to raise money for the Blue Planet Network, which…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:54

Triathlon combines best of mountain sports

The ultimate triathlon for outdoors adventure lovers — with the triple combo of paddling, trail running and mountain biking — will come to the trails of Tsali this weekend, Aug. 28 and 29. The Tsali Challenge will be held at…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:55

Tsali targeted for trail work

The famed mountain bike trails of Tsali will get a workover this fall thanks to federal stimulus funding. Vegetation will be trimmed back 4 feet on both sides from the center of the trail and 10-feet overhead, and areas with…
Researchers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park need volunteers to help map stands of ash trees and look for signs of the deadly Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer has been spreading and is now as close as…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:56

The butternut in the creek bend

Like dimly-lit rhododendron tunnels or ancient sphagnum-layered bogs, creek bends are special places that invariably precipitate beauty. Sitting in the blue-gray shadows of my porch, I watch lower Lands Creek flow by on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.…
After a tenuous state budget debate, The Farmland Preservation Trust Fund emerged with $2 million in funding for the upcoming fiscal year. The Farmland Preservation Trust Fund helps permanently protect tracts of farmland by funding conservation agreements with working farmers.…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 20:55

Smokies gala a success

Smokies gala a successFriends of the Smokies raised $20,000 to support special projects in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the “Spring for the Smokies” gala held last month in Waynesville. More than 160 park supporters attended the fourth…
A new video podcast called “Day Hiking and Wildlife” has been created to educate hikers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — or anywhere in bear country for that matter — on proper etiquette. The podcast covers park rules,…