At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Outdoors

When Karly Jones began the Appalachian Trail on Feb. 27, the weather was cold and the trail crowded. She quickly earned the trail name Jitter, short for jitterbug.

“I was constantly moving to try to stay warm, so I would hop from one foot to another and rub my hands together or jump around, or anything to keep warm,” she said. 

As February turned into March, Jones climbed Springer Mountain, traversed Neels Gap and then Dicks Creek Gap, summited Standing Indian Mountain and made her way through the challenging terrain of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That’s when she first heard about COVID-19, from a group of pre-med students who had just been notified that their classes would be canceled for the next two weeks. By the time she reached Hot Springs, the world had changed. 

“That was when a lot of people were making decisions and plans to go home,” she said. “I significantly noticed it.”

Comment

A widely circulated drone photo showing Max Patch covered with more than 100 tents — along with pictures of large amounts of trash left by the campers — has gone viral over the past week, leading many to question what should be done to keep the iconic location from being loved to death.

Comment

National Public Lands Day is Saturday, Sept. 26, and Friends of Panthertown is celebrating with a trail workday scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Comment

Spend two days observing all the winged creatures migrating through the area this time of year 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25-26. 

Comment

Emergency responders have found the body of a 25-year-old man reported missing at 7:36 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, after falling into the water at Midnight Hole in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Comment

Steve Winchester will lead an excursion to Dan Cook Cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Cataloochee Valley on Saturday, Sept. 26. 

Comment

An art exhibit featuring works inspired by the American red wolf is on display at Buckner Gallery in Waynesville through Oct. 9. 

Comment

The fall color forecast is looking dim for 2020, according to the annual prognostication offered by Western Carolina University biology professor Beverly Collins. 

Comment

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail turns 43 this month, and Friends of the MST has put forth four new challenges to help hikers celebrate in a safe and socially responsible way. 

Comment

The popular ArborEvenings after-hours series at the N.C. Arboretum will return this year with a toy-filled twist. 

Comment

According to guidance from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, farmers markets fall under the same classification as grocery stores and are considered an important source of food for local communities. 

Comment

Go to top