This is a great, longer article on the species being found in the Smoky Mountains. There are more species found here, than most other places on earth. There are a number of species that have been found only in the Smokies. If you have a couple of minutes, it would be well worth it to spend that time reading the article below.
***This post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com. The Tower is the best places to stay when you’re in the Smokies. You’ll love it.***
So far this year, the number of visitors to the Smokies is about the same as this time last year. According to the article below, about 54 more people have visited since this time last year. Considering last year more visitors visited since 2000, that means the Smoky Mountains are extremely popular. With the economy in the tank, the fact that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is free probably means many people are vacationing there to keep vacationing. I think that’s a great thing. There is usually something good in everything if you look hard enough. While the economy may be tanking, just think of the people who will learn more about the Smokies because of that. My guess is, many of those folks will be back for years to come.
***Post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com. That’s where we stay when we visit the Smokies. You should too!***
Billions have been spent to clean up the air around the Smoky Mountains. Here’s an article for the folks over at Knoxnews.com that shows the air quality in the area IS INDEED improving. When we were in the Smokies back in the Spring, we spent time at the look-rock tower, which is near the live webcam that is used by the park to monitor the air quality. You can see the live view from Look Rock at the link below…
The full article has lots of great info, as well as a video from Look Rock. Check it out.
You can always check our full line of live webcams from around the smokies here… http://gosmoky.wordpress.com/smokies-webcams/
***This post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com. When you are headed to the Smokies, the Smoky Mountain Tower is where you want to stay. Trust us. We’ve stayed in the Tower a number of times.***
This one seems pretty obvious to me. I have never seen fireflies flash together as the synchronized fireflies do in the Smokies, but I would assume it is related to trying to pick up a date. That’s exactly what scientists who are studying the behavior are saying as well. Here’s another great article from the folks over at knoxnews.com. Check it out!
***This post brought to you in part by www.SmokyMountainTower.com . They help make this blog possible. Book NOW for the fall. Dates are filling up quickly this year.***
Here’s another good story. It might cause some traffic delays at the end of the year, and into upcoming years, but it sounds like it will be well worth it. The Newfound Gap road will be renovated (it sounds like many of the areas beside/near/under the road mainly) beginning at the end of 2010. They will wait until the end of the fall tourist season. They plan to repair some of the barriers and other aspects of the road from Gatlinburg to Newfound Gap.
While traffic isn’t a good thing, I’m glad to be able to report to you so many improvements in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently. You can find a little more info at the story below.
***This post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com. When you are in the area, this is where you want to stay. I was just talking to my next door neighbor last night. He told me he and his wife have only stayed in hotels/motels in Gatlinburg. I told him that’s a shame. If he spent a weekend in the Smoky Mountain Tower, he might decide to never go back to the hotel/motel routine. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had fun there too, but we feel like we have a home in the Smokies now that we’ve stayed at the Tower. Check it out***
Posted in Fall, gatlinburg, great smoky mountains national park, newfound gap, Newfound Gap Road, Smokies Construction, smoky mountain tower
Tagged gatlinburg, great smoky mountains national park, newfound gap, roads, smoky mountains
Great news. It looks like Little River Road is back open. That was the location of the most recent rock slide. As we told you earlier this week, http://gosmoky.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/rock-slide-on-little-river-rd-may-be-cleared-by-sunday-evening/ the rock slide closed the Little River Road for several days. If you’re not familiar, that’s the road in the park that leads from Gatlinburg to Cades Cove or Townsend. The good news is, Cades Cove loop road is closed right now for repaving anyhow. If you had to have a rock slide there, I guess now was as good a time as any. There is a little more info on the opening of the road at the story below.
***This post sponsored by www.smokymountaintower.com. Find your place to stay in the Smokies there. We LOVE the tower, and can’t wait to be there again soon! Check it out!***
Posted in Cade's Cove, gatlinburg, great smoky mountains national park, Little River Road, March, Rock Slides, smoky mountain tower, townsend, Traffic
Tagged great smoky mountains national park, Little River Road, rock slide, smoky mountains
It looks like about 28% fewer people visited the Smokies in February. That’s compared to last Feb. Visits are also down for the year. Of course, the rockslides contribute to this, but the cold weather also played a role. You can find more details on visitation at the citizen-times.com article below…
***Blog post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com. If you want to spend time there this summer, you might want to book the trip soon. Dates are filling up fast. We love the Smoky Mountain Tower!***
We noticed this when we were in town earlier this month. The old “Open Hearth” restaurant building has been fully renovated, and will be opening April 1st as the NOC Outpost. I’ve rafted down the Nantahala river before, and that’s a blast. Well, you’ll be able to sign up for rafting trips at this new business, but it will be so much more.
It looks like the perfect match for the last business before you head into the park. You’ll also be able to buy hiking/camping supplies. I can tell you we’ll be stopping by there, and it we like it, it could become a regular stop for us on future visits. I’m glad to see something other than restaurants in the building. We ate there a few years ago, and while it was nice, it wasn’t anything special. There are too many special places to eat in the area to spend time in places that are not.
Check it out for your next trip!
Here’s an older article from back in October on the plans… http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/oct/10/adventure-store-open-old-gatlinburg-restaurant/
***This post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com. Stay at The Smoky Mountain Tower for your trip to the Smokies this Spring/Summer. You’ll be glad you did. That’s where we stay.***
Posted in business, Camping, gatlinburg, great smoky mountains national park, Hiking, March, New business, NOC Outpost, tennessee, White Water Rafting
Tagged gatlinburg, great smoky mountains national park, nantahala, noc, noc great outpost, smoky mountain, smoky mountain tower, smoky mountains
This is a hot topic on the blog, so I’ll try to keep updated daily on the latest from the Little River Rd. rockslide. The road is closed right now, and it looks like crews are hoping to get the road back open by Sunday evening. According to the article below, it was discovered at around 2AM Thursday morning. Little River Rd. is the road to Cades Cove (or Townsend) from Gatlinburg in the park. If you are leaving the Sugarlands Visitor Center parking lot, Little River is the road you would turn right to head down. We drove down that road a couple of weeks ago. This is also the way to get to Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. That’s where we were headed.
Fortunately, Cades Cove is closed while they rebuild the road there, so I would imagine fewer people would need Little River Rd. than usual anyhow. Hopefully it will be open Sunday evening.
I’ll update this post as I get new info… feel free to subscribe to this blog, so the updates will be sent to your automatically:)
This rock slide is the 7th rock slide in the last 5 months in the Smokies…
**This blog post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com. One of the best views of Mount LeConte and Ober Gatlinburg are seen from the deck of The Smoky Mountain Tower. You can see photos on the website. Check it out for your next visit to the Smokies! BTW, the location is PERFECT. Right between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. You can go to either city, OR the park, without having to drive through the others.***
Posted in Cade's Cove, gatlinburg, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, great smoky mountains national park, Little River Road, March, Mt. Leconte, ober gatlinburg, Road Closures, Rock Slides, smoky mountain tower, tennessee, VERY IMPORTANT
Tagged Cade's Cove, gosmoky, great smoky mountains national park, Little River Road, rock slide, Rock Slides, smokey mountains, smoky mountains, townsend, tremont
This is becoming an all too common report. Yet ANOTHER rock slide in the Smokies. This one includes SUV-SIZED boulders. It happened on Little River Rd. That’s the road to Cades Cove in the park. I’ve been wondering why there have been so many rock slides, and the first news report below explains why. If you read about the geology of the park, you understand that one reason the Smokies is a much smoother mountain range than other mountain ranges, like the younger mountains out west, is that over time rocks fall down the mountains, and into the valleys.
Well, the recent rains, coupled with the colder weather/snow means the rock has cracked up a bit. Small fractures get water in them that expands as the water freezes. That then expands the crack. The process continues until the rock breaks off. That explains how huge boulders end up in the rivers of the Smokies.
Due to the size/location of the slide, there is no time-frame yet to have the road cleared/back open. I’ll post updates here as I find them. Check out more at the links below…
***This blog post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com. That’s where I wish I were with my wife/girls right this minute. Even though we’ve been gone less than a week, that’s about a week too long for me:) Check out the website, and you’ll see why we LOVE “The Smoky Mountain Tower.” And I hope the owners, Dave and Phyllis, don’t mind us referring to the “tower” when we’re talking about it as “Our Mountain Home.”***
Posted in great smoky mountains national park, Little River Road, Road Closures, Rock Slides, smoky mountain tower
Tagged great smoky mountains national park, little river, pigeon forge, road closure, rock slide, Rock Slides, smoky mountains