Life in the Great Smoky Mountains of Southern Appalachia was never easy. Before the establishment of the park, many families lived a hard scrabble existence, working close to the land to make a life. In times of plenty and in times of want the specter of death was ever present.

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2018 Sorghum-making demonstrations return in November

Sorghum-making demonstrations at Cades Cove Visitor Center and funded by Great Smoky Mountains Association take you back in time to the mountain farms that once populated the Smokies and their annual fall sorghum cane harvest. Demonstrations are free and open to the public. Upcoming dates are: Cades Cove Sorghum Demonstration

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Park Announces Foothills Parkway Opening

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials plan to open the long-awaited section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, TN on Saturday, November 10. The public will be able to experience the entire 16-mile roadway for the first time since construction began in 1966, including the 1.65-mile section

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Friends of the Smokies to expand its Kodak footprint

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Great Smoky Mountains Association, two of the national park’s oldest and most productive partners, have shared space at the Sevierville Visitor Center on Winfield Dunn Parkway near Interstate 40 for more than a decade. GSMA has operated a retail space on the

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Smokies Life Fall 2018: Stories of History, Culture and Survival

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Great Smoky Mountains Association’s most recent issue of its award-winning Smokies Life magazine features an in-depth look at new groundbreaking bear research unique to Great Smoky Mountains National Park; the first four chapters of Willa of the Wood, a new best-selling fiction set in the Smokies; 10

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My Ten-Mile Memory – Alum Cave Bluffs

Whether you’re doing an out-and-back day trip, a car drop to incorporate more than one trail experience or planning a one-night backcountry trip, at some point, Alum Cave Trail falls into your lap as a must-do trail in the Smokies. Your top priority should be to hit the trail early.

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Things get wild at EYS

On a foggy morning just off U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road, a park ranger’s truck was spotted hauling an olive green culvert to the back of Chimney Tops picnic area. A few folks had gathered to eat an early lunch and take photos of the river. Two rangers approached the group

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Great Smoky Mountains Association Nominated for Two IBMA Awards

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Great Smoky Mountains Association’s Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition is nominated for two International Bluegrass Music Association Special Awards: Graphic Design by Karen Key and Liner Notes by Ted Olson.  The International Bluegrass Music Awards honor members of the bluegrass industry who work behind the scenes. Winners

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Recent Posts

Photo courtesy of Joye Ardyn Durham

Life in the Great Smoky Mountains of Southern Appalachia was never easy. Before the establishment of the park, many families lived a hard scrabble existence,

Read More >

Things get wild at EYS

On a foggy morning just off U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road, a park ranger’s truck was spotted hauling an olive green culvert to the back of

Read More >

Great Smokies

Welcome Center

Hours of Operation

(subject to change)

Open year round (closed December 25)


January - February

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

March - November

Open Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
December

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Great Smokies Welcome Center is located on U.S. 321 in Townsend, TN, 2 miles from the west entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can get information about things to see and do in and around the national park and shop from a wide selection of books, gifts, and other Smokies merchandise. Daily, weekly, and annual parking tags for the national park are also available.

Physical Address

7929 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway Townsend TN 37882

Contact

865.436.7318 Ext 320