Serving the Smokies: Barry Hipps looks back on 35 years of GSMA

Barry Hipps currently works at Oconaluftee Visitor Center as a volunteer at the information desk on Mondays and part-time seasonally in the store.

A lifelong connection to the Smokies is woven into Barry Hipps’ legacy of service. Thirty-five years ago, Hipps sat on the board of directors for Great Smoky Mountains Association, then known as Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association, and later returned to the organization to become a long-time member of GSMA’s retail team. Hipps comes […]

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

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


865.436.7318 Ext 320