Volunteers ensure veterans buried in the Smokies are never forgotten

Since 2020, Marilyn Childress, a US Navy veteran and president of the Veterans Heritage Site Foundation in Knoxville, Tennessee, has organized Wreaths Across America in Great Smoky Mountains National Park—working to ensure the names of veterans buried in the park are spoken aloud each year. “We have a saying that a veteran dies twice: once […]

African American project leader reflects on 2022, plans for 2023

Who were they? How did they get here? What were their lives like? These are questions that constantly resonate with me when I gaze upon clouds and mountains and dare to consider the 9,000 years of human history that lie untold within this region that we call home. Often left out of the popular modern […]

North Shore decoration days continue thanks to park staff

Bone Valley. Bradshaw. Higdon. Proctor. Hall. These are just a few of the names that grace more than 20 cemeteries in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are only accessible by boat. Today, pilgrims from this region and from all over the country are transported to these special burial sites — some extremely remote — through […]

Trailside Talk: The quest to find veterans buried in the Smokies

Joe Emert and his friends are on a mission that has no end. Emert is one of the leaders of an effort to identify the final resting places of all military veterans buried in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Using military records, newspaper research, family histories, websites focusing on family ancestry, and a lot of […]

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