Wildflowers 101: Milkweed

Four-leaf milkweed. Photo by Tom Harrington.

Who does not enjoy seeing butterflies? Some visitors from Europe who are visiting the national park have told me that they no longer see butterflies in their countries. About this time each year, several people come to Cades Cove to take part in monarch butterfly tagging. The monarch’s survival depends on the milkweed plant. Monarchs weigh […]

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