Dykeman namesake among three new Smokies spiders

A recent study by Marshal Hedin and Marc Milne identified three new-to-science species of the spider genus Nesticus living in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This photo shows an adult female Nesticus nasicus carrying her egg sac. Provided by Marshal Hedin.

Although the word “spider” may elicit a “yuck” or an “ew” from many readers, the true nature of these oft-feared critters is not as icky as one might suppose. Arachnids provide essential services for humans and play key roles in balancing our ecosystems by keeping herbivorous insects in check. At the dawn of 2023, it […]

Opening doors with Wilma Dykeman, a voice for all writers

Becoming a well-established writer is a challenging task for anyone, but it was an even steeper mountain to climb for young females in the 1950s. Wilma Dykeman was one of these young women. Though publishers found her early works too controversial, she opened doors that were often closed to women of this period, all while […]

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