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We're now more than a week into the government shutdown, and Bryson City would like to make one message clear: 'Shut down? Shut Up!' The real message from this light-hearted video is that there's still plenty to see and do in the Great S...
We're now more than a week into the government shutdown, and Bryson City would like to make one message clear: 'Shut down? Shut Up!' The real message from this light-hearted video is that there's still plenty to see and do in the Great Smoky Mountains. JeffHiking in the Smokies
about 2 hours ago
As the government shutdown continues, it brings to mind the times that I have seen hiking plans curtailed. For instance, I had planned twice to do the Benton MacKaye trail. Both times other circumstances came up. This fall I was lookin...
As the government shutdown continues, it brings to mind the times that I have seen hiking plans curtailed. For instance, I had planned twice to do the Benton MacKaye trail. Both times other circumstances came up. This fall I was looking at doing a thru hike of the Foothills Trail. But again, I found rides not working out, my new job that begged me to be there on opening day. I was to do
about 13 hours ago
The Great Smoky Mountains Public Affairs Office recently published a press release clarifying the issue of hiking in the park during the government shutdown: Great Smoky Mountains National Park remains closed following the shutdown of t...
The Great Smoky Mountains Public Affairs Office recently published a press release clarifying the issue of hiking in the park during the government shutdown: Great Smoky Mountains National Park remains closed following the shutdown of the federal government. The Smokies, along with all 401 National Park Service units, closed visitor facilities on October 1, 2013. All visitor centers, picnic areas, campgrounds, trails, and roads are closed except for Newfound Gap Road (Hwy 441), the Spur, and the Gatlinburg Bypass. In the Park, 279 employees were placed on furlough primarily leaving only a few dozen rangers on duty to protect property and resources throughout the park, as well as the public traveling the Spur and Newfound Gap Road. While most overlooks and pull-offs along the roadway are open to accommodate safe traffic flow over the mountains, facilities and trails remain closed. Park rangers are dependent on personnel, now furloughed, trained to support search and rescue operations when hikers become lost, injured, or ill in the backcountry. Such occurrences are normally quite frequent at this time of the year and each one typically requires up to a dozen or more park staff to resolve. “We ask that the public voluntarily respect the closure of the backcountry for everyone’s safety,” said Chief Ranger Clay Jordan. “With less staff on duty, we do not have the personnel on hand to sufficiently respond to emergency situations in the backcountry. We understand the desire of visitors to hike during this beautiful time of year and we are hopeful that the park will soon reopen.”For information on hiking in areas surrounding the park, please click here.JeffHiking in the Smokies
about 14 hours ago
A few weeks ago I headed to the Luxuria Music studios to be a guest on their show RPM, which is a very cool interview show that basically gives you a musical biography of the subject. I picked a bunch of songs I love and used them to tal...
A few weeks ago I headed to the Luxuria Music studios to be a guest on their show RPM, which is a very cool interview show that basically gives you a musical biography of the subject. I picked a bunch of songs I love and used them to talk about my life growing up in […] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
about 20 hours ago
The first in GSMA's Smoky Mountain Explorer Series, "An Island in the Sky" takes viewers on a journey to the "Top of Old Smoky," Clingmans Dome, the highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains. The 35-minute video features the cinematograp...
The first in GSMA's Smoky Mountain Explorer Series, "An Island in the Sky" takes viewers on a journey to the "Top of Old Smoky," Clingmans Dome, the highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains. The 35-minute video features the cinematography of GSMA's own Gary Wilson, who captured astonishing footage of rivers of clouds, sunrises, wildlife, wildflowers and the turn of the seasons atop this island in the sky. The Great Smoky Mountains Association was thrilled to include narration for the video by Bill Landry of "The Heartland Series" fame. Here's the trailer from the film: JeffHiking in the Smokies
about 23 hours ago
We're already into day 3 of the Federal government shutdown and there doesn't appear to be any resolution in sight. So, I have three questions with regards to our national parks being closed: #1) Why was the National Park Service...
We're already into day 3 of the Federal government shutdown and there doesn't appear to be any resolution in sight. So, I have three questions with regards to our national parks being closed: #1) Why was the National Park Service website taken down? For the most part it's static information. If it was to save a couple of dollars (and I mean that literally), then why are other federal websites still up and running, such as whitehouse.gov or healthcare.gov? Was this done simply to make us angry? #2) Why are the trails in our national parks off limits? If the argument is that the parks won't have the resources if someone gets injured and needs to be rescued, then why are the trails open on the Blue Ridge Parkway and most (if not all) of our national forests? #3) Most importantly, what gives the federal government the right to take away our right to enjoy OUR parks? We own these parks - not the temporary politicians and bureaucrats of the Federal government. The whole situation reminds of an old Pink Floyd song - Us and Them. JeffHiking in the Smokies
6 days ago
"What's open?" and "Where can I hike?" are two questions that I've been asked several times over the last few days. With no end in sight for the Federal Government shutdown, I thought I would offer some suggestions for hikes in the Smoki...
"What's open?" and "Where can I hike?" are two questions that I've been asked several times over the last few days. With no end in sight for the Federal Government shutdown, I thought I would offer some suggestions for hikes in the Smokies area: * It appears that most of North Carolina is open for hiking, this includes the Blue Ridge Parkway, all of the NC State Parks, as well as the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests.However, you should that none of the facilities on the BRP or in the national forests will be open.* All of the State Parks in Tennessee are open as well. * Hiking in Cherokee National Forest is open. As far as specific hikes or locations are concerned, here are a few options: * Grassy Ridge Bald on Roan Mountain is an outstanding hike. * The Art Loeb Trail in the Shining Rock Wilderness is an excellent choice for both hikers and backpackers. As is Cold Mountain.* Linville Gorge is another great location for hiking and backpacking. * Max Patch heading towards Asheville on I-40.* Both Mt. Mitchell and Chimney Rock State Parks in NC have great hikes. Here are some additional options here and here . * Mt. Rogers in Virginia is one of my all-time favorites. If anyone has any other options during the closure, please feel free to leave a comment. JeffHiking in the Smokies
6 days ago
If you’re experience with National Parks is primarily of the hiking and camping variety, you may be surprised to know that there are also indoor National Park Units (like Seattle’s Klondike Gold Rush National Park), as well a...
If you’re experience with National Parks is primarily of the hiking and camping variety, you may be surprised to know that there are also indoor National Park Units (like Seattle’s Klondike Gold Rush National Park), as well as smaller monument units like San Diego’s Cabrillo... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
6 days ago
KCET finally managed to track down some Forest Service officials to ask them about what is actually going on with their federal lands during the shutdown. It was very clear that National Park units were closed down and off-limits, but th...
KCET finally managed to track down some Forest Service officials to ask them about what is actually going on with their federal lands during the shutdown. It was very clear that National Park units were closed down and off-limits, but the rules for National Forests and BLM lands were anything but.... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
7 days ago
As many of you know, I’m a New Englander. And part of the deal with being a New Englander is that every year, usually around mid-September, you get the insatiable, uncontrollable desire to be near trees that are losing the chloroph...
As many of you know, I’m a New Englander. And part of the deal with being a New Englander is that every year, usually around mid-September, you get the insatiable, uncontrollable desire to be near trees that are losing the chlorophyll in their leaves. You can’t explain it and you... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
7 days ago