Great Smoky Mountains

Photos of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Great Smoky Mountains 0023

Dazzling light on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Balsam Mountain Asters

Balsam Mountains Asters

Balsam Mountain Asters in the Heintooga region of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Shaconage Place of Blue Smoke

Shaconage Place of the Blue Smoke

Shaconage Place of the Blue Smoke Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Shaconage Place of Blue Smoke

The Cherokee called the Great Smoky Mountains “Shaconage” which roughly translates to the Place of Blue Smoke. And if one visits there the translation immediately becomes crystal clear,even if the extended view from the overlook is not! Continue reading

Bears in the Great Smoky Mountains Part 2


Bears in the Great Smoky Mountains Part 2

Black Bear near Roaring Fork Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Black Bear near Roaring Fork

I was reading some reviews about black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and was surprised to learn that many people come to the Park EXPECTING to see a bear. In many cases these reviewers were disappointed.

It occurred to me that there may be an information gap regarding the somewhat large bear population in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the actual likelihood that a park visitor will actually see a black bear. Continue reading

Alum Cave Trail Great Smoky Mountains

Alum Cave Trail Great Smoky Mountains

Alum Cave Bluffs on the Alum Cave Trail Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Alum Cave Bluffs

The Alum Cave Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most popular trails for good reason. This trail offers more interest and rewards per mile for the hiker than any other in the national park.

Due to the popularity of this trail, it is often an adventure just finding a parking space at the trail head, especially in  peak seasons. The parking lot is used by both day hikers and for overnighters staying at the LeConte Lodge and the LeConte Shelter. Continue reading

Photography in the Great Smoky Mountains

Photography in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains Blue Mist photography by Richard Weisser
Great Smoky Mountains Blue Mist

I have had the extreme pleasure of taking photographs in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for over forty years.

Over that period of time there have been a lot of changes. Not only has the art of photography dramatically but the park itself has matured and been affected by weather and other environment influences. Continue reading

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 20

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 20

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is often shrouded with moisture, sometimes in the form of a persistent haze and other times as thick heavy clouds such as these.

The streams and rivers that flow through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are fed by the large amount of annual rainfall precipitated by this abundance of water.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park 021

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park covered with beautiful Fall foliage in October. The park is a popular destination for leaf peeping!

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park 022

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in the states of North Carolina and Tennessee and encompasses approximately 800 square miles.

It is the most visited national park due to its splendid natural attributes, its historic significance and proximity to a very large segment of the population of the United States.

Unlike the national parks in the west which were created out of lands already owned by the federal government, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was pieced together by the combined purchase and condemnation of lands owned by both corporations and private individuals.

About a third of the park remains as old growth forest, spared the lumberman’s ax by the park movement. Other parts of the park were heavily logged but have recovered after nearly a century of preservation.

Much of what is now the park was once comprised of small farms and homesteads. Some of these have been preserved and are maintained by the park service to serve as a window into the past of what this land was like in the 19th and early 20th century. Much of the popularity of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be attributed to the broad spectrum of natural and anthropological significance of these Southern Appalachian Mountains.

There is no entrance fee to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You may enter and exit as often as you wish. Once can spend as much time as one wishes experiencing all that the park has to offer.

More information about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

About the Author: Richard Weisser is a noted photographer and has been taking photographs of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for over forty years. His works have been published in numerous books and magazines and have been incorporated into many products with a Great Smoky Mountains National Park connection. His website, SmokyPhotos has been online and active since 1999.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park 026

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park  can be experienced up close and personal on the nearly 900 miles of trails or one can pause at one of the many overlooks on the Newfound Gap Road and take it all in broad swaths of park!

More information about the Newfound Gap Road.

Autumn leaves in the Great Smoky Mountains 14

Autumn leaves in the Great Smoky Mountains 14

Beautiful montage of Appalachian rock and Autumn leaves in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park 24

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park earns its name when blanketed in heavy clouds.