Heyo! My name is Erin and I am an AmeriCorps member serving in the education branch in the resource education division. My all time favorite thing to do in the park is to hike any of the over 800 miles of trails and take pictures along the way. I never know what I may find, which makes it all the more fun! Pictures taken by Erin Waddell
P.S. I’m taking a picture of a caterpillar … not a rock ;)
It’s National Park Week! This week, we celebrate the people and places of the National Park Service. Follow along with the social media team this week as we introduce ourselves and what we love about our beautiful park.
#NationalParkWeek #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #GreatSmokyMountainsNationalPark
Image description: A view of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park sign by Gatlinburg, TN. NPS photo.
Who's enjoyed a ride through our highest elevations? 🙋 Check out this photo of a car cruising down Clingmans Dome Road in 1952 with some stellar views in the background! #ThrowbackThursday
Image description: a car drives down Clingmans Dome Road with evergreen-covered mountains in the background.
Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again. — Gustav Mahler
Photo: Jim Bennett
Description: Dogwood blooms with mountains in the background.
Spring is in the air! From wildflowers to waterfalls, what's your favorite part of April in the park?
Photos by Gail Patton and Bob Carr
Right now, Wood Frogs are finding their way to breeding ponds to lay their delicate eggs that often hatch within a week. By July, the tadpoles will be tiny froglets, but will not reach full size until age two. Come take a hike to spot any of the 12 frog species of the Smokies!
Photo Description: Brown colored Wood Frog surrounded by dark eggs in shallow water. Photo taken by Tiffany Beachy.
Have you ever heard of a macroinvertebrate?
They come in all shapes and sizes and are located throughout the park. This one is called a caddisfly, and a cool fact about this little one, is that it makes its own home! Just like us! Caddisfly gather small sticks, stones and sand particles and stick them together with their own silk to make protective casings. It makes some pretty interesting homes!
Image Description: Caddisfly larva holding on to a stick underwater
Rain, rain, go away!
Make sure to check the weather this weekend before heading out into the Smokies to see our wildflowers! Bring rain gear and layers and stay safe. There are possible severe thunderstorms forecasted for tomorrow.
Picture by Allison Bate
Image description: Blue phlox covered in raindrops #wildflowers
Does spring fever have you ready for outdoor adventures like backpacking? Check out this photo of a man and woman at the Moore Spring backcountry shelter in the 1930s! Though the Moore Spring shelter is no longer there, it once stood in the Gregory Bald/Long Hungry Ridge area. You can find info on planning your own backcountry trip on our website! #ThrowbackThursday
With the arrival of breeding season, this Tufted Titmouse will need to build a nest in a tree cavity. However, these small birds are unable to excavate their own holes. So what do they do? Rely on abandoned holes made by woodpeckers and other species. Work smarter, not harder!
Photo Description: A small grey-backed bird with a white belly and a narrow black beak perched on a maple branch with red buds. NPS photo.
The Smokies are famous for their many flowers blooming along the forest floor. However, make sure to look up every once in a while to see the amazing blooms on the trees too! Pictures taken by Erin Waddell
Image Description: Flowering Dogwood blooming over a period of two weeks with white bracts and a green flower cluster in the middle
are definitely out and about today!
Check out this beautiful bumblebee on a redbud tree outside the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Video by Allison Bate
Video description: A slow-motion take-off of a bumblebee from a pink redbud tree flower