june mast 2012

Smokies Place Names

Newest Quiz


Click here to take our newest quiz about place names of the Smokies.


Click here if you'd like to learn the story behind the origin of local place names.

Clingmans Dome

New Video by Gary Wilson

clingmans dome gary wilsonClingmans Dome View by Gary Wilson


Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the park and provides one of the most scenic views in the US. This new video takes you on a journey through one of the most interesting mountain ecosystems in the country.

See the View!

Meigs Falls Brush Clearing Work


meigs falls before

After clearing vegetation on both sides

meigs falls after

Photos by Gary Wilson

Upcoming Events


Women's Work Festival June 16

Mountain Farm Museum, Oconaluftee, NC


Fireflies at Elkmont June 2-10


Click here for more information on upcoming events.
Shop the Park From Home


Brand New!  Bear Hat650709

 Porcelain Pendant650711

Images of Gatlinburg400913

Images of Cades Cove


Images of Pigeon Forge


 Logo Mug


smoky mtn resorts logo

Business Members


Smoky Mountain Resorts

P.O. Box 648
Pigeon Forge, TN  37868



With over 700 guest rooms, a 1200-person convention space, and an indoor water park, Smoky Mountain Resorts excels in providing great rooms, friendly service, and affordable rates. 


Located in Pigeon Forge and family operated for over 40 years, Smoky Mountain Resorts owns quality lodging ranging from economy hotels to luxury suites. Knowledgeable reservation agents staff our local call center, providing area information as well assisting in finding the right hotel to meet your needs. 


Combined with tickets for local attractions and some of the best restaurants in the Pigeon Forge - Sevierville - Gatlinburg area, Smoky Mountain Resorts is your one stop shop for vacation planning. 


Whether it's a weekend trip or a family vacation, when you're thinking 'Pigeon Forge', you're thinking 'Smoky Mountain Resorts'!


You can see all of GSMA's Business Members by clicking here.


To see the discounts offered to GSMA members, click here.


If you own a business and would like to be included in this newsletter and our website, contact Westy Fletcher at 423.487.3131 or Westy@GSMAssoc.org


Highland Craft Gallery

755 Buckhorn Road
Gatlinburg, TN  37738



Erie Insurance

412 North Cedar Bluff Road
Suite 403
Knoxville, TN  37923




Elk Springs Resort

1088 Powdermill Road
Gatlinburg, TN  37738

mother bear teaching cub terry barnes
Mother teaching cub by Terry Barnes

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Night Hike With Wanda DeWaard

"The woods are lovely dark and deep..."

 full moon wayne parris

Full Moon by Wayne Parris


This "Cucumber Gap Night Awareness Walk" will lend extra meaning to Robert Frost's famous lines!


Join Naturalist Wanda DeWaard on Saturday, June 23, for a Cucumber Gap Loop walk as the day comes to an end and you walk into a midsummer's night dream of sorts. This area contains a wealth of cultural and natural history. Experience a whole new perspective on the park as you focus on the amazing changes that take place as day turns into night.


Special emphasis will be put on using your ability to become aware of night creatures and interpreting what you see and experience using all your senses. Bioluminescent critters, including some fireflies, are sure to make their presence known.


This easy to moderate trek is about 6 miles and includes several small stream crossings. We recommend bringing a buddy, hiking sticks, water, lunch or light snack, extra socks and stream-crossing shoes, rain gear, and a small flashlight (NOT an LED). Wear good hiking boots and appropriate clothing.


Meet at the upper parking area at Elkmont's Little River trailhead at 5:30 pm. The walk should finish by 11:00 pm.


Reservations are required by calling 865.436.7318, Ext. 222 or 254. There is a $5 fee for GSMA members; $10 for non-members. Children must be 12 years old and accompanied by an adult. Participation is limited to 20.


Don't miss out! This is a great opportunity to explore the night in a safe and enjoyable way!

Elk Calves Being Born Now

Please Drive Carefully, 4 Elk Killed by Cars


One-Hour Old Baby Elk by Joe Yarkovich


It's time for elk calving in the park!


Unfortunately four elk have been killed when hit by cars in separate incidents near Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee, and Couches Creek.  So please be careful.  Go slow when you're driving near where the elk live.  They don't have a lot of "street-smarts."  Thanks!

Cataloochee Valley

New Video by Valerie Polk

 cataloochee barn valerie polk

Cataloochee Barn by Valerie Polk


Explore the rural beauty of Cataloochee from its original settlement to the elk reintroduction. Hattie Caldwell Davis shares her memories of living in Cataloochee as a small child plus her vast knowledge about the history of the valley.  

Flora and Fauna Update

What's Blooming, Great Hikes

rhododendron purple john northrop 

Catawba Rhododendron by John Northrup


Wildflowers and other natural events continue to be about three weeks early this year. Catawba rhododendron is now near its peak of bloom above elevations of 3,500 feet in the Smokies. This is the purple rhododendron of heath balds. Rosebay (white) rhododendron is also off to an early start at the low elevations. It is often seen along streams and other cool, shady places.


Flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) is predicted to peak on Gregory Bald in early June. The bald is only accessible by trail, with Gregory Bald Trail (4.5 miles one way) being the shortest route.


Chimney Tops Trail will continue to be closed Monday-Thursday through the summer to allow reconstruction crews to work safely and efficiently on the badly eroded route. The popular trail is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and will likely reopen seven days a week during winter.


Rhododendron time is a great opportunity to hike to waterfalls such as Ramsey Cascade, Laurel Falls, and Road Prong Falls, all of which are framed with flowering rosebay rhododendron.

Appalachian History Weekend

At Fontana Village Resort

 proctor picnic school

Photo of a Picnic at Proctor School


Appalachian History weekend begins with a walking tour of Fontana Village, where the families of the workers who built Fontana Dam lived in the mid 1940s. The power generated at Fontana Dam enabled the accelerated production of the nuclear material needed to complete the atomic bombs. 


The weekend will also include a lake tour and hike, a film about the construction of the dam, a play about the life of an Appalachian woman, signings by several authors of books about the area, and a reception for and talk by Dr. Walt Larimore who wrote Bryson City Tales.


Six thousand residents of the Graham County, North Carolina communities of Proctor, Judson, Bushnell, and Japan were forced to relocate and re-establish their livelihoods during this difficult time in American history. 


For more information visit www.fontanavillage.com or call 828.498.2211.

father son fishing fly fishing the smokies

Father and Son Fishing by Fly Fishing the Smokies

Foods of the Smokies Recipes

By Chef Heather O'Donnell


Sweet, Tender Corn Fritters


1 1/2 cups Stone Ground Corn Meal

1 1/2 cups self rising flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick butter, melted

1 can sweet corn, drained

light vegetable oil for frying


Sift together dry ingredients in large bowl. Whisk together milk, buttermilk, and eggs in a small bowl. Combine dry ingredients and milk mixture. Stir in corn and melted butter. Heat oil to around 325 in a deep fryer or 2 inches deep in a dutch oven. Drop batter by rounded tablespoons into hot oil, and cook 3-4 minutes each, turning once, until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with Sourwood Honey butter, or Maple Syrup butter. For a tasty twist, try adding browned, crumbled bacon, or chopped jalapenos!


Classic Southern Fried Green Tomatoes


1 cup Stone Ground Corn Meal

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

4 large or 5 medium green tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices, cores removed

1/2 cup light vegetable oil for frying

ranch dressing or remoulade sauce for dipping


Combine flour, meal, and seasonings in a large bowl. Place buttermilk in a separate, smaller bowl. Heat oil in a medium sized cast iron skillet, over medium heat to hot (about 325). Dip tomato slices in buttermilk, evenly coating both sides. Dredge through corn meal mixture, making sure both sides of each slice are covered well. Pan fry in batches until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to drain on paper towels. Serve hot with dipping sauce as an appetizer, or as a wonderful accompaniment to Barbecue Sandwiches and Coleslaw.

 dollywood store

Park volunteers teaching at Ranger Rob's, our Dollywood store

Answers to Last
Month's Warbler Quiz
  1. The smallest warbler in the park, this handsome bird seeks out the highest canopies where the trees border streams.
    • Palm Warbler
    • Yellow-throated Warbler
    • Swainson's Warbler
    • Northern Parula
    • Black-throated Blue Warbler

  2. This is the largest of our warblers. It is a bird of riparian thickets, preferring dense underbrush and blackberry brambles. It holds its food with its foot.
    • Kentucky Warbler
    • Yellow-breasted Chat
    • Worm-eating Warbler
    • Louisiana Waterthrush
    • Cerulean Warbler

  3. This boldly colored warbler is a summer resident of second growth hardwoods. They are known for flashing their wings and tail to flush insects from foliage.
    • Chestnut-sided Warbler
    • Hooded Warbler
    • Pine Warbler
    • Prothonotary Warbler
    • American Redstart

  4. Although this warbler spends most of its life high above the forest floor, it builds its nest on the ground. Its hind toes and claws are unusually long... an adaptation allowing it to forage along tree trunks and main branches, much like a nuthatch.
    • Black & White Warbler
    • Magnolia Warbler
    • Blackburnian Warbler
    • Black-throated Blue Warbler

  5. As one of our high elevation breeders, this warbler requires breaks in the forest canopy. It can be found in blackberry tangles and patches of rhododendrons.
    • Yellow Warbler
    • Chestnut-sided Warbler
    • Canada Warbler
    • Ovenbird
    • Wilson's Warbler

  6. This warbler prefers the spruce-fir forests down to about 3,000 ft. It is the only North American warbler that sports a bright orange throat.
    • Blackburnian Warbler
    • Yellow-rumped Warbler
    • Northern Parula
    • Palm Warbler
    • Nashville Warbler

  7. "Teacher, teacher, teacher"... you may hear it long before you see it since its plumage is well camouflaged against the leaf litter of the forest floor. They nest and forage for insects on the ground.
    • Worm-eating Warbler
    • Hooded Warbler
    • Common Yellowthroat
    • Yellow-breasted Chat
    • Ovenbird

  8. One of the last to arrive and first to leave, this handsome specimen is also a ground nester and the male can be easily recognized by his yellow belly, chest, and throat, and yellowish eye-ring and dark streaked necklace. It likes dark shady shrubs... especially rhodies.
    • Swainson's Warbler
    • Cerulean Warbler
    • Canada Warbler
    • Cape May Warbler
    • Magnolia Warbler

  9. A summer resident that loves streams, this warbler known for its tail bobbing can be distinguished from its Northern counterpart by its unspotted white throat.
    • Hooded Warbler
    • Louisiana Waterthrush
    • Wilson's Warbler
    • Mourning Warbler
    • Palm Warbler

  10. Local birders often call this the "sycamore warbler" as it is known to nest in sycamores, though its preference appears to be pines. They are a bird of the treetops.
    • Black-throated Green Warbler
    • Prairie Warbler
    • Prothonotary Warbler
    • Ovenbird
    • Yellow-throated Warbler

  11. This is the warbler you're most likely to encounter in the park, It prefers evergreens and occurs at all elevations. Its bright yellow cheeks are a good field mark.
    • American Redstart
    • Black-throated Green Warbler
    • Worm-eating Warbler
    • Kentucky Warbler
    • Yellow-breasted Chat

  12. This is the only warbler to be found in any numbers in the park during winter. In that season they tend to revert to fruits as their major food source, eating the berries of poison ivy and red cedar.
    • Black-throated Blue Warbler
    • Blackburnian Warbler
    • Yellow-rumped Warbler
    • Chestnut-sided Warbler
    • Northern Parula

    The winner is Tyson Smith of North Carolina!

Any Questions?For questions about online purchases, click here and the Mail Order department will help you.

For questions about membership, click here and Judy or Marti will help you.

For questions about business membership, click here and Westy will help you.
Become a member of Great Smoky Mountains Association today.  You'll receive discounts at our park stores of up to 25% and receive premiums like Smokies Life magazine and the Bearpaw newsletter.  Most importantly, you'll be helping protect nature and history in the Smokies.