||As you drive through
the National Park you will see signs saying "Quiet Walkway." If
you have the time and inclination pull off and enjoy a stroll along a
mountain stream or through the scenic woodlands.
You will be glad you did. If you are more adventerous (and fit) you will
want to stop by the Sugarlands Visitor Center at the entrance of the National
Park to get information and maps for more challenging trails. As always,
be sure to follow basic safety guidlines and make sure somebody knows where
you are going to be.
||The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to a wide variety of
wildlife, from our famous Black Bear to the newly introduced Elk herd.
Keep in mind that any animals you encounter are wild, and no matter how
cute they may seem you never want to feed or try to touch them. If you
see a bear cub, know with full certainty that Mamma bear is nearby and
is anxiously watching your every move.
||As with the wildlife, there is a great diversity of plants, trees, and
flowers in the National Park. Heed the hiker's credo...take nothing but
picutres, leave nothing but footprints. The Great Smoky Mountains National
Park is a delicately balanced eco-system. Picking flowers or plants means
that some critter might go hungry later on.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park does not charge visitors to enjoy
the great beauty that so blesses this area. The trails, roads, rangers,
and programs are all supported by tax dollars and donations. If you wish
to make a donation to help support the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
and it's many great projects, you may send it to:
Friends of GSMNP
PO Box 1660
Kodak, TN 37764
Or go to www.friends ofthe smokies.org
||What's Going on
||Black bear cubs are born. Winter birds present include Ruffed Grouse,
Belted Kingfisher, Cedar Waxwing, Golden-Crowned Kinglet, Purple Finch,
Red-breasted Nuthatch, Pine Siskin, Black-capped Chickadee, Winter Wren
American Goldfinch, Barred Owl and Wild Turkey
||Red Maple trees bloom. Traiing Arbutus may bloom along trail edges. Spicebush
blooms. Mourning Doves are courting.
||Wildflowers that may bloom this month include Spring Beauty, Sharp-lobed
Hepatica, Bloodroot & several species of Violets. Arriving migratory birds
includee Brown Thrasher, Solitary Vireo, Yello-throated Warbler, Black
and White Warbler, and Louisiana Watherthrush. Redbud and Serviceberry
trees bloom along Little River Rd.
||Flowering Dogwood trees reach their peak of bloom around mid-month. April
23-29: Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. Dozens of woodland wildflower
species are in bloom, including Foamflower, Columbine, Fire Pink, dutchman's
Britches, Trout Lily, White Trillium, Yellow Trillium, Crested Dwarf Iris,
White fringed Phacelia, and Wild Geranium. Many Warblers and other migrotory
birds arrive to spend the summer and breed such as Ruby-throated hummingbird,
Veery, Wood Thrush, Yellow-throated Viero, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blackburnian
Warbler, Canada Warbler and Scarlet Tanager.
||Mountain Laruel is in bloom. Flame Azalea is in bloom in the lower elevations.
Silverbell trees and Tulip trees are in bloom, as well as Umbrella and
Fraser Magnolia. Woodland wildflowers in bloom include Creeping Phlox,
Wake Robe, Shoy Orchis, Yellow Lady's Slipper, Galax, and Woodland Bluet.
||June 16: Women's Work at Oconaluftee, Catawba Rhododendron reaches its
peak of bloom. Rosebay Rhododendron reaches its peak at the lower elevations
||Wildflowers in bloom include Butterfly Weed, Yellow-fringed Orhid, Cardinal
Flower, Purple-Fringed Orched and Fly Poison. Rosebay Rhododendron reaches
its peak of bloom at the middle and higher elevations. Sourwood trees bloom.
||Wildflowers in bloom include Jo-Pye Weed, Turk's Cap Lily, Pink Turtlehead,
Heart-leaved Aster, Nodding Lady's Tresses, Canada Goldenrod, Bee Balm
and Touch-me-not. Fruits are ripe on Pin Cherry Trees.
||Flocks of migrating Broad-Winged Hawks may be seen from Clingman's dome
and Look Rock towers. Wildflowers in bloom include Mountain Gentian, New
York Ironweed and Wide-leaved Sunflower. September 15: Muntain Life Festival
at OLconaluftee. Trees showing early autumn color include Sourwood, Pin
Cherry, Flowering Dogwood and Yellow birch.
||During the first half of the month Fall colors will reach peak at the
higher elevations. Colors will reach peak at the lower elevations during
the seconed half of the mongh. Bull elk are bugling.
||Oak trees continue to show good color early in the month. Watch for the
possible arrival of Evening Grosbeaks. Decidous leaves of Buffalo Nut remain
bright green. Fall Asters continue to bloom.
||December 8: Festival of Christmas Past at Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Mamals in farious states of deep winter sleep include Black Bear, Woodchuck,
Chipmunk and Jumping Mouse. Witch-hazel, a small tree, blooms with bright
| More Info?
||Visit the official site for
the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at www.nps.gov/grsm