Smoky Mountains National Park’s Record Visitation Proves It Is “One Of America’s Greatest Treasures”

Friday, January 13, 2017

Senator Lamar Alexander on Friday praised employees and volunteers at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for their work in welcoming a record 11,312,785 visitors to the park in 2016, the U.S. National Park Service Centennial.

“Documentarian Ken Burns said the national parks are ‘America’s best idea,’ so the Great Smoky Mountains National Park must be ‘America’s very best idea’ because each year it attracts nearly twice the visitors of any other national park – and last year it broke its own record with more than 11 million visitors,” Senator Alexander said. “The park’s dedicated employees and nearly 2,250 volunteers – who donated over 100,000 hours of service – had a busy year and deserve a lot of credit.”

He said, “The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of America’s greatest treasures – and it has a tremendous economic impact in East Tennessee. In 2015, visitors to the Park spent more than $874 million and supported nearly 14,000 jobs in surrounding communities.”

Senator Alexander said he hopes even more visitors will come to the park in 2017 which will help the area recover from the deadly wildfires that spread through Sevier County and Gatlinburg in November: “Having even more visitors come to the Smokies in 2017 will increase tourism revenue and support more jobs – which will help the area rebuild and recover.”

Senator Alexander marked the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service by hiking in the Smokies with Tennessee students and Superintendent Cassius Cash and honoring the service of park employees.


Riverpark Boat Ramp Reopens

2019 First Day Hike At The Prater’s Mill Historic Site Set For Jan. 1

State Parks Host Free Hikes To Bring In The New Year


The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department reports the Riverpark Boat Ramp has now reopened. (click for more)

On New Year's Day, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 at 3 p.m. at the Prater’s Mill Historic Site there will be a hike organized on the Norma Gordon Nature Loop and the Prater’s Mill Greenway. The guided ... (click for more)

Tennessee State Parks will offer free, guided hikes at 55 state parks as part of the annual First Day Hike program across the state. “This is a great way to start off that New Year’s resolution ... (click for more)


Outdoors

Riverpark Boat Ramp Reopens

The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department reports the Riverpark Boat Ramp has now reopened. (click for more)

2019 First Day Hike At The Prater’s Mill Historic Site Set For Jan. 1

On New Year's Day, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 at 3 p.m. at the Prater’s Mill Historic Site there will be a hike organized on the Norma Gordon Nature Loop and the Prater’s Mill Greenway. The guided nature trail hike is appropriate for both children and adults, and will be led by Greg Bruner. Hikers are asked to meet on the porch of the mill at 3 p.m. Bring water, binoculars and ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Fumes Force Evacuation Of City Hall Friday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a report of a gas leak around 8 a.m. on Friday at City Hall. Employees inside City Hall reported smelling a chemical odor and called 911. Upon arrival, Battalion Chief Ashley May ordered the evacuation of city hall as a precaution. After a brief investigation, it was determined that a subcontractor for the city's stormwater division ... (click for more)

New Pro Soccer Team Is Interested In Building Training Facility At Camp Jordan Park

The Chattanooga Red Wolves professional soccer team may be coming to East Ridge. In Thursday night’s Agenda Session of the East Ridge City Council meeting, Red Wolves owner Bob Martino told the council that he wants to enter into a public/private partnership with the city to build a practice facility near the existing Weldon Osborne Stadium in Camp Jordan Park. The facility would ... (click for more)

Opinion

Tom Caldwell Was Always A Champion For Orange Grove

Tom Caldwell was a devoted husband, father of four children and 13 grandchildren, veteran of World War II, Harvard University law school graduate, church member and outstanding corporate, tax and estate planning attorney at three of Chattanooga's leading law firms. His family, personal, legal, military, religious and civic duties are too many to list. As a member of the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: So Long, 'Mr. Chaudion'

It’s been a couple of years ago, almost three, when I walked into a well-respected horse barn at the foot of Lookout Mountain, not far into Georgia, and caught sight of four black men, silently watching me enter. When I got to their midst, I nodded my respect to each of the four, as I was taught from the very start in my life, before I said, “I’d like a word with Mr. Chaudion Womble.” ... (click for more)