As much inspired by the mountains, rivers and forests as serving the needs of the droves of visitors attracted to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year, Gatlinburg's arts and craft community, plus many of the hotels and restaurants, offer nourishment for the mind, body and soul.
Cradled by the half-million-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, can be a perfect, if not also eco-luxurious, base camp, a cornucopia of discoveries for the arts and craft crowd, or a wacky diversionary stop on the way to or from an entrance to the most visited national parks in the United States.
Across the U.S., voters of all political leanings gave overwhelming approval in the 2012 presidential election to taxing themselves and spending money for new parks in their communities, The Trust for Public Land announced. Of the 57 measures on local and statewide ballots, 46 passed, an approval rate of 81%.
From carbon footprints to added wear and tear on everything from trails to monuments, travel of any kind leaves a mark on the environment. The difficulty of balancing the environmental effects of your travels with a desire to see and appreciate firsthand the natural and manmade marvels of the world isn't an easy task, and is an issue that's inspired a wealth of discussion. What do you think? Would you travel less, or otherwise change the way you travel, in order to protect the environment?
PBS and Ken Burns’ new series, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” is stirring up interest in some of our country’s most beautiful and awe-inspiring nature, as well as its people. And it’s no surprise that many of MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers have fond memories of these wilderness areas. What are your favorite memories and stories regarding our national parks?