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Skinny Dipping

Produced by Ray Flowers

Welcome to The Great Smoky Mountains Backwoods ast

Skinny Dippin' What a great way in which one might spend the afternoon or perhaps the morning...
Check out this guide to poisonous Plants.
 Water and the Giardia Parasite found in the streams of the Smoky Mountains
USGS Maps of Trails  Check your trail map before taking that first hiking expedition.
Appalachian Trail Conference News See news page at the Appalachian Trail Conference web site.
Fishing Area fishing regulations
Fishing Information from the GSMNP
Greenbrier Images of nature near Porters Creek
Mt. Le Conte Area Hiking Trails
Wilderness  Wilderness Interests 
Skinny Dippin' Thoughts and precautions
Smoky Mountains On The Fly fly fishing guide service
Winter Fir Images of snow in the park
Bloom Schedule of the Blue Ridge Area
Blue Ridge Parkway Motor through the wilderness
Lovers Friends in the National Park
A Walk in the Woods area guide and shuttle service
Knox Ham Radio Local Hams
Outdoors Appalachian Mountain Club
Savvy Traveler public radio's nationally broadcast travel show
Smokies Traveler What to do in the Smokies
Waterfalls Link to area waterfalls
National Park Great Smoky Mountain National Park website
Rafting Area rafting on three local rivers Link to Tennessee trails
Gorp Smokies Information about the Smokies from Gorp
One Day Hikes Best one day hikes worldwide. 
Adventure News

Friends of jazz featuring several artists

Friends of Jazz

ShaConage is the name the Cherokee people entitled The Great Smoky Mountains. It roughly means "Like Blue Smoke" 

www.legacy collect brings to you vinyl records from the early 20th Century

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The Map will expand with a click of your mouse.

Play the video once more and click on Wilderness  to view other pictures and comments. It will open in new window while music from the video plays on you computer.

More Videos of the Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway

Red-bellied woodpecker
Melanerpes carolinus [Female]

Originally a southeastern species, indigenous to the Smoky Mountains, the red-bellied woodpecker has extended its range into New England. It lives in forests and backyards. It eats insects and fruits. Both males and females work to dig a nesting cavity five to seventy feet above the ground in a tree, utility pole, or building. It has zebra-like stripes on its back and grows to about nine inches. The male has more red on his head.


Female Red Bellied Woodpecker cleans it's bill after devouring suet in the feeders at the outofyourway cabin

Cougar in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains

Ray, I stumbled onto your site and was so happy to find someone else who has seen a cougar in the Smokies. Years ago I was coming back across the mountain and just to the G-burg side of the Clingman's Dome parking lot, a cougar leaped across the road in front of our car. 

Cougar or Mountain Lion live in the Great Smoky Mountains. I personally saw one in 1986, and there are reports of deer and llama kills.

Probably @ 8 feet from nose to tail and bounded about twice to completely clear the two lanes. People said we didn't know what we saw but we sure did. Happy to know someone else has witnessed the beauty of one of these big cats other than me! Mike

Cougar at Alum Rock Park with Picture

I was hiking alone August 17 on the Balsam Mountain Trail. I was hiking down from the AT and had passed the trail split. A cougar walked across the trail about 35 feet down from me. I reported it to the ranger on Sunday. I had a can of bear spray and picked up a rock just in case. None of this was necessary since the cougar did not pay any attention to me. (unsigned)


LeConte Trail

The image to the right is the trail headed up Mt. LeConte at Alum Cave Bluffs parking area. Soon, wildflowers and lightening bugs will become alive for the season, offering everyone the chance to visit the wilderness areas and experience the Great Smoky Mountains in full bloom. Wildflower walks will be best between April 10th and 20th in lower elevations then climbing up the mountain thereafter. Late May and June is the time to find Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron. 

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THE PARK: With 10 million visitors yearly, this most-visited national park protects a delicate ecosystem of rare plants and wildlife as well as structures representing traditional Appalachian culture.



Biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.

More detailed information on biosphere reserves to be found here.

In the UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory you will find information on all the biosphere reserves, using the following links:

Little Blue Heron

The many streams of the Great Smoky Mountains offer environmental ecosystems for the Great Blue Heron as well as the Little Blue Heron. 

Great blue heron Ardea herodias

Little blue heron Egretta caerulea



It takes more than big trucks to bring elk to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
"We've been discussing releasing elk, an elk program in the Park, for 10 years," said Park spokeswoman Nancy Gray. The talk becomes reality Feb. 2 when 25 elk will be brought to the Cataloochee area after a 150-year absence. The project started out with three questions, Gray said. Is the project biologically feasible? Politically feasible? And if so, where is the funding going to come from?

hickorywind.jpg (11078 bytes) Hickory Wind is the location of the design office of . It is in a hickory gap covered with scaly bark hickory trees. In late summer and fall, the hickory nuts sound like a shotgun being discharged as they plummet onto the tin roof. The picture is an older one. A new porch was added just after this pic was taken. There will be a new picture taken this spring.

Shop for recommended reading and camping supplies from Great Smoky Backwoods and Amazon

Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links

Click to view Ray's Family 027 guage Lionel Train Collection

Ray's Lionel Model Train Collection 1945-2012

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