More than half of Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies in North Carolina, and several unique visitor destinations are found in the North Carolina portion of the park. A new series of short internet videos by Great Smoky Mountains Association will focus on four of these locations. These videos are the product of a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership grant. The series of videos is available for viewing on Great Smoky Mountains Association’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/GreatSmokyMountains. The videos are categorized into a playlist titled “Discover the North Carolina Smokies.” Closed captioning is available.
“Deep Creek Waterfalls and Wildflowers” highlights waterfalls in the Deep Creek area near Bryson City, NC, during a short spring hike. The hike features views of three waterfalls: Juney Whank and Tom Branch falls, each with an 80-foot drop, and the shorter yet more voluminous Indian Creek Falls with its large plunge pool. Wildflowers in bloom along the trail are identified as well as other points of interest, including a place where a water-powered mill likely once stood. This short film runs just under seven minutes and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/NngUq2x-mdE.
A video titled “Oconaluftee Mountain Farm Museum” focuses on the Oconaluftee area near Cherokee, with special attention on the Mountain Farm Museum, a collection of structures from around the park that includes a farmhouse, large drover’s barn, springhouse, and blacksmith shop. This working museum also features gardens, crops, and farm animals like chickens and hogs. The video presents the various structures and their uses in turn-of-the-20th-century farm life. Activities such as ranger programs and annual festivals are also mentioned, as are nearby points of interest like the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center, the Oconaluftee River Trail, and Mingus Mill. This short film runs just over nine minutes and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/nvcCWg5QP4w.
“Clingmans Dome—High Point of the Smokies” presents the popular area surrounding the highest summit in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where visitors can enjoy views across the Smokies for over 100 miles in every direction. This video explains how the mountain got its name and describes its cooler, wetter climate and spruce-fir ecosystem. Extraordinary mountain panoramas are featured, including historic photographs. This short film runs just over five and one-half minutes and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/kKSRToF2szo.
A video named “Cataloochee Valley” explores Cataloochee, a remote valley that was once a farming community from which a few historic structures are preserved, including some of the park’s best examples of frame construction. An interview with Hattie Caldwell Davis, who spent her early childhood in Cataloochee and has written books about the area, highlights the video. Mrs. Davis describes the valley’s early settlement, the house where she was born–which is still standing, and memories of her childhood. The video features scenic views of Cataloochee as well as historic photographs. This short film is 13 minutes long and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/9lbGd8JYl84.
– Great Smoky Mountains Association