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Welcome to the Great Smokies Blog

Stories From The Smokies highlights interesting, out-of-the-ordinary aspects of life in the North Carolina mountains. We offer insider tips on things to do, places to go, and ways to make your Bryson City visit all the more memorable. Look for new posts in this space every few weeks. Or subscribe to receive updates by email.

NOC – Making a 50-Year Splash in Bryson City

NOC – Making a 50-Year Splash in Bryson City

In September 2013, NOC was the center of the paddling universe when it hosted the ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships. 200 athletes from 30 different countries competed for the title of Freestyle World Champion.Bryson City’s phenomenal growth as an outdoor...

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Exploring Swain County Quilt by Quilt

Exploring Swain County Quilt by Quilt

On just about any drive through the North Carolina countryside, you may see a colorful painted quilt block pattern adorning a barn, public building, shop or private home. Such encounters are always a pleasant and unexpected surprise. They're all part of grassroots...

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The Bryson City Farm That Keeps On Growing

The Bryson City Farm That Keeps On Growing

Ever since the first furrow was plowed in 1980, Jeff Darnell’s 100-acre wholesale farm has supplied regional grocers with such in-season fruits and vegetables as strawberries, tomatoes, onions, sweet corn, beans, peppers and blackberries. Early on, the most visible...

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Things That Go Whoosh In The Night

Things That Go Whoosh In The Night

In the Smokies, the nighttime sounds can be magical — a comforting chorus of katydids, crickets and tree frogs occasionally interrupted by a polite conversation of owls. But imagine the surprise when that nocturnal tranquility is broken by the startling “whooshes” of...

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