America's Great Outdoors
Snow fell earlier this week in the middle and high elevations of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This photo was taken on Sparks Lane in Cades Cove late last March, but you could have captured pretty much the same scene if you had visited the cove early this week! ©2013 Kristina Plaas, All Rights Reserved.

Snow fell earlier this week in the middle and high elevations of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This photo was taken on Sparks Lane in Cades Cove late last March, but you could have captured pretty much the same scene if you had visited the cove early this week! ©2013 Kristina Plaas, All Rights Reserved.

Tom Turkeys are gobbling and strutting now as the courtship season begins in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You may encounter the birds displaying along park roadways, so please slow down and watch for wildlife—and other visitor’s cars stopped due to wildlife! Be especially cautious when going around blind curves. As this photo shows, sometimes the birds will display right in the center of the roadway… and they are NOT interested in moving out of your way anytime soon!The gobbles of male turkeys can be heard almost a mile away. When displaying, males droop their wings until the tips almost drag on the ground and spread their tails wide. Courtship season lasts from March until May.Photo: Displaying turkeys block US-441 between Gatlinburg and Sugarlands Visitor Center.

Tom Turkeys are gobbling and strutting now as the courtship season begins in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You may encounter the birds displaying along park roadways, so please slow down and watch for wildlife—and other visitor’s cars stopped due to wildlife! Be especially cautious when going around blind curves. As this photo shows, sometimes the birds will display right in the center of the roadway… and they are NOT interested in moving out of your way anytime soon!

The gobbles of male turkeys can be heard almost a mile away. When displaying, males droop their wings until the tips almost drag on the ground and spread their tails wide. Courtship season lasts from March until May.

Photo: Displaying turkeys block US-441 between Gatlinburg and Sugarlands Visitor Center.

The sunrise from Foothills Parkway East at 7:00 AM yesterday morning in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo: Nicholas Yarnell

The sunrise from Foothills Parkway East at 7:00 AM yesterday morning in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Photo: Nicholas Yarnell

More amazing fall colors from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This photo of Abrams Falls was taken by Eric Hope on October 27.

More amazing fall colors from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This photo of Abrams Falls was taken by Eric Hope on October 27.

Another stunning shot of Great Smoky Mountains National Park during autumn. This photo is of the Little Pigeon River.Photo: Charles Wickham

Another stunning shot of Great Smoky Mountains National Park during autumn. This photo is of the Little Pigeon River.

Photo: Charles Wickham

An eagle takes flight at sunrise in Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee. Photo: Don Holland (www.sharetheexperience.org)

An eagle takes flight at sunrise in Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.

Photo: Don Holland (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Looking for a great autumn destination on America’s public lands? Check out Abrams Falls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo: Monica Noll (www.sharetheexperience.org)

Looking for a great autumn destination on America’s public lands? Check out Abrams Falls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Photo: Monica Noll (www.sharetheexperience.org)

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park proves that the eastern part of the country has some pretty spectacular mountains to visit. Photo: Dan Sherman

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park proves that the eastern part of the country has some pretty spectacular mountains to visit.

Photo: Dan Sherman

A foggy and misty spring morning begins in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Photo: Sharon Canter

A foggy and misty spring morning begins in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  

Photo: Sharon Canter

A black bear takes a nap in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.Photo: Charlie Choc 

A black bear takes a nap in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Photo: Charlie Choc