Greetings from Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I grew up in New Orleans. My parents divorced when I was young, and my mom worked two jobs to make ends meet. Vacations were not something we were able to do. In my teens I was invited to go on a trip with a friends family to the Smoky Mountains. The beauty of the park was amazing and unlike anything I had seen. I eventually enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and during my career I was lucky to visit many states as well as several other countries. My travels enabled me to visit several national parks, and each provided beautiful memories. I was happy to be able to take my sons to many of these parks, and the memories made there will never be forgotten. Now, as my wife and I are empty nesters nearing retirement we look forward to being able to visit the parks more often, and stay longer to explore them even more. Time spent in the parks is special to us, whether riding a motorcycle on two lane twisting roads through the mountains, paddling a fast moving stream, or walking a quiet path enjoying the sights and sounds of the natural setting around us. We consider our national parks a treasure, and hope that enough people agree and help to preserve them so my sons will have the same chance to introduce their children to them someday.

Sincerely,
Tom

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains national park is one of the country's most popular national park sites. It offers postcard-perfect views and plentiful wildlife.

State(s): North Carolina Tennessee,

Established: 1926

“Our parks are a treasure and should be preserved for the enjoyment of many generations to come. They provide areas and experiences that benefit everyone that visits!”

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

{{ active ? "Cancel" : "Begin"}}

Success! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

You’ll be notified by email when your story is approved and added to the collection on the My Park Story homepage.

In the meantime, you can share your own story page with your family and friends — and help us spread the word about these priceless memories and priceless places!

Here’s your unique story page link:

{{ storyUrl }}

* indicates Required fields

Click to choose a file to upload

Submitting your story means that you agree to our Terms of Service

More Stories

  • Greetings from Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    My parents honeymooned in the Smokies in the 40’s, so we often visited the Smokies growing up. What I love: breath taking beauty: the sunrises and sunsets to the daintiest Spring flower. The power of the lightning bugs on a warm Summer evening. The sound of the brooks and streams…

  • Greetings from Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    It's hard to choose a favorite NP, but there's something particularly special about the GSM. Growing up near a national park was a gift, one I didn't realize I had until later in life. The drastic changes of the seasons mean something new each time you visit. There are days…

  • Greetings from Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Considering the number of visitors to the Smoky Mountains every year, my recent visit was quiet, clean and relaxing. The unique nature of the Smokies with its countless waterfalls, wildlife and plant life is humbling. I was met with a different view out the same window every morning and evening…

Donate

Preserve Our Parks

Make a tax-deductible gift today to provide a brighter future for our national parks and the millions of Americans who enjoy them.

Donate Now