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Rescued hiker recalls experience in Smokies

Rescued hiker recalls experience in Smokies

A hiker rescued from the snow-swept Smoky Mountains is now recovering at his North Carolina home.

Steven Ainsworth, 56, spoke to affiliate WITN Monday about his experience on the Appalachian Trail.  He had been hiking the trail since June before a storm created four to five-feet high snow drifts on the path.

"One of the most demanding, both physically and mentally, experiences of my life," Ainsworth said.

Smokies visits about 9 percent ahead of last year

Smokies visits about 9 percent ahead of last year

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) -- The Great Smoky Mountains National Park entered the fall foliage season with nearly 9 percent more visitors, year to date.

Figures released by the National Park Service showed 963,317 people came to the park in September -- a 9.2 percent increase over September 2011.

Through the first nine months of this year, visits were up 8.9 percent, meaning 602,000 more people have come to the Smokies this year than in the first three quarters of 2011.

Fall brings change of color to Smokies foliage

Fall brings change of color to Smokies foliage

Fall foliage is beginning to show its colors around Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

NPS Spokesperson Dana Soehn said some visitors are calling this one of the most vibrant fall color seasons in years.

"We are in store for another fabulous fall color season," she said.

Soehn told 10News a good combination of cool nights, warms days and moisture have helped bring about the strong colors.

More Information: NPS Weekly Fall Foliage Update 

Register to Vote!

Register to Vote!

You can register to vote now thru Monday, October 8.

If you are not registered by Oct. 8 you will not be able to vote for the Presidential and State General Election scheduled for November 6.

Early Voting starts Octoctober 17 and ends November 1.

Here's a couple handy links:

50% off Swinging Bridge Adventure for 2 at Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park

50% off Swinging Bridge Adventure for 2 at Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park

Today Deal Chicken is offering 50% off Swinging Bridge Adventure for 2 at Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park in Sevierville!

This safe yet exhilarating activity will have you close to wildlife and one with nature as you cross the Bridge to Prosperity to a covered walking bridge, leading into the Lost Mine Falls trail and finally the Cliffhanger Swinging Bridge where you’ll peer 60 feet below into the pooling water from above the falls. This hour-long experience will leave you feeling alive and vibrant.

Smokies will start collecting backcountry camping fees early next year

Smokies will start collecting backcountry camping fees early next year

Starting early next year, backcountry campers will see some changes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including a new fee.

Last March, the National Park Service approved the park's proposal to begin collecting fees for use of backcountry campsites and shelters, which includes a $4 per person per night fee for backcountry camping.

The money collected will provide increased customer service for backcountry trip planning, reservations, permits and the backcountry experience

Crews practice Smokies swiftwater rescues

Crews practice Smokies swiftwater rescues

Two East Tennessee fire departments joined with the National Park Service to practice swiftwater rescues in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Townsend Volunteer Fire Department and Blount County Fire Department trained with the National Park Service at the Sinks waterfall, which is ten miles southeast of Gatlinburg. The Sinks are known for their swift waters. Last year, a 17-year-old Florida girl died after she was swept over the 15-foot-waterfall.