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WNC Business

Longtime partner to GSMNP rebrands as Smokies Life

Feb 01, 2024 07:33PM ● By WNC Business

Great Smoky Mountains Association announced that, beginning February 1, the organization will operate under a new name and brand identity - Smokies Life.

Founed in 1953, Great Smoky Mountains Association has a 70-year history of supporting the preservation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Over the decades, the organization has provided more than $50 million in direct aid to the park since its inception, operating a total of 11 visitor centers and contact stations, maintaining a roster of 29,000-plus members, and publishing a vast array of park-related books and multimedia.

One of four nonprofit partners to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the organization was originally founded under the name Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association. In 2002, the board of directors shortened the name to Great Smoky Mountains Association to better encompass its support for both cultural and natural history.

The organization’s board officially approved the new Smokies Life name, branding, and logo to be announced and made effective in the first quarter of 2024. 

This past December, Smokies Life opened its newest visitor center location, the Great Smokies Welcome Center in Townsend, Tennessee. Smokies Life maintains a daily presence at seven other visitor centers and retail bookstores in and around the park in coordination with the National Park Service, local communities, and other partners. In Tennessee, these include Cades Cove Visitor Center, Gatlinburg Welcome Center, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont Visitor Center and Sugarlands Visitor Center. North Carolina locations include Clingmans Dome Visitor Center, Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Swain County Visitor Center and Museum. 

About Smokies Life:
Smokies Life, formerly Great Smoky Mountain Association, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the scientific, historical and interpretive activities of Great Smoky Mountains National Park by providing educational products and services to park visitors. For more information about Smokies Life and to join, visit
Source: Smokies Life
Two hikers journey through Arch Rock along the Alum Cave Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Image by Michele Sons.