Park hosts free Junior Ranger Day

junior ranger dayGSMNP (press release)—Great Smoky Mountains National Park will celebrate Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with special activities at Sugarlands Visitor Center, Cades Cove Visitor Center, and Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

Children and their families can join in a variety of free, hands-on activities including ranger-guided walks, historic toy making, talking to a real wildland firefighter, making dinner bells at a blacksmith shop, and visiting touch tables with animal skins, skulls, and scat. Information about specific programs is available at each visitor center.  Children can earn their free Junior Ranger patch by completing three specially planned activities.

Junior Ranger Day is a special event during National Park Week celebrated this year between April 18 and 26. National Park Week is an annual presidentially proclaimed week for celebrating and recognizing National Parks. In honor of the upcoming National Park Service Centennial, parks throughout the country invite you to Find Your Park through ceremonies, interactive games, and special events designed to connect children with the resources found in national parks.

“Junior Ranger Day is one of the important ways we are connecting and inspiring our next generation of advocates and stewards for Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “This is important to note as the National Park Service enters into its second century of service in August 2016 when the National Park Service turns 100.”

For information and questions about Junior Ranger Day, please contact Lloyd Luketin at or 865-436-1292. Visit to learn more about how you can join parks, programs, and partners in celebrating National Park Week across the country.

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