Knoxville, Tenn., travel writer Katy Koontz has issued the Smoky Mountain Travel Guide, which can be loaded onto iPhones and iPads through the App Store and Android devices through Google Play. The cost is $2.99 and periodic updates are then free.
There are more than 200 entries, including tourist stops in Smokies gateway cities as well as features in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Koontz says the app has turn-by-turn GPS directions and a photo gallery for each entry.
Koontz also wrote "Family Fun in the Smokies: A Family-Friendly Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains," which was published in February.
Holidays at The Greenbrier
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- "Tribute to the Virginias," The Greenbrier's popular winter package, returns over select dates in November, December and January. The Tribute offer can be booked only online, and a limited number of rooms are available at the package rates. Resort fees and taxes additional.
"I want everyone to be able to experience the magical Christmas experience that The Greenbrier offers," said Jim Justice, chairman and owner of The Greenbrier. "West Virginia is simply beautiful this time of year, and we want to offer the best way for people to discover just how magnificent this region and this resort really are."
For the dates of Nov. 25-29 and Dec. 16-19, midweek rates start at $59. Additional rates are available for upgraded accommodations. A two-night minimum stay and a nonrefundable deposit equal to the room rate and taxes for the full amount of the stay are required.
Morning coffee service, historic interior tours, wireless Internet, fitness center, indoor pool, afternoon tea and concert and nightly movies are all included with the "Tribute to the Virginias" package.
This year, The Greenbrier also will host five holiday shopping weekends in November and December. During these special weekends, which are open to the public, registered event attendees will receive a 25 percent discount on an item of their choice from select retail shops.
Further details on dates and rates can be found on The Greenbrier's Facebook page.
Blackwater Falls State Park is listed among 10 endangered state parks in the country in the Oct. 5 online edition of Budget Travel magazine.
The article by Valerie Rains said the falls in the 2,456-acre park in Tucker County is one of the most photographed places in West Virginia.
"But there's something potentially more serious darkening the future of West Virginia's state parks: hydraulic fracturing (aka "fracking") wells that could be built on ecologically significant public land."
The article points out that the mineral rights of about 40 percent of the state parks, including Blackwater, are privately held.
Logan State Park lost a court battle to stop natural gas drilling in the park, a process, the article said, which also includes building roads and clear-cutting trees. "A dozen or so other parks could soon fine themselves fighting for their rights."
Another state park cited as being endangered for the same reason is Ohiopyle State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania.