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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Campgrounds

Metadata Updated: February 12, 2024

The Campground Location database contains information about physical and cultural geographic features of all types with Great Smoky Mountains National Park,current and historical, but not including roads and highways. The database holds the Federally recognized name of each feature and defines the feature location by state, county, USGS topographic map, and geographic coordinates. Other attributes include feature designations, feature classification, historical and descriptive information, and for some categories the geometric boundaries.

Perhaps in response to often harsh and demanding working conditions, overcrowded city life, or a pervasive desire for a simpler existence, camping became a popular pastime in the late 19th century. Several publications from that period describe in enthusiastic detail the particular advantages of various styles of tents, stoves and clothing, as well as tips for successful outings. Bringing just what they needed to set up a temporary home in the natural shelter of the woods, early campers arrived to the national forests on foot, horseback, or wagon. Attracted by the adventure of living out of doors and experiencing nature at close quarters, they were there to go "gypsying," to experience the renewed sense of freedom one finds in the natural world. While it was informal and unsupervised in the early years, camping was recognized as a significant use of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.1902 regulations issued by General Land Office, Department of the Interior, required that "specially desirable camping grounds or place[s] of resort" be considered for protection from the private development of hotels or sanitariums on national land. There is a satisfying immediacy about the prospect of establishing an encampment for the night — clearing the site, erecting the tent, chopping wood, building a fire and cooking over the live flame — that in turn suggests a meaningful connection to landscape, place and the rugged life of backwoods adventurers. In essence camping is an act of faith and survival, a way to buttress a modest, isolated human settlement against the forces of nature. Situated “somewhere between challenging new circumstances and the safe reassurances of familiarity,” the camp is a temporary substitute for the home — a place to dwell, to sleep, to interact socially, to prepare and eat food. Stripped of any but the most vital conveniences, the camp is literally and figuratively open to the stimuli of its natural surroundings. This summer millions of Americans will take to the road in search of this powerful experience of nature. And that parcel of land upon which most will elect to drive their car, set up their tent, park their trailer or RV is the campsite — which is thus not only an imagined ideal but also the fundamental unit of management of the modern campground. There are 113,000 federally managed campsites in the United States, 166,000 campsites dispersed across state parks, and untold numbers in private facilities. This feature service depicts the location of such "Front-Country" camping facilities within Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date May 31, 2023
Metadata Updated Date February 12, 2024

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date May 31, 2023
Metadata Updated Date February 12, 2024
Publisher National Park Service
Identifier NPS_DataStore_2220955
Data First Published 2015-03-14T12:00:00Z
Data Last Modified 2015-03-14
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:24
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Data Quality True
Harvest Object Id 36f258bb-b2e6-4e66-9247-bdce79262cea
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Homepage URL
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -84.0139,35.42586,-83.0425,35.84241
Program Code 010:118, 010:119
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > National Park Service
Related Documents,,*+FROM+points_of_interest%20WHERE%20lower(unit_code)=lower(%27grsm%27)%20AND%20lower(type)=lower(%27Campground%27),,,,*+FROM+points_of_interest%20WHERE%20lower(unit_code)=lower(%27grsm%27)%20AND%20lower(type)=lower(%27Campground%27),,*+FROM+points_of_interest%20WHERE%20lower(unit_code)=lower(%27grsm%27)%20AND%20lower(type)=lower(%27Campground%27),*+FROM+points_of_interest%20WHERE%20lower(unit_code)=lower(%27grsm%27)%20AND%20lower(type)=lower(%27Campground%27)
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 8d6e4ca7a743384b25657e685e0931ddbe311ba247f78596770c2d4e4f49cfcb
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -84.0139, 35.42586, -84.0139, 35.84241, -83.0425, 35.84241, -83.0425, 35.42586, -84.0139, 35.42586}
Temporal 2018-11-15T12:00:00Z/2018-11-15T12:00:00Z

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