JEFF OLSON: Photo Gallery — Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Travel to Great Smoky Mountains National Park with photographer Jeff Olson. The park straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between North Carolina and Tennessee runs northeast to southwest through the centerline of the park. It is the most visited national park in the United States. The sprawling landscape encompases lush forests and an abundance of wildflowers that bloom year-round. Streams, rivers and waterfalls appear along hiking routes that include a segment of the Appalachian Trail. An observation tower tops Clingmans Dome, the highest peak, offering scenic views of the mist-covered mountains. The park was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1934 and officially dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940. It encompasses 522,419 acres, making it one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States.

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Jeff Olson

A photo intern and part-time sportswriter at the Grand Forks Herald during his undergraduate days at the University of North Dakota, Jeff Olson spent 20-plus years in North Dakota newspapers as a photojournalist. He is a former small business owner and for the past 14 years has been a public affairs officer for the National Park Service. Olson works with members of the news media on national park issues from the bureau headquarters in Washington, D.C. He lives in Alexandria, Va., with his wife, Joanne, and their golden retrievers, Sam and Harry. They are avid Washington Nationals baseball fans.

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