Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN – 2020

This regional event is sold out, but you can add your name to a wait list. If spaces become available, they will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

Alternatively, consider joining us for Celebration, April 19-21, in Asheville, North Carolina.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

Townsend, TN–April 16-19, 2020

Foothills Parkway sunrise. ©Hank Erdmann

About the Regional Event

Join Hank Erdmann and Tom Haxby in exploring this wonderful national park where you will see ridge upon ridge of forest that straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America’s most visited national park.  This Regional Event is being held in conjunction with the NANPA Nature Photography Celebration in Asheville, NC., April 19-21, 2020.

Little River in spring Great Smoky Mountains National Park. ©Tom Haxby

Showy Orchids Great Smoky Mountain NP ©Hank Erdmann

Just the Facts

Date:  April 16-19, 2020

Leaders: Hank Erdmann, Tom Haxby

Cost:  $495 NANPA member; $ 695 non-members.

Location:  Townsend, TN

Last date to register: April 1, 2020

Maximum number attendees:  24

2020 Great Smoky Mountains National Park Regional Event Cancellation and No Refund Policy: NANPA will not offer any refunds for registrations for this event regardless of when the cancellation is made or the reason for the cancellation. NANPA reserves the right to cancel any event or activity due to insufficient registration or any unforeseen circumstances. NANPA will offer refunds if NANPA has to cancel the event. It also has the right to substitute presenters if those originally scheduled cannot attend. Registrants may purchase event insurance as part of the registration process through NANPA’s partner, Allianz. More information on this option will be shown during the checkout process for the event registration.

NOTE:  If you do not purchase event insurance at the time that you pay for your registration, you will NOT be able to go back and purchase it with Allianz later.

If you choose to purchase travel insurance separately, you can do so with your own insurance carrier, or NANPA members can receive a special travel insurance rate through USI Affinity/Travel Insurance Services.


Tremont Lodge & Resort
7726 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway
Townsend, TN  37882
Phone:  865-448-3200

Rates: $91.75 plus tax for weeknight rooms
$99.25 plus tax for weekend rooms

Guests must call the hotel directly to book at 865-448-3200 and mention Group Block Name: North American Nature Photography Association or Group #1366 for these rates.

Cut-off date for hotel rate is March 16, 2020.

There is no restaurant on site, a continental breakfast is served daily from 7:00 – 10:30 a.m.


Hank Erdmann is a professional natural history photographer and photographic educator who resides in Will County, Illinois. He has photographed throughout North America, making the Midwest his primary geographic area of interest. A love of history, especially the maritime history of the Great Lakes, kindles a special interest in the ports, shorelines, islands and natural areas of Lakes Michigan and Superior and their surrounding environs.

Hank has taught workshops and photography classes and has led photography tours since 1983 in places such as Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He helped start the photography program at The Morton Arboretum near Chicago and has taught numerous classes and seminars in the upper Midwest. Hank currently teaches workshops at for the Clearing Folk School in Door County, Wisconsin and other organizations in the Chicago area.

Tom Haxby worked for more than 25 years as a natural resource professional and has spent his life exploring the outdoors. His interest in photography started after working as a yearbook photographer in college and has continued to this day.   He’s been a member of the Traverse Michigan Area Camera Club since 2004 and has attained the level of Master Photographer. He started Tom Haxby Photos in 2007.

He’s been a NANPA member since 2008, served on the NANPA Board of Directors since 2017 and is currently NANPA’s President.

His credentials include winning numerous awards for his photography including NANPA semi-finalist 2014, finalist NANPA Showcase Competition 2011, Tier III Winner 2012 & 2013, Winner Florida Trail Association photography contest, Winner Land Information Access Association (LIAA) Photo Contest, Best of Show Cadillac Art Fair (2011), Sustainable Forestry Initiative Contest Winner 2013 and First Runner Up in 2015, Honorable Mention Crooked Tree Art Center in 2016.  His images have been published in Michigan Blue Magazine, Traverse Magazine, Traverse Community Directory, Great Lakes Calendars, Farley Calendars, and numerous other magazines, newspapers, calendars, and greeting cards.  Tom’s work has also been shown at many art shows

Tom has been photographing in the Smokies for many years and is very familiar with the area and photo locations.  He is a past Artist-in-Residence at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  He was an instructor for the 2019 NANPA High School Scholarship program at the Tremont Institute in the Smokies, leads photo workshops, and has attended NANPA Regional Events.

Potential Locations for Great Smoky Mountains Regional Event    

Foothills Parkway: One of the best sunrise locations in the park, long vistas usually with lots of clouds creating “islands” in the clouds or the “smoke” of the Smokies.

Little River, Little River Road, The Sinks, Metcalf Bottoms, Elkmont: River scenes and details abound along Little River Road, small cascades and waterfalls, wildflowers, and at Elkmont historic camp buildings offers some different image possibilities. The trail at the end of the Elkmont Road is a wildflower haven.

Chimney Tops: Three pull offs and a picnic area offer parking and numerous wildflower possibilities.

Morton Overlook: One of the few sunset places but a great one.

Cades Cove: A historic mountain community with mountain cabins and churches and other buildings, great landscape possibilities, wildlife opportunities and even some wildflowers.

Middle Prong, Little River: The paved road up to Tremont Institute offers river scenes in abundance, the gravel road that goes three miles further to the parking lot and the Lynn Camp Trailhead is even better. A short hike leads to Lynn Camp Falls and wildflowers are all around.

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: Talk about easy access! This six mile roads leads to river scenes, historic settler’s cabins, the “Place of 1000 Drips” (water cascades), and of course wildflowers.

Greenbriar Area (A possible alternative site): River scenes again abound along the Middle Prong of the Little Pidgeon River, Greenbriar Confluence has more river scenes, the road forks and at the end of one fork is the Potter Creek trailhead and a wildflower paradise, at the end of the other, after a short walk is Ramsey Cascade.

Preliminary Itinerary:  (subject to change)

Thursday Evening, April 16, 2020 Meet and Greet – Meet the group, we’ll run through our itinerary updating any changes made for local conditions, talk about the event and answer any questions you may have.

Friday, April 17, 2020
Morning shoot, Cades Cove
Breakfast (on your own)
Little River, Little River Road
The Sinks, Metcalf Bottoms, Elkmont
Chimney Tops Wildflowers
Sunset- Morton Overlook
Dinner (on your own)

Saturday, April 18, 2020
Sunrise Shoot- Foothills Parkway
Breakfast (on your own)
Elkmont Area
Middle Prong Little River
Dinner (on your own)

Sunday, April 19, 2020
Check-out of hotel
Morning Shoot – Roaring Fork Motor Trail
Event ends after the morning shoot so attendees will have time to drive to Asheville, NC to the NANPA Nature Photography Celebration if they want.

Please note: We’ll change the schedule if local conditions dictate better photographic opportunities during the event.