Gateway to the Smokies | RedCircle

Gateway to the Smokies

The Podcast That Starts Your Smoky Mountain Adventure

Gateway to the Smokies is a podcast dedicated to memorable experiences in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Western North Carolina, and East Tennessee. This is not a travel tip show, though you will undoubtedly learn some good tips, it instead features personalities, experts, and locals who will expound upon the richness of culture, food, history, and adventure that awaits people who want to explore deeply this ancient mountain habitat where communities have existed for 3000 years.


The podcast is hosted by Joseph Franklyn McElroy, who was born and raised in Haywood County, NC, the original “Gateway to the Smokies”, and whose family immigrated to the Smoky Mountains in the early 1800s. Each episode will feature a folktale or myth that sets the stage for the rest of the podcast, followed by guests who will enrich the listener with insights, experiences, and adventures gained from their life in and studies of the Smokies. At the end, Joseph will tie in annual events, places, experiences and adventures that relate to the overall theme of that episode. 

The themes and travel experiences expressed on the podcast are explored further on Joseph’s blog Smokies Adventure and his Smoky Mountains destination hub on Where Traveler Magazine. For authentic Smoky Mountain experiences, visit Joseph's classic roadside motel - the Meadowlark Motel - Your Smoky Mountain Adventure Starts with Where You Stay.


Overcoming Songwriters Block with the Nashville Legend Jim Lauderdale
Show Details37min 49s
Interview with Zeb “The Legend” Ross and his Dancing Partner and Wife Ashley Ross
Show Details14min 11s
Episode 66: Agritourism, Farm to Table with Laura Lauffer
Show Details50min 29s
Episode 65: Folkmoot USA—Many Cultures, One Community – A Visit with Evan Hatch
Show Details50min 43s
Episode 64: The NC Folklife Institute with Director Sarah Bryan
Show Details50min 6s
Episode 63: Kim Ross of the J Creek Cloggers
Show Details49min 36s
Episode 62: Songs on Cataloochee Valley by Richard Hurley
Show Details49min 54s
Episode 61: Tar Heel Lightning - Talking NASCAR with Dan Pierce
Show Details51min 42s
Episode 60: Masterful Stories in the Smokies with Author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
Show Details50min 24s
Episode 59: Lyric Mountain and Woodsong Songwriting Retreats
Show Details49min 49s
Episode 58: Dogwood Crafters Cooperative with Brenda Anders
Show Details50min 31s
Episode 57: Forging a Blacksmithing Career in the Smoky Mountains
Show Details51min 35s
Episode 56: Preserving the Past and Building for the Future
Show Details50min 30s
Episode 55: Rally in the Valley—Smoky Mountain Motorcycle Adventures
Show Details50min 46s
Episode 54: Jackson County Treasures in the Great Smoky Mountains
Show Details59min 5s
Episode 53: Canton Recovers and Builds a Mountain Biking Park
Show Details50min 43s
Episode 52: Carrying the Torch for Traditional Cherokee Crafts
Show Details50min 34s
Episode 51: Crafting Quality Brews & Quality Lives in the Smokies
Show Details50min 59s
Episode 50: Journalist Garret Woodward talks about Music in the Smokies and the Legendary Musician Raymond Fairchild
Show Details50min 59s
Episode 49: Writing Tunes And Catching Fish In The Smokies
Show Details50min 36s
Episode 48: Creating Memorable Hiking and Outdoor Adventures in the Great Smoky Mountains
Show Details52min 20s
Episode 47: Keeping the Past Alive, While Building For the Future
Show Details1hr
Episode 46:Creating Safe Wildlife Passage and Preserving the Smokies
Show Details58min 35s
Episode 45: Original American Music from the Mountains of Western North Carolina
Show Details1hr 1min
Episode 44: Finding Comfort and Memorable Experiences in the Smokies
Show Details58min 47s
Episode 43:Family Outings in the Great Smokies
Show Details59min 2s
Episode 42: Crafting an Artistic Life in the Smokies
Show Details58min 43s
Episode 41: Mountain Girl Outdoors
Show Details51min 40s
Episode 40: Local Boy Made Good
Show Details50min 13s
Episode 39: Western North Carolina Heritage Center
Show Details50min 38s
Episode 38: Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
Show Details59min 49s
Episode 37: From Breaking Stories to Breaking Trails with Vesna Plakanis
Show Details49min 20s
Episode 35: Finding a New Home in the Smokies Through Stories and Songs
Show Details50min 11s
Episode 34: Stories of Nature
Show Details50min 21s
Episode 33: Cataloochee Valley in the Smokies
Show Details49min 53s
Episode 32: Creating a New Life and Food Adventures in the Smokies
Show Details50min 9s
Episode 31: Music on the Fly (fishing) in the Smokies with Charles Humphrey III
Show Details49min 12s
Episode 30: Wildcrafting in the Smokies
Show Details49min 13s
Episode 29: Botanical Excursions in the Smokies
Show Details49min 35s
Episode 28: Historic Tales of Western North Carolina
Show Details50min 4s
Episode 27: Photographing the Smokies
Show Details47min 35s
Episode 26: Outlaws and Outliers in the Smokies
Show Details56min 54s
Episode 25: From Caney Fork to the Ryman — A Visit with Darren Nicholson
Show Details49min 38s
Episode 24: Generations of Ginseng in the Smoky Mountains
Show Details49min 15s
Episode 23: History Museums and Historic Houses in Haywood County NC
Show Details50min 2s
Episode 22: Cycling through the Great Smokies Past, and actually Cycling in the Great Smokies.
Show Details48min 53s
Episode 21: Food in the Smokies
Show Details49min 29s
Episode 20: The Sounds of Nature’s Edge
Show Details50min 13s
Episode 19: Blue Ridge Craft Trails with Leslie Hartley
Show Details49min 24s
Episode 18: Bringing Smoky Mountain History to Life in Books and Film
Show Details49min 20s
Episode 17: Forging A Future While Honoring The Past In The Smoky Mountains
Show Details49min 7s
Episode 16: Perpetuating the Legacy of Horace Kephart
Show Details49min 7s
Episode 15: Butch McDade & the Smoky Mountain Field School
Show Details48min 38s
Episode 14: Ecotourism & Safe Passage for Large Wildlife in the Smokies
Show Details47min 59s
Episode 13: Maggie Valley in the Smokies
Show Details48min 48s
Episode 12: Food, Fireflies, and Flowers in the Smoky Mountains
Show Details47min 27s
Episode 11: Pottery in the Smokies
Show Details50min 8s
Episode 10: Seeds and Song
Show Details47min 35s
Episode 9: Museums In The Smoky Mountain Area
Show Details49min 1s
Episode 8: Hiking in the Smokies
Show Details48min 50s
Episode 7: White Water Rafting in the Smokies
Show Details50min 14s
Episode 6: The History of Plott Hounds in the Smokies
Show Details48min 30s
Episode 5: Getting Into The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Show Details46min 11s
Episode 4: Road Life in the Smokies
Show Details49min 41s
Episode 3: Bluegrass in the Smoky Mountains
Show Details48min 25s
Episode 2: Whisky & Moonshine In The Mountains
Show Details48min 51s
Episode 1: Scots-Irish Influence on Mountain Music
Show Details49min 2s