Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 

 

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About the Authors

 

Liz Etnier

 

Mike Etnier

 

 

Return to Hiking in the Smokies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Trail and Campsite Closings

 

Updated List of Trail Closures (as of February 24, 2017):

 

The Park Service is beginning the demolition of 29 of the old structures in the Elkmont Historic District area. This work will require the closing of Little River Trail from Monday-Friday of April 10 – May 5, 2017. It will also require the closing of the Jakes Creek Trail from Monday - Friday May 8 – May 26, 2017. The trails will remain open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the demolition project.

 

U. S. highway 129 will be closed from Chilhowee Lake to the Tapoco Dam from April 17 – 29, 2017 due to work on high-tension power lines. Traffic will be stopped for 30 minutes at a time and then allowed to pass for 30 minutes from 9 AM – 3 PM.

 

Backcountry areas are still unsafe for travel following the fire in the Smokies near Chimney Top trail (known as the Chimney 2 fire). The following trails and backcountry campsites are closed until further notice:  Chimney Tops Trail, Road Prong Trail, Bull Head Trail,  Sugarland Mountain Trail from Mt. Collins Shelter to Little River Road, Rough Creek Trail, and Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, and the Sugarlands Horse Concessions Trails.

 

There are bear warnings for Grapeyard Ridge Trail and Ramsey Cascade Trail.

 

Alum Cave trail has undergone major repairs in the last year, but is finally reopened.

 

Ramsey Cascade Trail is closed due to a damaged foot log over Ramsey Prong. A tree has fallen across the path, and the creek is too deep and swift to attempt a crossing without the footlog.

 

Foothills Parkway (unfinished section) - the entire unfinished section between Walland and Wears Valley is now closed to all public use due to construction.

 

• Scott Mountain is closed due to storm damage, from campsite 6 to Schoolhouse Gap (campsite 6 open, accessible from Cades Cove area). It is unclear at this time if the Park Service will repair and reopen this section of trail, or leave it closed permanently.

 

• Gunter Fork opened, but caution urged due to landslides.

 

The following trails have had footlogs washed out, and in times of high water, the crossings might be very difficult and/or dangerous:

 

Enloe Creek

Rabbit Creek at Abrams Campground

Boogerman/Caldwell Fork Trails – there is no plan at present to replace these bridges

 

Tom Branch Road is closed.

 

Cataloochee Creek road is closed from the group campground to the Palmer House.

 

Parsons Branch Road is closed following a washout near Sam’s Gap, and blockage by many downed trees. Standing dead pines along the road need to be removed, and is prolonging the road closure. The road is closed to vehicular traffic, but will be open to hikers and horseback riders who should assess the risk for travel as they would in any area of the backcountry. Due to the nature of wide corridor, bicyclists are allowed to use the road during the closure. Dogs on a 6-foot leash will also be allowed.

 

  • Backcountry Campsites closed due to bear activity – none