Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park





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Liz Etnier


Mike Etnier



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2019 Trail and Campsite Closings


Cooper Creek Trail has been removed from the list of trails for the 900-miler club. Although it is still maintained by the Park Service, it is recommended that hikers avoid this trail due to negative interactions with adjacent land owners.


You can combine Hike 5 in the Deep Creek area with Hike 14, starting and ending the loop with Mingus Mill Trail (16.4 miles total).


Updated List of Trail Closures (as of March 16, 2019):


Trillium Gap Trail will be closed on Mondays – Thursdays from May 13 – November 15 for repairs. The 2-mile section from Cherokee Orchard Road and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail will also be closed.


Foothills Parkway (unfinished section) – construction on the entire unfinished section between Walland and Wears Valley is now complete and the road is open to all public use.


• 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:


Rabbit Creek at Abrams Campground

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


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.


Campsite 11 is closed, but no reason is given.


Laurel Gap shelter, and Campsites 36 and 37 are closed due to bear activity.