Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park





About the Authors


Liz Etnier


Mike Etnier


Spring Wildflower Hikes in the Smokies


Gregory Bald




Schoolhouse Gap


Chestnut Top


Defeat Ridge


Return to Hiking in the Smokies
















Road Closings 2020


Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that single- and full-lane closures will affect several park roads. These closures began on Monday, November 18 and some will continue through Friday, March 31, 2020, for tree removal work. Closures are necessary to ensure the safety of motorists and tree-removal crews along the park’s narrow roadways during the work. Currently, the Upper Tremont Road is closed, as well as the Deep Creek Road near the picnic area.


Closures will occur from 6:00 a.m. on Mondays to noon on Fridays throughout the work period, excluding federal holidays. The work schedule is subject to change due to weather or other unplanned delays.


Work on the Bote Mountain tunnel has been completed, and Laurel Creek Road from Cades Cove to just before the entrance to Tremont has reopened.


Intermittant single lane closures on Laurel Gap Road will continue from March 1 – June 15, 2020.


Single-lane closures will be implemented through March 27, 2020, for short durations on Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, Foothills Parkway West, and Lakeview Drive as well as the developed areas in Deep Creek, Cades Cove, Elkmont, and Smokemont.


Cove Creek road leading into Cataloochee campground is closed  to vehicle, bicycle, and horses, as is the gravel road from Mt Sterling to Cataloochee (Hwy 284). Road work will continue until May 20, 2020.


For up-to-date information about roads and trail closures, visit the Park’s website, Facebook and Twitter.

Parsons Branch Road is closed following a washout near Sam’s Gap, and blockage by many downed trees. The road is closed to vehicular traffic, but will be open to hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders who should assess the risk for travel as they would in any area of the backcountry. Dogs on a 6-foot leash will also be allowed.