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 2021


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, 2021, 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.


The Greenbrier Road will be closed January 11 – March 26, 2021 for road repairs. There will be no access from this road to Ramsey Cascade, Porters Creek, Old Settlers, Brushy Mountain, or Grapeyard Ridge.


Forge Creek Road in Cades Cove will be closed for bridge repair work from November 2, 2020 to  May 27, 2021. This will deny walking or vehicular access to Gregory Bald, Gregory Ridge, and Hatcher Mountain Trails.


Seven other bridges will be replaced or repaired during this time period, but will only involve single-lane road closures. The schedule for this work has not been released.


Partial single-lane 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.


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, 2021.


For up-to-date information about roads and trail closures, visit the Park’s website, Facebook and Twitter or call 865-436-1200.

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.