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 2022


Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that intermittent single- and full-lane closures will affect Newfound Gap road through November 30, 2021. These closures will be in effect from 7 AM Mondays to noon on Fridays.


Cades Cove Loop Road will be vehicle-free on Wednesdays, from May 4 – September 28, 2022.


Forge Creek Road in Cades Cove is still closed for bridge repair work as of August 28, 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.


Parking for Laurel Falls trail is undergoing a congestion monitoring Pilot study from Sept 30 – October 3, 2021. Reservations for 2-hr parking in the designated area will be required and will cost $14. They can be made on-line at www.recreation.gov. There wil be no parking allowed along Little River Rd except in designated pull-offs.


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.