December 8, 2016 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park will officially reopen to the public on Friday, December 9 in conjunction with the reopening of the city of Gatlinburg.
“The past eleven days have been the most challenging and emotional days our community has likely ever had to endure,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “The amount of love, strength, and support offered to our community has been inspirational not only to us, but also to those watching from across the world. Our community has shone brightly in the midst of this disaster and proven that we are truly mountain tough.”
The National Park Service joins Gatlinburg in welcoming visitors back to the area. Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, the Gatlinburg Bypass, and the Spur will reopen at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, December 9. Park visitor centers at Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove will resume their regularly scheduled operating hours. Cherokee Orchard Road will remain closed at this time.
The following trails are closed due to wind or fire damage: Chimney Tops Trail, Road Prong Trail, Sugarland Mountain Trail from Mt Collins Shelter to Little River Road, Huskey Gap Trail, Rough Creek Trail, Old Sugarlands Trail, Twin Creeks Trail, Baskins Creek Trail, Bull Head Trail, Rainbow Falls Trail, Trillium Gap Trail, Grapeyard Ridge Trail from Campsite 32 to Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Gatlinburg Trail, Cove Mountain Trail, Sugarland Valley Nature Trail, Noah Bud Ogle Nature Trail, Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, the Sugarlands Horse Concession trails, and the quiet walkways along Newfound Gap Road.
However, several events have been postponed or cancelled:
The Festival of Christmas Past (scheduled for December 10) – Cancelled
The Hike 100 Centennial Challenge celebration (scheduled for December 9) – Postponed
For more information on temporary road and trail closures, please visit the park website at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm.