Monday, August 3, 2009

Road, Trail and Shelter closings for 75th Anniversary Event

Managers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have announced that the Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) between Cherokee, NC and Gatlinburg, TN will be closed from sunset on Tuesday September 1 until late afternoon on Wednesday September 2. The closure will allow the Park to conduct a 75th Anniversary Park Rededication Event at the Newfound Gap Parking Area on September 2.

This closing will impact several trails, shelters, campsites and other facilities. This includes a section of the Appalachian Trail. Here are all the places impacted per the Smoky Mountains website:

• US-441 (Newfound Gap Road) between Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC will be closed from the gate at Sugarlands to the gate at Smokemont, from sunset on Tuesday, September 1 through approximately 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 2.

• Clingmans Dome Road will be closed at the gate at Newfound Gap Road, from sunset on Tuesday, September 1 through approximately 6:00 p.m.on Wednesday, September 2.

• The Newfound Gap parking lot will be closed to all parking from sunset on Sunday, August 30, through approximately 8:00 a.m.on Thursday, September 3.

• The Oconaluftee Overlook will be closed from sunset on Sunday, August 30 through approximately 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 2.

• Note: All facilities reached by Newfound Gap and Clingmans Dome Roads, i.e. the Collins Creek and Chimneys picnic areas as well as trailheads along the roads, will be closed concurrent with the road closures posted above.


Trails Closed:

• The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) will be closed from the Sweat Heifer junction to the Goshen Prong junction, from sunset on Tuesday, September 1 through 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 2.

• The following trails will be closed from sunset on Tuesday, September 1 through 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 2:

> Alum Cave Bluff Trail, entire length, except that persons with a reservation for Le Conte Lodge on September 1 or September 2 will be allowed to use the Alum Cave Bluff Trail for ingress and egress. Lodge guests will be prohibited from driving south of the Alum Cave Bluff trailhead during the Newfound Gap Road closure.

> Chimney Tops Trail, entire length

> Deep Creek Trail, from its junction with the Fork Ridge Trail to the Newfound Gap Road trailhead

> Fork Ridge Trail, entire length

> Forney Ridge Trail, from the junction with the Springhouse Branch Trail to the trailhead at the Clingmans Dome parking area

> Forney Creek Trail, from campsite #69 to the junction with the Forney Ridge Trail

> Kephart Prong Trail, from Newfound Gap Road trailhead to the Dry Sluice Gap Trail

> Noland Divide Trail, from the junction with the Noland Creek Trail to the trailhead on Clingmans Dome Road

> Road Prong Trail, entire length

> Sugarland Mountain Trail, from the junction with the Rough Creek Trail to the terminus at the A.T.

> Sweat Heifer Creek Trail, entire length

> Thomas Divide Trail, from the junction with the Sunkota Ridge Trail to the Newfound Gap Road trailhead


Backcountry Campsites and Shelters Closed:

• Backcountry Campsites 10, 15, and 28

• Russell Field Shelter• Double Springs Gap, Mt. Collins, Icewater Springs, and Kephart shelters will be closed for the nights of Sunday, August 30, through the night of Wednesday, September 2. The shelters will reopen Thursday, September 3.

• Backcountry campsites #53 and 68 will be closed from the night of Monday, August 31 through the night of Wednesday, September 2.


Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com

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