Managers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced yesterday that the section of the un-completed Foothills Parkway extending west from Wears Valley Road has been re-opened to non-motorized recreational use.
Kevin FitzGerald, Deputy Superintendent at the Smokies said, "Now that construction activity has been completed for the time being, we welcome the public to hike, ride their bikes or bring their horses onto both sections of the un-finished Parkway. People can go in either from Wears Valley and travel about 4 miles to the dead-end at the Missing Link or they can come in at the Walland end and travel over 9 miles before they have to turn around. The 1.25 miles of the Missing Link between the two partly finished sections is very rugged and overgrown and is closed to horses and bikes and not recommended to hikers."
The park expects to close both sections again when construction resumes: next spring on the Walland end, and sometime in the summer or fall of 2010 on the Wears Valley segment.
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