Monday, May 2, 2011

Photo of the Day: Beard Cane Trail

The NPS photo above is from the Beard Cane Trail. The pathway extends right up the center of the ravine in the photo, which is now totally choked with downed trees.

Both the Beard Cane Trail and the Abrams Falls Trail near Cades Cove have been closed due to extensive damage from the wind and rain that occurred last Wednesday during the severe storm outbreak that hit the South. The trails are blocked by scores of downed trees and also have areas where trail surfaces were washed out.

The Abrams Falls Trail is closed from its trailhead at Cades Cove to the Hatcher Mountain Trail junction, and will likely remain closed through Friday. There is no reopening estimate for Beard Cane Trail, which is closed from Cooper Road Trail to Ace Gap Trail. The trail blockages also resulted in the closure of backcountry campsites 3 and 11. Other trails may also be blocked as more assessments are conducted.

The Park’s acting Chief Ranger Steve Kloster said, “The west end of the Park in Blount County, Tenn. was hit hard by the storms. At this point we have not had the chance to assess the condition of the trails in the western end of the Park, so hikers and, especially equestrians, may want to consider planning their routes in other areas of the Park.”

The Smokies website is also reporting that Parson Branch Road and Rich Mountain Road are closed due to downed trees.

Additionally, all trails leaving from the Abrams Falls trailhead and Abrams Creek Ranger Station are closed to horse riding at this point as well.


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