Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the temporary closure of Springhouse Branch Trail to all horse use due to unsafe trail conditions. Park trail crews will complete needed repairs by early October.
Heavy rainfall this year resulted in the development of a wet weather spring which recently washed away the trail surface along a section of Springhouse Gap Trail exposing slick bedrock. Due to the steep terrain and unstable surface, the area is no longer safe for stock travel. The trail is passable for foot traffic, but hikers should exercise extreme caution.
Park crews will repair the trail by building an elevated structure made of natural materials including locust posts and crushed stone that will allow for proper drainage. The improvements will create a durable surface for horse travel. Crews will begin work in early September and expect to be completed by early October.
The trail is located in just north of Bryson City, between the Forney Creek and Noland Creek Trails. For more information about trail closures, please call the Backcountry Information Office at 865-436-1297.