The Great Smoky Mountains Public Affairs Office recently published a press release clarifying the issue of hiking in the park during the government shutdown:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park remains closed following the shutdown of the federal government. The Smokies, along with all 401 National Park Service units, closed visitor facilities on October 1, 2013. All visitor centers, picnic areas, campgrounds, trails, and roads are closed except for Newfound Gap Road (Hwy 441), the Spur, and the Gatlinburg Bypass.
“We ask that the public voluntarily respect the closure of the backcountry for everyone’s safety,” said Chief Ranger Clay Jordan. “With less staff on duty, we do not have the personnel on hand to sufficiently respond to emergency situations in the backcountry. We understand the desire of visitors to hike during this beautiful time of year and we are hopeful that the park will soon reopen.”
For information on hiking in areas surrounding the park, please click here.
Hiking in the Smokies