The first phase of the project focused on the rehabilitation of the trail starting from the Trillium Gap Trailhead up to Grotto Falls. The project involved the removal of hazard trees along the trail corridor, the restoration of the trail tread, and the construction of new stone and timber structures to help combat erosion and provide a safer, more sustainable trail. The work was performed by the Smokies Trails Forever Crew, along with an ACE AmeriCorps Crew. The photo below shows a side-by-side comparison of the trail approaching Grotto Falls (photo courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park):
Phase 2 of the project will begin in the spring of 2020. During the second phase, the upper section of the trail from Grotto Falls to Mt. LeConte is expected to be closed from mid-May through mid-November. The actual dates for the closure will be announced next spring. The lower part of trail from the Trillium Gap Trailhead up to Grotto Falls will remain OPEN throughout the closure, providing visitors access to the falls.
For information regarding the Smokies Trails Forever Program and Volunteering with Trails, please visit: https://friendsofthesmokies.org/trailsforever/
Ramble On: A History of Hiking