Although I posted about this a couple of weeks ago, the Great Smoky Mountains formally announced today that the Gunter Fork Trail on the eastern end of the Smokies has been temporarily closed due to landslide on July 15th. Still no estimate on when it will be reopened. Here's the park press release:
Managers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have announced that the Gunter Fork Trail between the Camel Gap Trail and the Balsam Mountain Trail is closed until further notice due to three landslides. The slides occurred during a heavy rain event on or about July 15.
The 4.1 mile Gunter Fork Trail lies in the east end of the National Park in Haywood County, NC. The Gunter Fork Trail is one route that takes users from the Walnut Bottoms area up to Balsam Mountain and Mt. Sterling, but is not one of the Park’s most heavily travelled trails. The Swallow Fork Trail provides alternative access to the same areas.
Managers have no estimate of when the Gunter Fork Trail may reopen. All or parts of five other Park trails west of Cades Cove in Blount County, TN are still closed for repairs. The trails: Rabbit Creek, Hatcher Mountain, Cooper Road, Beard Cane and Wet Bottom were heavily damaged by an F4 tornado on April 27. For the latest advice on hiking in the Smokies visitors are invited to stop at the park’s three visitor centers. Hiking information is also available by phone at (865) 436-1297.