Friday, June 14, 2013

Storm Damage Causes Trail Closures in Cosby and Big Creek Areas

Great Smoky Mountains National Park managers report that several trails in Cosby and Big Creek are closed due to extensive damage from the wind and rain during a late afternoon storm on Thursday, June 13th. Other trails in the area may be closed as the park is continuing to assess the damage.

The park website states that "a major thunderstorm produced heavy rains, high winds and a possible tornado in portions of Sevier and Cocke Counties in Tennessee" yesterday. 

Gabes Mountain Trail and Snake Den Ridge Trail in Cosby, and Baxter Creek Trail and the Big Creek Trail in Big Creek have been closed due to scores of downed trees. The trails are impassable by foot or horse.

In addition to trail closures, the Park has also closed “B” Loop of Cosby Campground due to damage. There's no estimate for reopening the trails or the campground at this time.

Backcountry Campsites 29, 34, 36, 37 and 38 are all closed as well.

“We are in the process of assessing the condition of all of the trails within the storm affected area,” said acting Chief Ranger Steve Kloster. “Hikers and equestrians may want to confirm trail openings by contacting the Park’s Backcountry Office or by visiting our website before planning routes through this section of the Park.”

The storm which hit hardest on the Northeastern most section of the park was the tail end of a storm system which hit the Midwest through much of Thursday. Air monitoring stations at Clingmans Dome and Look Rock recorded over sixty mile per hour winds during the time of the storm.

For the most up to date closure information, visit the Park’s website, or call our Backcountry Office at 865-436-1297.

Hiking in the Smokies

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