National Park Opens some areas
Oct 06, 2013
All trails and pull offs along Newfound Gap Road have been reopened. Newfound Gap parking lot and restrooms now open. See below:
UPDATE: GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) -- The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) is still closed due to the government shutdown.
Some parts are open, including Newfound Gap Road US441 for its entire length.
The Gatlinburg Bypass starting from the 2 miles of Sugarlands off Newfound Gap Road to the Spur is also open.
All overlooks are open on both park roads and the Newfound Gap Parking area is open as well as the bathrooms at Newfound Gap - the only operating bathrooms in the park.
All cones and blockades have been removed from all quiet walkway trail heads as well as all hiking trail trail heads other than the Chimneys hiking trail and the Alum Cave Trailhead which are off limits to anyone.
All other park roads remain gated and locked and closed to all access and passing such a closure to access the road for any use, be it by bike or foot. All facilities beyond these points are also closed such as picnic areas, visitor centers, campgrounds which are all empty, historic buildings, office buildings and hiking trails.
By Doug Shanks a Smoky Mountain blogger and writes about things to do in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley, and Sevierville, Tennessee. Area interests include hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting, shopping, and family fun.