Great Smoky Mountains National Park Update

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Update: On Tuesday October 15 Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory reached an agreement with United States government officials to reopen the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at midnight on Wednesday October 16 through Sunday October 20. Plans extending the park opening past Sunday have not yet been announced.

Original Story: Due to recent events in Washington D.C., the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has temporarily closed to visitors. To help visitors to the area learn more about what is available to them, we have compiled a few answers to commonly asked questions about what guests will be able to access during this closure.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitor Centers

During the temporary closure of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Sugarlands Visitor Center and the Cades Cove Visitor Center will remain closed. However, guests wanting to learn more about the national park, or pick up a souvenir or two, may still do so at the following centers:

  • Sevierville Visitor Center located on Highway 66 in Sevierville, TN

  • Gatlinburg Visitor Center located between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

  • Townsend Visitor Center located on US 321 in Townsend, TN

Driving Tours

Although the Great Smoky Mountains National Park itself is closed, roads like US-441 (Newfound Gap Road) between Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, N.C. are still open for drivers. This way visitors can enjoy the beautiful fall foliage from the comfort of their vehicles. On this road, guests will experience an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the scenic Smoky Mountains and the vibrant fall colored leaves. Perfect for pictures, two scenic overlooks including the Gatlinburg Scenic Overhang are still available for guests to stop and take a few pictures as souvenirs of their long-lasting memories of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Also open, the road connecting Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, commonly referred to as ‘The Spur,’ will remain open to visitors. Guests on this road should experience traffic as usual without any disruption during this time.

Camping

During the temporary closure of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the campgrounds will not be available to campers. However, families looking for an exciting camping adventure can still find plenty camping sites located within the many campgrounds in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. For a full list of available campgrounds, Visit My Smokies invites guests to check out their Campgrounds page under the ‘Where to Stay’ tab on our website.

Hiking

Unfortunately, during the temporary closure,  the hiking trails located inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be closed to visitors. That being said, guests to the area can still enjoy a beautiful scenic nature walk on the Greenway located at both Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge and Mynatt Park in Gatlinburg. Visitors can also enjoy the sites by taking a stroll along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge or the strip in Gatlinburg.

During the temporary closure, Visit My Smokies encourages guests to the area to explore the numerous restaurants, shopping options and entertainment venues located inside Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.

For more updates on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Visit My Smokies asks guests to check our Facebook page. Here we will provide guests will all the information we can on any changes to the national park.

This entry was posted in Smoky Mountains by Mal Alder. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mal Alder

Mal Alder is a graduate of the University of Tennessee where she studied Creative Writing with a minor in Journalism and Electronic Media. Beyond writing, her interests include politics, new technology and anything involving the Smoky Mountains. When she's not at work she can be found at the dog park, a bookstore or a golf course, depending on the weather.

  • Mary

    I think the government should all come down with a sickness they can’t cure. Also be brought down to poor status so they can understand the small things like us instead may the money they get eat there flesh in Jesus’ Name Amen!

  • Connie Jenkins

    What about the Cherokee side of the park??? We have camp grounds and things to do and places to stay!

  • Tamra Franklin

    SHOPPING IS NOT WHAT I GO FOR, IT IS THE LOVE, I SAID LOVE OF THE MOUNTAINS AND CADES COVE AND THE PARK ITSELF. ALL THE SHOWS RIDES AND FOOD IS MAN MADE!!!

    THE MOUNTAINS AND ALL THE WONDERS ARE GOD’S CREATION AND NO ONE CAN TOP THAT. I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHUTTING DOWN A HIKING TRAIL IS EVEN ALLOWED. THE BEARS AND ALL WILD LIFE AND THE MYSTICAL SCENERY, WHAT A PITY TO BE SHUT DOWN EVEN IF IT WAS FOR ONE DAY AND WHO KNOWS HOW LONG IT WILL BE. SHAME ON THOSE INVOLVED. MAY THE LORD SPEAK TO YOUR HEART AND SAVE YOUR SOUL. MAY THE LORD ALLOW YOU TO FEEL NEED AND WANT. I PRAY THE LORD BRING YOU TO YOUR KNEES. OPEN YOUR EYES AND GIVE YOU A HEART. AND MELT YOUR COLD, ICY SOUL THAT HAS NO PASSION FOR THE BEAUTY OF GOD’S BEAUTIFUL LAND AND PARKS. OR FOR THOSE PEOPLE THAT SHARE THIS WORLD WITH YOU. MAY THE LORD SAVE YOU BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS EARTH. I CAN GO ANYWHERE IN THIS WORLD BUT THE BEAUTY OF NATURE IS WHAT I SEEK OUT. SHAME SHAME SHAME ON STOPPING THE MANY PEOPLE FROM VISITING WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY OURS, WE THE PEOPLE IF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THESE PARKS BELONG TO US!!!

  • Mirandi Watson

    So I’m guessing Cade’s Cove is closed, along with Clingman’s Dome? Can anyone answer this? I know that’s probably a dumb question, since they are both a part of the National Park and the blog didn’t mention these as open during this time. Boo! I know they have to do this, but it’s still sad! :(

    • Mal Alder

      Mirandi,
      Yes, unfortunately during the temporary closure of the park Clingmans Dome and Cades Cove are closed to visitors. If you are interested in driving to see the leaves, US-441 is still open. Please continue to check Visit My Smokies’ Facebook page for continual updates.

      • Bev Yelton

        Mal, those places are nice,BUT…they are NOT Cades Cove! : (

  • Kat94

    Who’s going to stop someone from hiking in? Park your car and walk around the gates It’s OURS- we pay for it. If I was in the Smoky’s there is nothing that would stop me from enjoying the mountains. We all need to start acting like we believe this land is ours instead of the government’s. There are some WW II Vets in Washington DC right now that could give us some pointers. ;)

  • Mark Underwood

    @Mary, They do have a sickness they can’t cure. It is called politics. We be there in October and if I want to take a stroll in the Smoky Mountains I am not letting any so called government or anything else stop me. I served my country in the Army to protect the freedoms of America and I tend to continue using my freedoms. The parks belong to the American people, not the so called Government in washington. Time we the people stand up for ourselves and knock down anybody who tries to stop us. I am 48 years old and only missed 7 years of coming to the Smokies. Parents started taking me when I was a year old. That place is my home away from home. Stand up for your rights people.

    • American Patriot III%

      Thank you for your service and God Bless.

      • Mark Underwood

        Thank you for your support and may God bless you.

  • Mary Hazlett

    will the road from the Townsend Y towards Sugarlands be open?

    • Mal Alder

      Mary,
      Unfortunately, yes this road is temporarily closed. Please check Visit My Smokies’ Facebook page for any additional updates as they occur.

      • Mary Hazlett

        Too bad. That leaves only one road from Townsend open to Gatlinburg. Good thing we only go to arrowcraft in Gatlinburg, closer to pigeon forge. Just seems like that is a main road, especially to get from Townsend to Cherokee.

  • Windy Smith

    Our Government SUCKS but we the people put them in office by vote, now it’s time to stand up and vote them out !!!!!! How do they think they have the right to take away our rights to any land sit aside as public parks for us????!!! I’d like to have a few words with our so called GOVERNMENT LEADERS , but they would only lay on the floor and throw a fit like a 2 year old child !!!!!!!!!

  • John M. Quiggins

    This WILL not do! This land is YOUR land. This land is OUR land. Stop playing games with us, government! We all know both sides are in bed together. Now, get out and stop hitting the snooze button! My wife and I are planning our getaway in just one week there. I have never been. She wants to share HER Rockies with me. I don’t care who is doing what in Washington. People, STAND UP and say something! DO something!

  • Kathy Lane

    I was planning a trip to the Smoky’s in 2 weeks, but since Cades Cove is closed I will not be going.

  • Cathy Eddings Storey

    Mal, thanks for all the information. My family and I are planning to spend the week of Christmas in Gatlinburgh. Hopefully all this stupid nonsense will be resolved by then. Again, thanks and please keep us updated in the park situation,

  • Debbie Karnes

    We’ll be there the week of the 20th. Praying this will be resolved by then! Cades Cove is WHY we’re coming. I’m a photographer and I’m coming for the pics! Please keep posting any updates. We’ll be watching closely!

  • Johnny Williams

    Can anyone say Communism … The Government is supposed to work for us , the people , Not the other way around !!!!

  • Karen Adams

    This shut down is ridiculous! My daughter is a full time student and this was the one thing she was looking forward to!!!!! Spending 5 days!!!!! They traveled from NW TN to Pigeon Forge and now there is nothing for them to do in the area that does not include spending money!!!!! Open the parks and take the money from the damn politicians who can afford to do anything they please while everyone else suffers!!!!

  • Karen Erdelles

    we were there when this happened….such BULLSHIT……WHAT ELSE IS GONNA HAPPEN OBLAMO……..OPEN UP WHAT IS RIGHTLY OURS TO BE ABLE TO ENJOY WHAT ARE WE IN TIME OUT.???took his parents there for a week knowing they are getting on in there years so we wanted to make sure this trip as a memorial ble one and instead WE WERE SHUT OUT

  • Justin Thomas

    Well that sucks, were coming on the 24th. Hope they decide to keep it open a little longer.