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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
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.
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.
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.