Popular Smoky Mountain Trail to Close for Restoration Work in 2015
As many of you already know, there have been a few trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that have undergone restorations. Recently, the National Park officials announced that there would be a huge restoration project taking place on one of the most popular trails in the park.
The Trails Forever crews (who are completing the renovations projects) are moving on to the next phase: the Alum Cave trail. According to the National Park Service, they have to respond to numerous calls about accidents on the trail each year.
Work to be Done on the Alum Cave Trail in the Smoky Mountains
- Repairs to historic cable and handrail systems
- Reinforcing hanging trail sections
- Reducing trail braiding
- Improving drainage to prevent erosion
- Repairs to areas damaged by landslides
According to local news station, WBIR, the Alum Cave Trail and the associated parking areas will be closed from May 4, 2015 through November 19, 2015 on Monday mornings at 7 a.m. through Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. each week.
- The trailhead is found on Newfound Gap Road
- The distance of the hike is approximately 5 miles roundtrip
- It takes about 3 hours to hike the trail during the day
- Alum Cave is considered moderate in difficulty
- Many people hike Alum Cave to Mount LeConte to say they made it to LeConte
- To reach the trailhead, drive about 4 miles north of Newfound Gap or about 8.5 miles south of Sugarlands Visitor Center
To learn more about the Alum Cave trail, you can visit the National Park Service website here: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/chimneys-alternative-alum-cave-bluffs.htm
Throughout the closing of the Smoky Mountain trail, visitors can still access Mount LeConte from other trails. The National Park Service is hoping this closure gives hikers a chance to explore other areas of the national park and other trails that lead to Mount LeConte.
During a previous phase of restorations by the Trails Forever crews, the Chimney Tops trail underwent some restorations to improve the condition of the trail.
The final touches of the Chimney Tops trail were just completed. Last winter, the Chimney Tops trail reopened, but has since received further restorations. It is open daily to the public and is completely safe for all hikers.
The Alum Cave hiking trail is moderate in difficulty, so you’ll want to find a trail that is similar in that nature. Take a look at the Top 5 Historical Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains for a great hike through the hills of East Tennessee while experiencing the history of the pioneers of the area.
More About Hiking in the Smoky Mountains
No matter the time of year, hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is absolutely breathtaking. If you’re planning to hike this winter, to see the snow-covered treetops, make sure you check out the 5 Things You Need to Know to Stay Safe When Hiking in the Smoky Mountains This Winter.
If you want to learn more about hiking in the Smoky Mountains, take a look at our Smoky Mountain travel information blog. We have all of the details you’ll need to start planning your hiking adventure, as well as the most up to date news and events information.