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Wednesday, 13 November 2013 14:44

Park moves toward winter schedule

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out parkwinterYou know winter is just around the corner when Great Smoky Mountains National Park starts shutting down. Here is a list of the Park’s closures and change in hours: 

 

Visitor Centers: Through Dec. 1, Sugarlands Visitor Center and Oconaluftee Visitor Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Cades Cove Visitor Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Clingman Dome Visitor Contact Station will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  After Dec. 1, Sugarlands, Oconaluftee and Cades Cove visitor centers will all close at 4:30 p.m., while Clingmans Dome station will close for the winter. 

Road closures: The two-way segment of the Roundbottom/Straight Fork Road, just outside Cherokee, will close Nov. 12. Parson Branch and Rich Mountain Roads will close Nov.18, and Clingmans Dome and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Dec. 2. The Park’s two main roads, Newfound Gap (U.S. 441) and Little River, will remain open throughout the year, except for temporary closures for extreme winter weather conditions. The Gatlinburg Bypass, Cades Cove Loop Road, Cosby Road, Greenbrier Road, Upper Tremont, Forge Creek, Lakeview Drive, and Foothills Parkway (east and west) will open and close as road and weather conditions mandate.  

Lodging: LeConte Lodge will close Nov. 26 for the season.

Camping: Cades Cove in Tennessee and Smokemont in North Carolina, will remain open all year, but on a self-registration basis and with a reduced number of sites. Elkmont Campground in Tennessee will remain open through the Thanksgiving weekend and will close on Dec. 1. The remaining self-registration campgrounds at Cosby, Cataloochee, Deep Creek and Big Creek, have already closed for the season.

Cades Cove Campground Store will continue to offer all services daily through Dec. 1. From Dec. 2 to Jan. 5, the souvenir and ice cream area will open on Saturday and Sunday only, weather permitting. The main store building will be closed after Dec. 2. The public restrooms at the store will be open on the same schedule as the souvenir and ice cream area. Vending machines at the store will remain in service throughout the winter.

Four picnic areas will remain open through the winter: Cades Cove, Deep Creek, Greenbrier, and Metcalf Bottoms. Chimneys Picnic Area will be open until Dec. 1. Already closed for the season are Big Creek, Collins Creek, Cosby, and Twin Creeks. Greenbrier and Deep Creek pavilions can be reserved at www.recreation.gov.

Smokemont Riding Stables is closed for the season. Sugarlands Riding Stables and Smoky Mountain Riding Stables will close Dec. 1.  Cades Cove Riding Stable will be open daily through Dec. 1. From Dec. 2 to Jan. 5, Cades Cove Riding Stables will be open Saturday and Sunday only, weather permitting. All stables closing dates are dependent on weather conditions.

Round Bottom, Tow String, Cataloochee, Big Creek and Anthony Creek Horse Camp are closed for the season.

www.nps.gov/grsm or 865.436.1200 and follow the prompts, or follow on Twitter at SmokiesRoadsNPS.

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