At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

High winds cause Smokies road closures

High winds ahead of a cold front expected to move in later today have caused the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to close several roads and issue a warning to hikers.

Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road from the Townsend Wye to the Sugarlands Visitor Center, Wears Gap and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail are currently closed.  Winds are expected to grow stronger this evening, with gusts up to 45 miles per hour across the higher elevations. The current road closures will remain in effect until the High Wind Warning has expired. At that time, crews will reassess conditions and begin clearing roads for reopening.  

Hikers are advised to avoid hiking during this time period across the park, particularly in areas with standing dead trees. Park visitor centers and the Cades Cove Loop Road will remain open at this time. Visitors should exercise extreme caution when making travel plans.

For more information about temporary road closures, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/grsm or follow SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter.

Go to top