Work begins on Abrams Falls
Rehabilitation of the Abrams Falls Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now underway after kicking off May 10.
The trail and associated parking areas will be closed from 7 a.m. Monday through 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Nov. 10, except for federal holidays. The trail will be fully open Friday through Sunday each week.
The project, accomplished through the Trails Forever Program — a partnership between the park and Friends of the Smokies — aims to address severe erosion issues on the 2.5-mile route to Abrams Falls, one of the busiest trails in the park. The crew will focus its efforts on several targeted locations between the trailhead and the falls. The work will improve overall trail safety and protect natural resources by improving the tread surface, reducing trail braiding and improving drainage to prevent further erosion. Crews will also perform critical trail work across the park on other trails such as the Noah Bud Ogle Nature Trail, Oconaluftee River Trail, and Fighting Creek Nature Trail.
“The Trails Forever partnership with the Friends of the Smokies has allowed our talented trail crews to completely transform some of the busiest trails across the park so that they can be enjoyed forever,” said Smokies Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We know that some will be disappointed by the temporary closures, but I can assure you that the long-term results are well worth the short-term inconvenience.”
During the closure periods, visitors will not be able to access the falls, the trail or any associated parking areas. Trailhead access from Cades Cove to the Rabbit Creek Trail will also be closed, but the trail itself will remain open and accessible from Abrams Creek. Friends of the Smokies has donated more than $2 million to support the Trails Forever Program, in part through the generosity of the Knoxville-based Aslan Foundation. The program previously funded rehabilitation efforts on the Trillium Gap, Rainbow Falls, Alum Cave, Chimney Tops and Forney Ridge trails.