There are several road construction projects under way in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These have caused a number of closures and might be cause for a change of plans if you’re heading to the water. We’ll outline where the construction is and how that could put a wind knot in your plans.
The Cades Cove loop road closed on March 1 for re-paving. The park is completely re-working this road and paving more turnouts and beefing up stream crossings. While this project will certainly make the current pock marked road much smoother, the hope is that nicer and more abundant shoulder space will encourage drivers to pull over more and pause in the road less.
The road is scheduled to be closed through May 21. This will block access to Abrams Creek, Forge Creek, and Mill Creek. The campground and picnic areas will remain open.
Cherokee Orchard Road
Closed until March 19. This will block access to Leconte Creek.
Roaring Fork Motor Loop Trail
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail will be closed until May 28. This will block access to Roaring Fork.
The Sinks parking area
The Sinks parking area on Little River is undergoing a huge facelift that will make it not only safer but much more attractive. Railed overlooks are currently being built to provide excellent views of the falls and plunge pool. The parking area will also be re-designed. This will not have an effect on access to Little River, but access to the Meigs Creek trail will be blocked. It is scheduled to re-open on May 25.
Smokemont will be closed from March 10 – May 25 as the campgroundÂ as it receives improvements. This will block access to the Bradley Fork Trail.
Heintooga Ridge Road and Balsam Mountain Campground
Heintooga Ridge Road and Balsam Mountain Campground will be closed until May 27. This will block access to Bunches Creek and Flat Creek via the Flat Creek trail.
Little River and Jakes Creek Trailhead
This is a big one since it’s one of our favorite summer time spots. Portions of the area will be closed from July 6 – August 31. This could have an effect on access to upper Little River and Jakes Creek. We’ll keep you posted on the situation as we learn more.