Great Smoky Mountains National Park reopening more campgrounds, picnic areas Sept. 3

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — More campgrounds, picnic areas and horse camps will be open in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park just in time for the Labor Day weekend.

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is increasing access across the park. 

Beginning on Thursday, Sept. 3, the following additional areas will be accessible:   

  • Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cataloochee, and Cosby Campgrounds  
  • Big Creek, Cataloochee, Round Bottom, and Tow String Horse Camps 
  • Heintooga and Look Rock Picnic Areas 
  • Little Greenbrier Road

β€œWe are pleased to be able to offer more opportunities for visitors to disperse and recreate in the park in time for the Labor Day holiday and our busy fall season,” Park Superintendent Cassius Cash said. β€œThe park has experienced record visitation this summer, and we want to remind everyone that we need your help more than ever to keep the park protected and clean.” 

The park is still keeping Appalachian Clubhouse closed due to health concerns.

Upper Greenbrier Road and upper Cataloochee Valley Road, beyond Palmer Chapel, will also remain closed because of storm damage. The closure to Greenbrier Road prevents access to Greenbrier picnic pavilion, Porters Creek Trail and Brushy Mountain Trail.

All park trails, backcountry campsites and shelters, visitor centers and restrooms are open at this time.

Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek, Anthony Creek, Round Bottom, and Tow String campsites and horse camps must be reserved online before arriving in the park. No fees will be accepted onsite at these locations.

Reservations are recommended at Cades Cove, Elkmont, and Smokemont campgrounds to ensure availability, but credit card payments may be processed onsite.

Group campsites at all campgrounds will remain closed.  

For the most up-to-date information about facility openings, service hours, and access, you can visit the park website. Park rangers remain available to answer questions and help with trip planning via email or phone during business hours at 865-436-1291, 828-497-1904, or GRSM_Smokies_Information@nps.gov. 

Updates about National Park Service operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus

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