Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced its winter season facility closings schedule. As cooler weather approaches and visitation decreases, various facilities will close, including 7 of the 10 campgrounds, and operational hours for some visitor services will be reduced.
Through the month of November, the Sugarlands Visitor Center, 2 miles south of Gatlinburg, TN, will open daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The Oconaluftee Visitor Center, 2 miles north of Cherokee, NC, will serve visitors from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The Cades Cove Visitor Center located half way around the Cades Cove Loop Road will be opened daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The visitor center hours for the following winter months are posted on the Park's website, www.nps.gov/grsm.
Several of the secondary roads will close as indicated: Balsam Mountain/Heintooga Roads on November 1, Parson Branch and Rich Mountain Roads on November 9, Roundbottom/Straight Fork on November 12, and Clingmans Dome and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trails on December 1.
During the winter months, 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 conditions mandate.
For more information on winter weather road conditions, contact the Park at 865/436-1200.
LeConte Lodge will accommodate guests until November 20 when it will close for the season.
Two of the three major campgrounds will remain open all year. These year-round campgrounds are Cades Cove in Tennessee and Smokemont in North Carolina. Starting November 1, they will be on a self-registration basis with a reduced number of available sites. Elkmont Campground in Tennessee will remain open through the Thanksgiving weekend and will be closed on December 1.
Balsam Mountain campground is already closed for the season. The six remaining self-registration campgrounds will be closed on November 1.
CADES COVE CAMPGROUND STORE
Cades Cove Campground Store will be closed on November 1 except for the vending machines, which will remain in service throughout the winter.
Seven picnic areas will remain open through the winter: Chimney Tops, Cades Cove, Cosby, Greenbrier, Metcalf Bottoms, Big Creek, and Deep Creek.