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Smokies to reopen some campgrounds, restrooms

Several recently closed areas of the park will once again be accessible to visitors beginning Sunday, January 13th.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will reopen several recently closed areas of the park today, January 13th.

Those include basic visitors services, including campground and restrooms.

This comes on the 23rd day of the partial government shutdown. Revenue generated by recreation fees is allowing the places to reopen.

Areas that have been recently closed but that will be accessible to park visitors in the near future include:

• Cades Cove Campground and Picnic Area, including restrooms.

• Restrooms at the Smokemont Campground.

• Restrooms at the Deep Creek Picnic Area.

• Little River Road between Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area and the Townsend Wye.

• Foothills Parkway East

Maintenance crews will reopen and maintain the restrooms listed above in addition to continuing to clean the restrooms that were temporarily reopened last week at Newfound Gap and the Cades Cove Visitor Center by the Friends of the Smokies. Trash removal from dumpsters across the park will continue through a preexisting contract.

Most park facilities will remain closed including Sugarlands and Oconaluftee Visitor Centers. 

Great Smoky Mountains Association is donating services to reopen the Cades Cove Visitor Center near Cable Mill. 

Roads and trails that are seasonally open will be maintained and remain accessible to visitors on a prioritized basis. Road crews will plow roads, remove downed trees, and clear small landslides along heavily used roadways including the Spur, Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, and the Cades Cove Loop Road. These operational efforts will be performed with reduced staffing using revenues from recreation fees. Road closures due to weather events may result in significantly longer closures than normal, and some remote, lesser used roads may remain closed until a return of full staffing.

The park website will remain accessible, but it will not be updated with any current information. Park social media accounts will continue to be suspended during the shutdown period. Information and images from webcams, including the Newfound Gap webcam, will remain accessible at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm.