Coronavirus in Tennessee: Great Smoky Mountains National Park closing for two weeks

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that all park areas, except the Foothills Parkway and the Spur, will close for two weeks in a continued effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

All park areas, except the Foothills Parkway and the Spur, will close at noon on Tuesday, March 24 through Monday, April 6. All access to the park, including trails and roads, will temporarily close in alignment with efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 across the region.

Despite park efforts over the last week to comply with the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance for social distancing, approximately 30,000 people entered the park daily resulting in congested conditions at popular locations such as Laurel Falls, Newfound Gap, and Cades Cove.

During the closure period, visitors can experience the park using digital tools through social media platforms and the park website where near real-time views can be seen via park webcams at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm. Park rangers can still help answer questions via email or phone during business hours at (865) 436-1291, (828) 506-8620, or GRSM_Smokies_Information@nps.gov.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited National Park. Park officials announced it had had more than 12.5 million visitors in 2019, setting a new record.

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