Great Smoky Mountains National Park modifying operations to follow coronavirus health guidelines

Local News

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is modifying operations to implement the latest health guidelines regarding COVID-19 coronavirus.

The Park is continuing to take steps to implement the latest guidance from the White House, CDC, and local/state authorities to promote social distancing, according to a news release.

“As of Thursday, March 19, seasonally open campgrounds at Smokemont, Cades Cove, Elkmont, and Cosby will no longer accept fees on-site. All campers must reserve and pay for sites online at recreation.gov to minimize the exposure risk for park employees and visitors.”

GSMNP

RELATED: Visitor Centers closed due coronavirus concerns

GSMNP is suspending reservations for gatherings at the following park facilities through April 30:

  • Appalachian Clubhouse
  • Spence Cabin
  • Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church
  • Cades Cove Missionary Baptist Church
  • Cades Cove Methodist Church
  • Smokemont Baptist Church

“All requests for reservation cancellations for campgrounds, picnic pavilions, churches, and Special Park Use permits will be honored with a full refund without cancellation penalties.”

GSMNP

The Park also says that seasonally open campgrounds, picnic areas, roads, trails, and restroom facilities located adjacent to Visitor Centers will remain open and accessible to the public.

Starting immediately, backcountry campers and Appalachian Trail thru-hikers with reservations at one of the park’s 15 backcountry shelters are authorized to use a tent outside the shelter to provide for social distancing.

“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Great Smoky Mountains National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.” 

GSMNP

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited national park in the United States.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus COVID-19 videos

Trump's convention demand comes amid Charlotte virus surge

Thumbnail for the video titled "Trump's convention demand comes amid Charlotte virus surge"

Virus expands grip in many areas, as US nears 100,000 deaths

Thumbnail for the video titled "Virus expands grip in many areas, as US nears 100,000 deaths"

3 West Knoxville Kroger employees test positive for coronavirus

Thumbnail for the video titled "3 West Knoxville Kroger employees test positive for coronavirus"

Tellico Village restaurant forced to close

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tellico Village restaurant forced to close"

College graduates struggling with job market during pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "College graduates struggling with job market during pandemic"

Farragut cancels Independence Day parade

Thumbnail for the video titled "Farragut cancels Independence Day parade"

Three test positive for COVID-19 at Newell plant

Thumbnail for the video titled "Three test positive for COVID-19 at Newell plant"

Athens nursing home says 14 have died from COVID-19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Athens nursing home says 14 have died from COVID-19"

UT Knoxville announces fall semester changes

Thumbnail for the video titled "UT Knoxville announces fall semester changes"

Knox County Health Dept.: Increase in active COVID-19 cases

Thumbnail for the video titled "Knox County Health Dept.: Increase in active COVID-19 cases"

Restaurants getting closer to normalcy during reopening phase 2

Thumbnail for the video titled "Restaurants getting closer to normalcy during reopening phase 2"

Knox County Health Department briefing on the first day of phase 2 reopening in the coronavirus pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "Knox County Health Department briefing on the first day of phase 2 reopening in the coronavirus pandemic"

People pack into DC war memorials despite pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "People pack into DC war memorials despite pandemic"

Distance rules 'hard to enforce' on beaches

Thumbnail for the video titled "Distance rules 'hard to enforce' on beaches"

Appalachian Trail reopens with precautions

Thumbnail for the video titled "Appalachian Trail reopens with precautions"

Hancock County records first COVID-19 case

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hancock County records first COVID-19 case"

Drug overdoses in Memphis spike during virus outbreak

Thumbnail for the video titled "Drug overdoses in Memphis spike during virus outbreak"

Dept. of Health and Human Services addressing money sent to closed hospital

Thumbnail for the video titled "Dept. of Health and Human Services addressing money sent to closed hospital"

Safe Space among nonprofits feeling pinch during COVID-19 pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "Safe Space among nonprofits feeling pinch during COVID-19 pandemic"

ETSU Tennessee Poll shows support for Republican candidates, split on mail voting

Thumbnail for the video titled "ETSU Tennessee Poll shows support for Republican candidates, split on mail voting"

Trending Stories

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter