Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials shared that Cherokee Orchard Road will be closed from Monday, Jan. 9 through Friday, Jan. 13. During this closure, crews will place boulders along the shoulders of the road. In addition, park officials shared that Richmond Tree Experts will use the closure to remove damaged trees along the roadside.
Twin Creeks Trail will be closed during the same time period. Visitors will also not be able to access the Rainbow Falls and Trillium Gap trailheads from Cherokee Orchard Road or Twin Creeks Trail.
The boulder placement is a part of a larger project to increase safety along roads within the park. The park is working to implement strategies to eliminate roadside parking. Vehicles parking on roadside shoulders can obstruct the flow of traffic and create blind spots for motorists.
Officials said this results in “significant safety hazards for visitors walking to or from their vehicles.” Roadside parking can also damage roads, cause erosion and negatively impact nearby habitats.
To find details about temporary road and trail closures, visit the park’s “Current Road, Facility, Trail & Backcountry Updates” webpage. To see more roads impacted by the park’s efforts to end roadside parking, click here.