KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As the weather gets colder, some roads within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park close for the winter. Roads including U.S. Highway 441 (Newfound Gap Road), Little River Road, and the Cades Cove Loop Road are open year-round.
Rich Mountain Road closes on Nov. 12. Little Greenbrier Road to the Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail closes on Nov. 26. For all three of these roads; buses, motorhomes, vans longer than 25 feet, and passenger vehicles towing trailers are prohibited on this road. Clingmans Dome Road closes on Nov. 30. These roads should reopen around April.
Forge Creek Road closes on Dec. 31 and should reopen around March. Heintooga/Round Bottom Road and Heintooga Ridge Road (Balsam Mountain Road) closed to hiker access on Oct. 31 and should reopen in May. Straight Fork also closed on Oct. 31 but it should reopen in April.
ROADS 2023 Season
- Heintooga Round Bottom: 10/31
- Clingmans Dome: 11/30
- Forge Creek Rd: 12/31
- Little Greenbrier Access Road: 11/26
- Parsons Branch Road: 11/12
- Rich Mtn Road: 11/12
- Roaring Fork Mtn: 11/26
- Straight Fork Road: 10/31
In addition to roads, many picnic and camping areas are closed within the park. Picnic areas at Big Creek, Collins Creek, Cosby, Look Rock, and Twin Creeks all closed in late October. While Chimneys’ Picnic area closed on Nov. 27 and Heintooga closed on Oct. 9. They all reopen in the spring. Picnic areas at Cades Cove, Deep Creek, Greenbrier, and Metcalf Bottoms are open all year round.
Campgrounds within Abrams Creek, Big Creek, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek all closed on Oct. 29. Elkmont’s campgrounds closed on Nov. 26. Balsam Mountain’s campgrounds closed on Oct. 9. Cades Cove and Smokemont’s campgrounds are open year-round. However, the group campgrounds at Big Creek, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek, Elkmont, and Smokemont closed in late October.
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To find out more about seasonal closings with the park, you can visit their website.