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Great Smoky Mountains National Park closes nearly all park areas

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Photo credit: Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0 via MGN Online

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that all park areas, except the Foothills Parkway and the Spur, will close at noon on Tuesday, March 24 through Monday, April 6 due to coronavirus concerns.

The park will continue to assess changing conditions and work with local communities to extend or terminate closures.

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 the 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. Visitors from across the country have flocked to the area due to Spring Break, wildflowers, and warm weather conditions. This two-week park closure allows the park to support local efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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. Officials will provide updates at www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/conditions.htm and social media.

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