In light of the spread of COVID-19, trying to find out what is open and closed in our national parks is a moving target these days. The National Park Service is coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health authorities and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make its decisions on what to keep open or to close on a daily basis.
As of March 24, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced Great Smoky Mountain National Park officials announced that all park areas closed at noon Tuesday, March 24.
The closure is set for March 24 through Monday, April 6, 2020.
The Spur and Foothills Parkway will remain open. All campgrounds, picnic areas and restrooms closed Monday, March 23 through Thursday, April 30 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove Visitor Centers are closed until further notice.
Effective immediately, reservations for group sites at campgrounds and picnic pavilions are canceled through April 30. Special Park Use permits for events and gatherings of more than 10 people are canceled through March 31. Visitors should anticipate further operational changes as the park continues to do its part in preventing the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Outdoor spaces including trails and roads remain accessible to the public.
In addition, the park 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, and 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.
Effective immediately, backcountry campers and A.T. 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.
For up-to-date information on Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/news/
For campground alerts, reservations and more for campgrounds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, go to www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/2739
Follow Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GreatSmokyMountainsNPS/
Other National Parks and National Park Sites
The National Park Service has been updating its COVID-19 page daily with information about individual parks. You can visit it here: www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/public-health-update.htm
Updates about nationwide NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
National Park Service to Temporarily Suspend Park Entrance Fees: www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/national-park-service-to-temporarily-suspend-park-entrance-fees.htm
National Park Service Is Modifying Operations to Implement Latest Health Guidance www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/statmentonparkopscovid19.htm