Park invites public comment on Proposed Construction of Smokemont Riding Stables Facilities

by Feb 12, 2014Happenings0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate alternatives for the construction of new concession facilities at Smokemont Riding Stables  approximately six miles north of Cherokee. The public is invited to comment on the topics analyzed in the EA as part of the planning process.

The National Park Service proposes to construct a barn with 35-36 stalls, hayshed, manure storage shed, horse wash rack, office, covered tie stalls with 26-36 stalls, employee break area, horse loading platform,  firewood shed, water well, and fencing with gates. The proposed project will replace existing concession facilities, some of which were constructed in the early 1960s including the main barn.  The proposed facilities will be constructed by the National Park Service using a portion of franchise fees paid by concessioners that is available for these needed improvements.

The proposed facilities will be constructed on lands occupied by the existing facilities along with an adjacent area formerly used as a wastewater treatment plant and recreational vehicle dump station. The EA will evaluate the potential impacts of these actions as they relate to such topics as water resources, vegetation, soils, wildlife, floodplains, archaeological and historic resources, visitor use and experience, aesthetic resources, and threatened and endangered species or species of concern.   

The EA has been posted and is available for public review on the NPS Planning website at by clicking on the “Smokemont Riding Stables EA” link. The public can provide comments directly on the project site by clicking on “Comment on document” from the menu on the left. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Comments must be received by March 14.  Written comments may be received later if postmarked by March 14, 2014.  Please address written comments to:


Great Smoky Mountains National Park

107 Park Headquarters Road

Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738

Comments may also be submitted on the NPS Planning website at as described above.

The EA and public involvement requirements are being performed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EA will be on public review for 30 days.

Info: Public Affairs Office (865) 436-1207