Great Smoky Mountains National Park is experiencing high winds ahead of a cold front that is expected to move through the area later on Thursday, Oct. 31. Newfound Gap Road (Hwy 441 from Gatlinburg, Tenn. to Cherokee, N.C.), Little River Road from the Townsend Wye to the Sugarlands Visitor Center, Wears Gap and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail are currently closed. Winds are expected to grow stronger this evening with gusts up to 45 mph across the higher elevations. The current road closures will remain in effect until the High Wind Warning has expired. At that time, crews will reassess conditions and begin clearing roads for reopening.
Hikers are advised to avoid hiking during this time period across the park, particularly in areas with standing dead trees. Park visitor centers and the Cades Cove Loop Road will remain open at this time. Visitors should exercise extreme caution when making travel plans.
For more information about temporary road closures, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/grsm or follow SmokiesRoadsNPS on Twitter.
– National Park Service release