Park invites public review of Laurel Falls Trail Management Plan Environmental Assessment 

by May 3, 2023General Announcements0 comments

GATLINBURG, Tenn. – Great Smoky Mountains National Park seeks public review of the Laurel Falls Trail Environmental Assessment (EA) through Friday, June 2. The plan addresses visitor experience and safety, parking, and trail infrastructure rehabilitation for one of the most visited trails in the park. Public input received during civic engagement in summer of 2021 and public scoping in winter of 2022-23 helped shape the plan. The park is conducting public scoping for the proposed plan in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act.

The EA evaluates a no action alternative and a proposed action. Under a no action alternative, there would be no change to the existing Laurel Falls Trail or parking areas. The proposed action includes trail and parking improvements, rest areas along the trail, and viewing platforms at the falls.

The EA and additional information are available online for public review at the link below. The public is invited to review the EA and submit comments online or by mail:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

ATTN: Laurel Falls Trail Management Plan/EA

107 Park Headquarters Road

Gatlinburg, TN 37738

The short hike to the falls and proximity to the park’s busiest entrance makes Laurel Falls Trail one of the most popular destinations in the park. Parking is limited at the trailhead, so visitors should plan ahead and come prepared with alternative destinations in case they do not find available parking. Parking on road shoulders is not allowed.

  • National Park Service release