The snow seems to finally be gone, the temperatures are getting just warm enough to be quite lovely, the trees are starting to bud, and the sound of bird song can once again be heard in these hills! Spring is just about to begin! And believe me, we are poised on the edges of our seats just waiting for Spring to burst upon us in all its fullness! In perfect harmony with the awakening of Spring is the Awakening of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
Primary Roads, such as US-441 (Newfound Gap Road), Little River Road, and the Cade’s Cove Loop Road are pretty much open year round, weather permitting. Cade’s Cove Loop Road is currently closed due to construction to improve the road, but will be opened again by May 21!
Secondary roads are opened seasonally. Little Greenbrier and Straight Fork/Round Bottom opened March 12! Parson Branch, Rich Mountain, and Forge Creek Roads will open by May 21. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Heintooga Ridge/Balsam Mountain Road openings will be delayed to May 28, and the Clingman’s Dome Road will open on May 29.
The Park has 10 developed campgrounds at different locations throughout the park! The Cade’s Cove Campground is opened year round and is not affected by the Cade’s Cove Loop Road Construction. Abrams Creek, Big Creek, Cataloochee, Cosby, and Elkmont Campgrounds opened March 12. Deep Creek is set to open April 1, and Look Rock will open May 14. Due to some road repair work, Smokemont and Balsam Mountain Campgrounds will delay their opening til May 28.
Several group campsites are also available, and reservations must be made through the National Recreation Reservation Service. Group Camping was made available starting March 12 at Big Creek, Cataloochee, Cosby, and Cade’s Cove. Deep Creek will open on April 1, Elkmont on April 10, and Smokemont on May 28.
Also, of interest to some are horse camps, and opportunities for back country camping!
There are 10 different first-come, first-serve picnic areas. Big Creek, Cades Cove, Chimney Tops, Cosby, Greenbrier, Deep Creek, and Metcalf Bottoms are open year-round. Collins Creek Picnic Area opened on March 12, Look Rock will open May 14, and Heintooga will open on May 28. The Park’s largest picnic pavilion at Twin Creeks is scheduled to open April 28. There are five other picnic pavilions that can be reserved in the following picnic areas: Collins Creek, Cosby, Deep Creek, Metcalf Bottoms, and Greenbrier.
There are several horseback riding and related activities available in the Great Smoky Mountains! Smoky Mountain Riding Stable opened March 6, the Sugarlands Riding Stable opened March 13, and the Cades Cove Riding Stable will open April 1. Cades Cove offers not only horseback rides, but also carriage rides. The carriage rides, however, will not be available until the Cades Cove Loop Road opens. They will also be offering wheelchair accessible carriage and hay rides.
To find tons of other fun things to do during your stay in the Smokies, just use the Search feature on our website! For other detailed information about the Smoky Mountain National Park, visit their website!
This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.