• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Spring Road Status

    During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »

Newfound Gap Road Construction Environmental Assessment

The National Park Service, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, has prepared an Environmental Assessment for the Phase II portion of the Rehabilitation of Newfound Gap Road project.

Phase I of the project involves the rehabilitation of a 10.5-mile section of Newfound Gap Road from the Newfound Gap Parking Area south to just north of the Collins Creek Picnic Area.

Phase II of the project proposes to rehabilitate 6.5 miles of Newfound Gap Road from the Collins Creek Picnic Area to the park boundary with Cherokee, North Carolina. Scheduled work includes roadway paving, pull-out improvements, potential intersection improvements and miscellaneous work. The Newfound Gap Road Environmental Assessment was prepared to study the impacts of constructing left turn lanes at the Collins Creek, Smokemont Campground, Tow String Road, Park Circle Drive, Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Big Cove Connector Road (Saunooke Bridge Road) intersections.

Newfound Gap Road Environmental Assessment
Both a Word and a PDF version of this document are available.You will need a free version of Adobe Reader to access the PDF file. By clicking on the links below you will leave the National Park website and be connected to the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration.
Word version
PDF version

Newfound Gap Road Environmental Assessment Newsletter (783 KB file size)
Because the proposed work of the project may potentially impact adjacent resources, an Environmental Assessment addressing the potential impacts of the proposed improvements was prepared. The Newfound Gap Road Environmental Assessment Newsletter discusses, in more detail, the process of developing the Environmental Assessment and opportunities interested parties have in commenting on the process. You will need a free version of Adobe Reader to access this file.

Weather Related Road Closings - phone (865) 436-1200
For current updates of weather related road closings in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park please call (865) 436-1200. Once you hear a voice, dial extension 631 for road information or extension 630 for a weather forecast. Please be aware that road openings/closings may change throughout the day. You may wish to write this number down if traveling to the area for handy reference for road and weather updates.

Did You Know?

Flame azalea can be found growing on heath balds in the park.

The park’s high elevation heath balds are treeless expanses where dense thickets of shrubs such as mountain laurel, rhododendron, and sand myrtle grow. Known as “laurel slicks” and “hells” by early settlers, heath balds were most likely created by forest fires long ago. More...