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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Trail Advisory

    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Road and Facility Improvements

Park map showing project areas
Click on map for larger view.
 

During 2010, over $93,300,000 worth of improvements were made to park roads and facilities. Funding for the projects became available from a combination of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (economic stimulus package) along with previously-authorized Federal Lands Highway Program funds, partner construction monies, and annual cyclic and repair/rehabilitation funds.

The following park roadways were re-surfaced and, in some cases, rebuilt using $77.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA):

  • Clingmans Dome Road
  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Cherokee Orchard Road
  • Smokemont Campground
  • Heintooga Ridge Road and Balsam Mountain Campground
  • Little River and Jakes Creek Trailheads
  • Foothills Parkway East
  • Cosby Campground Roads
  • The Sinks Parking Area

In addition to the ARRA-funded work, the following road projects were undertaken using $19.4 million from the Federal Lands Highway Program:

  • Cades Cove Loop Road
  • Foothills Parkway West
  • Gatlinburg Bypass and Newfound Gap Road from the Gatlinburg boundary to the Sugarlands Visitor Center
  • Newfound Gap Road from Collins Creek Picnic Area to Cherokee, NC

Stimulus funds were also made available for other facility improvement projects, including making comfort stations accessible, trail repair, cemetery maintenance, and building painting and roof repair.

Did You Know?

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001.

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...