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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • 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 »

Seasonal Road Schedule

Primary roads such as US-441 (Newfound Gap Road), Little River Road, and the Cades Cove Loop Road are open year round, weather permitting. Click for information about temporary weather and construction related road closures of these roads.

Secondary roads are subject to seasonal closures. Seasonal opening and closing dates for secondary roads are listed below:

• Balsam Mountain Road
Open May 23 - November 2, 2014.

• Cades Cove Loop Road
This road is closed to motor vehicles on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10:00 a.m. from May 7 through September 24, 2014 to allow bicyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the cove. Otherwise the road is open daily from sunrise until sunset, weather permitting.

Clingmans Dome Road
Open March 28 - November 30, 2014, weather permitting.

• Forge Creek Road
Subject to closure from December through March due to mud.

• Heintooga Ridge Road
Open May 23 - October 14, 2014.

• Little Greenbrier Road (to the Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse)
Open April 11- November 30, 2014.
Buses, RVs and motorhomes are prohibited on this road.

Parson Branch Road
Open April 11 - Novmeber 16, 2014.
Buses, RVs and motorhomes are prohibited on this one-way, gravel road.
Please note: When Forge Creek Road is closed due to mud, Parson Branch Road is not accessible to motor vehicles.

Rich Mountain Road
Open April 11 - November 16, 2014.
Buses, RVs and motorhomes are prohibited on this one-way road.

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Open April 11- November 1, 2014.
Buses, RVs and motorhomes are prohibited on this one-way road.
The road will remain closed to all public use, including hiking and biking, until April 30, 2015 to replace eight bridges along the road.

• Roundbottom/Straight Fork Road
Open April 4- October 31, 2014.

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...