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Contact: Dana Soehn, 865-436-1207
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that a geotechnical crew will implement a temporary, weekday closure of Laurel Falls Trail beginning Monday, November 7 through Thursday, November 17 to accommodate survey work. The trail will be closed to all use, Monday through Thursday, during the closure period. Additional work may occur on Fridays, but the trail will be accessible for hikers.
Geotechnical crews will be using a drill rig to take samples of materials underlying the trail and behind retaining walls along the trail corridor. Information gathered from these samples is needed to inform proposed designs for trail tread and retaining wall improvements as part of the Laurel Falls Trail rehabilitation project. Samples will provide information about the stability of existing structures, materials used to originally build the trail in the 1930s, and materials used for subsequent repairs over the last eighty years.
The entire trail width is required for setup of the drill rig, leaving no space for pedestrians to safely pass. The full trail closure is necessary for the safety of hikers and efficiency of drilling operations. For more information about the planning process for the Laurel Falls Trail rehabilitation, visit the park website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/LaurelFalls.
Last updated: November 4, 2022