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Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that the main access road into the Cataloochee area, Cove Creek Road, will be closed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to conduct road repairs from February 10 through May 20.
The county roadway will be closed to stabilize a hillside just outside the park. The secondary access road into the area, Highway 284, will also be closed in the park throughout the duration of the construction project. Both roadways will be closed to all vehicles, cyclists, and horseback riders.
The secondary access road into the Cataloochee area, Highway 284, is a narrow, winding gravel road leading from the Big Creek area of the park into Cataloochee Valley. This gravel route is often seasonally closed during the winter months due to hazardous conditions and is not recommended for low clearance vehicles or trailers. This road will be closed throughout the closure period at the park boundary, approximately 2 miles north of Mt. Sterling Gap. During the closure, there will not be any potable water, restrooms, trash removal, or camping provided in the Cataloochee area.
Backcountry trails and campgrounds will remain open throughout the closure, but there will be no access to trailhead parking beyond the Big Creek area. Hikers and horseback riders should plan to start their itineraries from the Big Creek area or other areas across the park. The Cataloochee Campground, Group Camp, Horse Camp, and all services are expected to be operational by Memorial Day weekend.
For more information about the Cove Creek Road repair, please visit the North Carolina Department of Transportation website at
Last updated: January 24, 2020