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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Closes Laurel Falls Trail Due to Storm Damage

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Closes Laurel Falls Trail Due to Storm Damage

Trail damage from recent storms has prompted the closure of Laurel Falls Trail, one of the most popular trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced Wednesday. March 11, 2015 the temporary closure of Laurel Falls Trail due to storm damage after a park volunteer discovered earlier in the day that a portion of the trail just before the falls had washed out. Significant rain has fallen in the park during the past week, stressing soil already saturated from several winter ice and snowstorms.

Laurel Falls Trail is roughly paved, with some steep grades and drop-offs. The 2.6-mile hike to Laurel Falls is rated moderate in difficulty and one of the most popular hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park year round.

Laurel Falls Trail closed due to washout.

Laurel Falls Trail closed due to washout.

“Our trail crews are experienced with these kinds of washouts and will work to make the necessary repairs so that the Laurel Falls Trail, one of our most popular in the park, can be safely reopened for hikers,” said Trails Program Manager Tobias Miller.

Park officials will announce an expected reopening date after trail crews assess the trail condition and develop a plan for repairs.

Keep up to date on road, trail and facility closures in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when planning your visit.

About Candice Fitzgibbons

I am a Sevier County resident and active in my local community. I've spent more than 20 years as a graphic designer and copywriter, creating marketing materials to help small to medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations achieve their goals. I have a passion for equality, the environment and animal rights.