Tuesday, April 17, 2007

GSMNP Closes Trillium Gap to Grotto Falls Hiking Trail Again

Reports from the Great Smoky Mountains national park keep coming in of widespread damage throughout the national park from damage sustained from this weekend's major wind rains and snow storms.

There are trees and large limbs down on roads and hiking trails throughout the park so drivers, hikers and people on horseback have to use extreme caution. Heavy rains and falling trees have also cause some small landslides with trees, branches, rocks and mud blocking some trails.

On the very popular Trillium Gap Trail located in the Roaring Fork area of the national park near Gatlinburg Tennessee which takes hikers to the Grotto Falls, a stone retaining wall collapsed.

Officials in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to closed the Trillium Gap Trail from the trailhead on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail to its junction with the Brushy Mountain Trail 2.7 miles away.

The officials are hoping that the repairs being made to the 25 foot damaged section located on extremely steep side slope just below Grotto Falls will be repaired this week so that the hiking trail can be reopened this Friday, April 20th. The repair work is requiring the use of jack hammers that will be used to install steel reinforcing rods into the bedrock.

This is one of the 2 popular trails to a waterfall in the Roaring fork area of the park and at only a 3 miles round trip is a more moderate hike than the Rainbow Falls trail which will remain open.

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