Monday, May 19, 2008

Parson Branch Road in Cades Cove already shows wear and tear

Parson Branch Road in the back end of Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was closed for years due to storm damage requiring the national park service to have a major overhaul done to the unimproved road which ends up on US 129.

While major work was done to this dirt and gravel road, there are already some serious pot holes and ruts that can do serious damage to a cars front end or make a car or motorcycle lose control if hit wrong. Most of the new damage to Parson Branch is in the upward grade and just after bridges and stream crossings.

Parson Branch Road is still a great way to see the Smokies up close without having to leave the car and allows you access to 2 trailheads of the Great Smoky Mountains national parks more quiet and secluded hiking trails - Gregory Bald Trail and the Hannah Mountain Trail.

Bikers - the motorcycle riding type in the Smoky Mountains - love Parson Branch road because it takes you out to the tail of the dragon - a road where high performance cars and motorcycle riders love the numerous hairpin turns and push their vehicles and driving skills to the edge.

Unfortunately many thrill seekers have been injured or lost their lives doing this and as a result traffic speed limits enforcement has developed a no tolerance for speeding and regularly cruise this stretch cracking down on anyone breaking the limit even if it is only a few miles over the posted speed.

By all means, take Parson Branch Road out of Cades Cove when you have the time - especially in Rhododendron season - but take it easy!

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