Smokies to Prohibit Jumping From Bluffs at Townsend

Townsend, Blount County (AP) -- One of the most popular swimming holes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has become too popular to continue to support bluff jumping.

Park Service officials say that starting this spring, plunging from the rocks into Little River will no longer be allowed at the Townsend Wye, where Little River Road merges with Highway 73 near the Townsend entrance to the park.

At least three people required medical attention last summer after being injured climbing the rocks. Also, park officials worry the jumpers will land on an increasing number of people floating below in inner tubes.

Bluff jumping still will be permitted further up the Little River toward Gatlinburg in an area known as The Sinks.

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