Great Smoky Mountains National Park closed

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- As of 10am on Tuesday morning Great Smoky Mountains National Park was closed as part of the federal government shutdown.

All visitor facilities including visitor centers, picnic areas, campgrounds, trails, and roads – except for Newfound Gap Road, (Hwy 441) including the Spur and the Gatlinburg Bypass - are closed. The park will remain closed until the government reopens.

Other roads that are closed include the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Foothills Parkway, along with the Blue Ridge Parkway on the North Carolina side of the park.

Park visitors in all overnight campgrounds and lodges will be given until 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 3 to make travel arrangements and leave the park. In addition, all park programs, Parks as Classrooms education programs, and special events have been canceled including permitted weddings and special services in park facilities.

In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 279 employees are on furlough because of the shutdown along with 60 concessions employees and 45 Great Smoky Mountains Association employees who are similarly affected. 47 employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services.

Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism released information Tuesday that they would be working to find other accommodations for visitors in the area.

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