Section of Great Smokies' Trilliumn Gap Trail Closed
Rock and tree falls have forced Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials to close a 1.3-mile-stretch of the Trillium Gap Trail between the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Grotto Falls for the rest of the winter.
If you head down the trail from the Cherokee Orchard Road, you'll only be able to hike 2.3 miles until you reach the closed area. So far, three large hemlock trees have fallen down the steep slope above the trail.
“Although the trees have been removed from the trail by the Park’s trail crew, rocks and more slide debris continue to come down," says George Minnigh, the park's backcountry specialist. "Winter weather’s freeze-thaw cycle and rain runoff should bring down the remainder of the loose material; these three trees were the main reinforcement on the hillside. We hope to be able to restore public access to the popular Grotto Falls this spring, but the condition of the slope and trail will determine the extent of work necessary and the trail’s reopening date.”