Category Archives: Road Closures

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail remains closed due to problems with paving contractor

This is one of our favorite roads in the Smokies.  We found it on our honeymoon, when one of the worst rainstorms/floods to hit the are hit the area.  I saw the road on a map, and thought it would be a nice “bypass” around the strip in Gatlinburg back to our condo.  It was raining hard, and lightning every few seconds.  Oh, and it was already dark out.  Needless to say, Roaring Fork is difficult in those conditions.  I forgot to add that the water in the rivers throughout wasextremely high.  It was so high under one bridge that it was splashing up onto the road slightly as the river flowed under the bridge.  Anyhow, after driving about a 3-5 miles per hour for an hour or so, we made it out.  While we were scared of THAT drive, we could see via lightning flashes that this was definately a place we wanted to come back to visit.  It has become one of the “to do” things every trip we take to the Smokies (when the road is open). Normally it is open all spring/summer/fall.  However, it has been closed since early this year, and it looks like it will not be open again anytime soon.  The park is having problems with the Florida-based contractor repaving the road.  I’ll let you know here on the blog when I hear about when it will reopen.  Check out the link below for more…

http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=126344&odyssey=mod_mostread

Raymond

***Post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com THE place to stay when you stay in the Smokies***

GREAT NEWS – Cades Cove expected to reopen about a month earlier than expected

Here’s some great news, especially if you’re planning on being in the Smokies after late April.  The AP is reporting that Cades Cove will be open on April 24th.  They plan to have a run the next day.  The road has been closed for repaving.  It was originally supposed to reopen near the end of May.  The full AP story is below…

(AP) One of the most popular tourist spots in the Smokies will be accessible again earlier than expected. The National Park Service announced Wednesday that Cades Cove Loop Road is now expected to reopen April 24 – about a month earlier than had been planned. The 11-mile, one-way road was closed and rebuilt over the winter. When it opens, only bicycles and pedestrians will be allowed on it until noon the first day and a “Cades Cove Loop Lope” run has been scheduled for the second day.

-Raymond

***This post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com.  You want to spend your days and evenings in the Smokies, and your nights in the Smoky Mountain Tower.***

Rockslide on “The Dragon” to cost TN $2 million

The rockslide on “The Dragon” (US 129) in Tennessee may cost $2 million bucks to clear/repair.  The Dragon is actually one road I don’t believe we’ve traveled in all our trips to the Smokies.  I told my wife I want to get a Mazda Miata so we can drive it there.  I don’t think she’s gonna fall for that trip.  I’ll let you know if that ever happens:) 

It looks like there is a July 31 deadline to get the work completely done.  Who knows when it will be complete though.  If I hear more, I’ll let you know! In the meantime, there is a little more info at the link below…

http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/03/30/414010/2-million-contract-let-to-clear.html

Raymond

***This post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com.  If you’re looking for a great place to stay, right between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, with the best views in the area… (and right now, at a pretty crazy low price) check it out! We LOVE it.***

Landslide closes Hwy 441 down to 1 lane near NC/TN border

If it’s not a rockslide, it’s a landslide causing havoc for driving in and around the Smokies.  This time, it’s highway 441 in the park.  That’s the OTHER main route.  

This is the drive from Gatlinburg to Cherokee.  A landslide just past the NC/TN border has caused traffic to have to drive on just one lane.  Just to give you an idea of where this is, Newfound Gap is on the NC/TN border, so this is close to Newfound Gap. 

Find more info on this particular landslide at the link below.  

 http://www.reflector.com/state-news/landslide-slows-traffic-through-smoky-mountains-28721

-Raymond

***This post brought to you by www.smokymountaintower.com. If a landslide keeps you from doing what you want in the mountains, just head back to The Smoky Mountain Tower.  There is so much to do there, you will not even be upset about the landslides:) Check it out for your next trip to the Smokies!***

Rock Slide on Little River Rd. may be cleared by Sunday evening

This is a hot topic on the blog, so I’ll try to keep updated daily on the latest from the Little River Rd. rockslide.  The road is closed right now, and it looks like crews are hoping to get the road back open by Sunday evening. According to the article below, it was discovered at around 2AM Thursday morning.  Little River Rd. is the road to Cades Cove (or Townsend) from Gatlinburg in the park.  If you are leaving the Sugarlands Visitor Center parking lot, Little River is the road you would turn right to head down.  We drove down that road a couple of weeks ago.  This is also the way to get to Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.  That’s where we were headed. 

Fortunately, Cades Cove is closed while they rebuild the road there, so I would imagine fewer people would need Little River Rd. than usual anyhow.  Hopefully it will be open Sunday evening.

I’ll update this post as I get new info… feel free to subscribe to this blog, so the updates will be sent to your automatically:)

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/mar/19/crew-cleaning-rock-slide-little-river-road-may-reo/

This rock slide is the 7th rock slide in the last 5 months in the Smokies…

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/mar/20/7-occur-in-last-5-months/

Raymond

**This blog post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com.  One of the best views of Mount LeConte and Ober Gatlinburg are seen from the deck of The Smoky Mountain Tower.  You can see photos on the website.  Check it out for your next visit to the Smokies! BTW, the location is PERFECT.  Right between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  You can go to either city, OR the park, without having to drive through the others.***

ANOTHER NEW Rock Slide in the Smokies… this time, on Little River Rd. on the way to Cades Cove

This is becoming an all too common report.  Yet ANOTHER rock slide in the Smokies.  This one includes SUV-SIZED boulders.  It happened on Little River Rd.  That’s the road to Cades Cove in the park.  I’ve been wondering why there have been so many rock slides, and the first news report below explains why.  If you read about the geology of the park, you understand that one reason the Smokies is a much smoother mountain range than other mountain ranges, like the younger mountains out west, is that over time rocks fall down the mountains, and into the valleys. 

Well, the recent rains, coupled with the colder weather/snow means the rock has cracked up a bit.  Small fractures get water in them that expands as the water freezes.  That then expands the crack.  The process continues until the rock breaks off.  That explains how huge boulders end up in the rivers of the Smokies. 

Due to the size/location of the slide, there is no time-frame yet to have the road cleared/back open.  I’ll post updates here as I find them.  Check out more at the links below…

http://www.volunteertv.com/news/headlines/88383452.html?ref=452

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/mar/18/new-rockslide-shuts-down-road/

***This blog post brought to you by www.SmokyMountainTower.com.  That’s where I wish I were with my wife/girls right this minute.  Even though we’ve been gone less than a week, that’s about a week too long for me:)  Check out the website, and you’ll see why we LOVE “The Smoky Mountain Tower.” And I hope the owners, Dave and Phyllis, don’t mind us referring to the “tower” when we’re talking about it as “Our Mountain Home.”***

BREAKING: Rock Slide closes portion of Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge spur

BREAKING: Large rock slide has closed the spur road heading to Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge.  Traffic is now being routed to the Pigeon Forge bound lanes.  That road is now divided into a 2 lane road, one lane headed in each direction. 

The good news… this is not June.  I’d imagine it would be best to avoid the spur if you can.  There are back-roads if you know where they are.  If you’re not aware of those, stop by a visitor center and ask for direction.  Quite frankly, they can be very confusing.  I know where several of them are, and I STILL get confused pretty often.  If they were simple to understand, I’d post them here. 

Find out more about the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge rock slide over at the yoursmokies blog… http://yoursmokies.blogspot.com/2010/01/rock-slide-closes-portion-of-foothills.html

-Raymond

***Stand by for many more photos/videos/blog posts/new episode of the GoSmoky.com Internet Talk Show soon.  It’s the 2nd annual GoSmoky.com Ski Trip, this weekend.  We’ll be updating right here on the blog.  Trip brought to you by the Cataloochee Ski Area ( www.cataloochee.com) and A Holiday Motel (www.holidaymotel.net) ***