Smokies trail closes for 1 day for trash pickup

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) -- Smoky Mountains visitors won't be able to hike to Laurel Falls on Tuesday while park workers clean up trash and graffiti.

The National Park Service says crews have to rig ropes to reach trash that was thrown down or blew down steep slopes. For the safety of the workers and visitors, the trail will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Besides making the 1.7-mile trail more appealing, the cleanup will also remove food remnants that could attract bears.

Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson says some people look at apple cores and orange peels as biodegradable, but bears see them as food and it draws them to the trail. Ditmanson asks that visitors pack out not only wrappers, but any leftover snacks they hiked in with.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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