Damage to the Chimney Tops Trail Bridge. (Source: Great Smoky Mountains National Park)
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Several areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were damaged during January, when heavy rains flooded parts of the park.
Several gravel roads within several popular areas have been closed until repairs can be made.
Greenbrier Road past the Greenbrier Ranger Station
Cataloochee Road past Palmer Chapel
Parson’s Branch Road
On January 30, more than 4 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, which flooded several streams. Average rainfall during January across the Park averages 5-7 inches of rain, but the Park received 14-17 inches of rain this January.
High waters also destroyed the pedestrian bridge across Walker Camp Prong along the popular Chimney Tops Trail. The 70-foot long pedestrian bridge, originally built in the late 1950s, will have to be entirely replaced to allow trail access. Trail crews are assessing bridge replacement options and do not yet have a date estimate for completion.