National Park Announces Reopening

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May 6, 2020:  The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announced Phased Reopening May 9, 2020



Hikers, scenic drive enthusiasts, and everyone ready to get back out into the great outdoors, get ready! President Trump announced in a press conference on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 that many national parks will begin to reopen as individual states ease restrictions on stay at home orders.  The Great Smoky Mountain National Park may be one of those to open in early May.

As many celebrated Earth Day on April 22, 2020, President Trump delivered the great news. “Thanks to our significant progress against the invisible enemy, I am pleased to announce that in line withy administration’s guidelines for opening up America again we will begin to reopen our national parks and public lands for the American people to enjoy.”

Based upon this information, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park could open in early May, but no official decision has been made by the GSMNP itself.  Check back for updated information in the coming days.  For information on how to support businesses in the Smokies, visit

In a statement on April 23, 2020 from Dana Soehn, Management Assistant/Public Affair, GSMNP Headquarters, she said “The park has not made a decision about a specific reopening date, but we are actively developing our phased reopening plans. This includes installing plexiglass shields in our visitor centers, acquiring PPE for maintenance workers responsible for cleaning restrooms, disinfection procedures for public and administrative buildings, and developing safety protocols for our emergency services staff when responding to people in need in the backcountry and front country.  The park typically has over 1 million visitors in May from across the country. We want to do our best to be prepared in a manner that helps our employees, volunteers, and visitors feel safe before reopening.”

All updates for the National Park and the plans to reopen can be found at The National Park Service website. 


Great Smoky Mountains National Park

It is also said that each state will adhere to guidelines and practices given by state and local public health authorities along with the CDC. As for Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee has stated the reopening of businesses to start May 1st. Many are hoping the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will follow this as well, but no official decision has been made yet.  The national park is visited by millions each year and provides hundreds of hiking trails, scenic motor nature trails, and camping for visitors.

For more information on the President’s press conference, click here.  For information on how to support businesses in the Smokies, visit


For more information you can call the National Park Service at (865) 436-1291 or email them at:



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