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Parts of GSMNP closed because of demolition, bears

Sections of Jakes Creek and Little River trails will be closed next week because of the Elkmont project, park officials said. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Sections of Jakes Creek and Little River trails will be closed next week because of the Elkmont project, park officials said.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials said in a news release trail sections along the Jakes Creek and Little River trails will be closed June 26-30 to complete the Ekmont Historic District demolition project.

The Jakes Creek Trail and Little River Trail will be closed to all use from the trailheads to the junction with the Cucumber Gap Trail. All campsites/shelters in the backcountry will remain open and can be accessed using routes that do not include the closed sections of trail.

Weather permitting, the entire demolition project is expected to be complete June 30.

Because of bear activity, several backcountry campsites are also closed. Those include:

  • Mount LeConte Shelter
  • Campsites 9, 21, 24 and 34.

Bear warnings have been issued for:

  • Russell Field Shelter
  • Campsites 10 and 38

Other backcountry closures and warnings include:

  • The Appalachian Trail between Low Gap and Cosby Knob Shelter is closed to horse traffic until further notice because of a compromised retaining wall. It remains open to hikers, but they are advised to exercise caution when passing through this section.
  • Rainbow Falls Trail is closed weekly 7 a.m. Monday through 5:30 p.m. Thursday until Nov. 16, 2017, for trail maintenance.
  • The following trails are closed because of fire or storm damage until further notice: Chimney Tops Trail, Road Prong Trail, Sugarland Mountain Trail from Mount Collins Shelter to Little River Road, Rough Creek Trail and Bull Head Trail.
  • Scott Mountain Trail is closed from campsite No. 6 to Schoolhouse Gap. Campsite No. 6 is open.
  • Backcountry campsite No. 11 is closed.

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