North America’s Longest Footbridge. Gatlinburg Sky Bridge Opens May 17, 2019. When you travel to Gatlinburg you will have no trouble finding the sky bridge towering above the city. The bridge is over 1,800 feet above sea level on the crest of Crockett Mountain and can be accessed by the iconic and historic Gatlinburgskylift downtown.
The five foot wide bridge is not for the faint of heart. Those that dare to take this challenge will be rewarded with amazing views of beautiful Mount LeConte and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The bridge is 700 feet long and showcases a glass bottom section at the highest point. Hold on tight!
Fourth Annual Appalachian Bear Fest is scheduled for Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 11 a.m. til 3 p.m. at the ABR Visitor and Education Center, 121 Painted Trillium Way in Townsend, TN. This family friendly event benefits the Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) in Townsend.
Come join the fun at the fourth annual Appalachian Bear Fest. This year will be celebrating International Black Bear Day with live music, Fisher Farm Petting Zoo, Lynne McCoy’s Live Critters, delicious food, plenty of kid’s games and a whole lot of Black Bear Education. Black Bear experts will be on hand to share their knowledge on Black Bears and the National Park.
The Zoo Knoxville will bring some of their Reptiles to teach a Happening Herpetology Class as part of the event (pre-registration required). Who does not love the chance to handle some “creepy-crawly critters?” This is a chance for you and your kids to be hands on while learning all about what makes these creature so interesting and invaluable to the natural world.
For more information and to pre-register for the class, please visit www.appalachianbearrescue.org
11:00am – 11:30am: Mike Clemmer on the Dulcimer
11:35am – 12:25pm: Jared Hard & Chris Long in the Round
12:30pm – 1:30pm: The Good Thymes Ceilidh Band
1:45pm – 3:00pm: Pistol Creek Catch of the Day
Smoky Mountain Trillium Gap Rehabilitation Closes Trail. Beginning May 13, 2019 work begins on improving the much loved Trillium Gap trail. This trail is one of our favorite routes to the summit of Mount LeConte. Park officials announced the 2-year project will begin next week. Due to the construction process on the narrow trail, a full closure is necessary for the safety of both the crew and visitors. The trail and associated parking lot along Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail near Gatlinburg will be closed May 13 through November 15, Monday mornings at 7:00 a.m. through Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. weekly. The trail will be fully open each week on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and on federal holidays.
Trillium Gap Trail is one of the busiest trails in the park as it provides access to the popular Grotto Falls and the summit of Mt. Le Conte. There will not be any access to Grotto Falls during the weekday closures. Hikers can still reach Mt. Le Conte, LeConte Lodge, and the Le Conte Shelter by using one of the other four trails to the summit including the recently restored Rainbow Falls and Alum Cave Trails.
“We recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Trails Forever partnership with the Friends of the Smokies and I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing work accomplished by our crews, youth interns, and volunteers in transforming trails across the park,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “While we hate to disappoint hikers with weekday closures, the results are well worth the inconvenience and allow us the opportunity to continue to protect these special places for generations to come.”