Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway Opens

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway.

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway Opens. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announce the long-awaited section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, TN will finally open Saturday, November 10, 2018. The 16-mile roadway will be drivable for the first time since construction began in 1966. The route will include the 1.65-mile section known as the ‘Missing Link’ which is now connected by a series of nine bridges.

We are grateful to the visionaries in the 1930s who conceived the idea of a parkway and to the countless people who have tirelessly worked since then to complete this spectacular section,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We can’t wait for people to experience the unparalleled views offered along this new Smokies destination.”

The completion of the roadway was made possible thanks to a decades-long partnership among the State of Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Park Service (NPS) at a total cost of $178 million. Funding for the final paving was provided through a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) VIII grant secured by the Tennessee Department of Transportation along with $15 million from the State of Tennessee and $7 million through the NPS Federal Lands Transportation Program.

The Foothills Parkway now consists of two finished sections at either end of the 72-mile corridor. The western section now extends 33 continuous miles from Chilhowee to Wears Valley, offering a new recreational experience for motorists and cyclists. The eastern section, completed in 1968, extends 6 miles from Cosby to Interstate 40 presenting breathtaking views of Mt. Cammerer.

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway

Park officials plan to invite the public to preview the parkway by foot, if conditionspermit,before it opens to motorists. This pedestrian opportunity is tentatively planned for Thursday, November 8, 2018 during the morning hours utilizing a shuttle operation.  More details will be provided by Friday, November 2, 2018 to help prepare people for this special opportunity.

For more information about exploring scenic drives in the park, please visit the park’s website at NPS.gov.

More Hey Smokies Features:

Smoky Mountain Pink Moon
Smoky Mountain Pink Moon...
Smoky Mountain Pink Moon. The Pink Moon or "Fools Moon" will not be turning pink despite the name. April’s full Moon arrives on Tuesday, April 7[Read More >>]
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories...
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to childre[Read More >>]
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground...
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground. Smoky Mountain officials announced today the expansion of the popular theme park has begun. The pr[Read More >>]
Native American Fry Bread Recipe
Native American Fry Bread Recipe...
Native American Fry Bread Recipe. This bread has been sustaining Americans for centuries. The simple recipe has been handed down through the ge[Read More >>]
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park...
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park. GSMNP closes to support COVID - 19 prevention efforts. Park officials have closed all a[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines...
Great Smoky Mountains Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines. Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 all national park campgrounds, picnic areas, p[Read More >>]
Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers Asked To Postpone Thru-Hikes
Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers Asked To Postpone Thru-Hikes...
Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers Asked To Postpone Thru-Hikes. Late winter and early spring is the time for a mass human migration known as Appalac[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers Close
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers Close...
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers Close March 17, 2020. The closures are in response to efforts to inhibit the spread of the CO[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Region Coronavirus Closings
Smoky Mountain Region Coronavirus Closings...
Smoky Mountain Region Coronavirus Closings as of March 16, 2020. As the nation and the world brace for the effects of the COVID-19 virus the Smo[Read More >>]
Park Recruits Trail Volunteers
Park Recruits Trail Volunteers...
Park Recruits Trail Volunteers. Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses over 500,000 square miles and boasts 848 miles of maintained [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes
Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes...
Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes. The scenic valley of Cades Cove is traditionally closed to motor vehicles until 10 a[Read More >>]
Clingmans Dome Volunteers Needed
Clingmans Dome Volunteers Needed...
Clingmans Dome Volunteers Needed. Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The observation tower, at 6,644' fe[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Mingus Mill Volunteers Needed
Smoky Mountain Mingus Mill Volunteers Needed...
Smoky Mountain Mingus Mill Volunteers Needed. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are asking for volunteers to provide interpret[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Car Ban Ends
Cades Cove Car Ban Ends...
Cades Cove Car Ban Ends. Cades Cove has been closed for visitors for two months but that ends when the Laurel Creek Road (a seven-mile main acce[Read More >>]
Keep Sevier Beautiful Gardening Workshops
Keep Sevier Beautiful Gardening Workshops...
Keep Sevier Beautiful Gardening Workshops are scheduled for each Thursday in March, 2020. The workshops are free to everyone and begin each week[Read More >>]
Volunteers needed for Great Smoky Mountain ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Program
Volunteers needed for Great Smoky Mountain ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Program...
Volunteers needed for Great Smoky Mountain ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Program. National park rangers are seeking volunteers to monitor designated plots thro[Read More >>]
Appalachian Bear Rescue's Mardi Bear Event
Appalachian Bear Rescue's Mardi Bear Event...
Appalachian Bear Rescue's Mardi Bear Event will be a fun way to celebrate Mardi Gras in the Smokies! This Smoky Mountain event is scheduled f[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Life Insurance
Smoky Mountain Life Insurance...
Smoky Mountain Life Insurance. A Smart Planning Tool for Your Life Life insurance can feel complicated and overwhelming, but at its core, it's[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts 12.5 Million Visitors
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts 12.5 Million Visitors...
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts 12.5 Million Visitors. Great Smoky Mountains National Park broke it's all time annual attendance re[Read More >>]
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains!
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains!...
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains! Perhaps no image is more stereotypical of the rural South than that of the [Read More >>]