Great Smoky Mountains National Park Foothills Parkway Hiking Event

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Foothills Parkway Hiking Event. Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites the public to walk approximately two miles along the new section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley Thursday, November 8, 2018. Park officials expect this to be a great community day celebration. This special opportunity for pedestrians to experience the series of bridges that connect the 1.65-mile section known as the ‘Missing Link’ will be a treat. The road will open to motorists and cyclists on Saturday, November 10, 2018.

Participants will be shuttled to the site from Townsend, TN between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon weather permitting. Construction activities may be ongoing along sections of the roadway requiring coordinated transportation to the event space. Participants should be prepared to walk at least two miles along a 10% grade. At the event space, the GSMNP will host a variety of interactive educational and artistic activities for the public to enjoy.

While the parkway is designed as a scenic driving experience, we wanted to provide one special opportunity for people to experience it by foot before it opens to motorists,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “We hope the public will join us for this Community Day celebration as we enjoy the beauty of the parkway and the new recreational opportunities it provides for our local residents and visitors.

Participants will be shuttled from the River Rat parking lot in Townsend, TN (8435 State Highway 73, Townsend, TN 37882) at approximately 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., or 12:00 noon. The shuttle ride will take approximately one hour to reach the event space. Participants will have the opportunity to spend one to three hours on site depending on which departure time they choose. The Friends of the Smokies are sponsoring the free shuttle service to the public utilizing charter buses. Participation is available on a first come, first serve basis with anticipated service for approximately 1,000 people.

Hiking GSMNP

Hiking GSMNP

Participants should bring snacks and water in a small pack, wear sturdy footwear, and dress in layers to be prepared for the outdoor event. No large bags, chairs or coolers are allowed. Portable toilets will be provided on site. Participants will be reminded of safety hazards while walking along the roadway, which is designed for motor vehicle traffic. The park will implement safety measures to help ensure that participants remain a safe distance from the guard rails along bridges.

The event is weather dependent. The park will notify the public by 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 if the event is canceled due to inclement weather through the park website, social media, and a media release.

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