Great Smoky Mountains National Park Wins $250,000 Grant to Restore Clingmans Dome Observation Tower

Mountains of thanks to all the lovers of the Smokies who voted for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to receive a $250,000 grant as part of the Partners in Preservation: National Parks Campaign!

Clingmans Dome Wins $250,000 Grant

Thank you to all who voted for Great Smoky Mountains National Park! (photo/Sean Pavone)

The Great Smoky Mountains made the list of the top 9 most voted National Parks in the contest. The grant money is set to be awarded in September with work on the observation tower to begin in 2017. Very exciting!

According to the National Park Service over 600,000 visitors drive the Clingmans Dome Road between April and November to hike to the beloved landmark that serves as the highest elevation point (6,643 ft.) in the National Park and in the state of Tennessee. The new Visitor Center and restroom facilities have been welcomed by visitors, and a newly refurbished observation tower is sure to make the Clingmans Dome Experience even better!

Built in 1959, the Observation Tower is in need of structural repairs due to settlement. Although the tower is still structurally safe, repairs are needed to the concrete and masonry walls and flagstone terrace which will only continue to deteriorate over time in the harsh, high-altitude mountain environment.

The $250,000 grant money will be provided by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and corporate partner American Express.

For more information on how you can support and protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit Friends of the Smokies.

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