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sammcdonald 07-02-2010 06:48 PM

elkmont closure
The Little River, Cucumber Gap, and Jakes Creek trails form a popular 5-mile loop hike near the Elkmont Campground. However parking in the area is extremely limited and traffic congestion is common as hikers try to find space to pull off the narrow road to park. This project will allow for the construction of paved parking areas at the Little River trailhead, the Jakes Creek trailhead, and at the Appalachian Clubhouse.

The access from the campground entrance to the Little River Trail parking area will be resurfaced as well as the road beginning at the Little River trailhead and leading to the existing dirt parking area at the Jakes Creek trailhead. The one way exit loop road through Daisytown will also be resurfaced.

Access to the Little River and Jakes Creek Trails in the Elkmont area will be limited July 6 through August 31, 2010 as follows:

The Little River Trailhead Road beyond the junction with the Elkmont Campground Road will be closed to public use from July 6 through August 31, 2010. This includes the Elkmont Nature Trail and parking lot.

Little River Trail - Parking for day and overnight trail users will be available on an extremely limited basis at the walk-in camping area in B loop. Twelve parking spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A marked route through the campground to the Little River Trail will be established and visitors/campers are advised to adhere to this route to avoid potential hazards from the ongoing road and parking area construction.

Jakes Creek Trail - No trail head parking will be available. Pedestrian access for campers in Elkmont Campground will be available via a designated route and provided to campers upon arrival and check in.

Day and over night trail users are encouraged to take advantage of the other 750 plus miles of trails in the park during this period of time to avoid these construction improvements and the limited availability of parking. Download a park trail map to view park trails.

nvr2L8 07-02-2010 11:08 PM


I haven't heard one way or the other - has the Roaring Fork Nature Trail been re-opened?

sammcdonald 07-03-2010 12:41 PM

nope...still closed

nvr2L8 07-03-2010 09:19 PM

Any prognosis? Been wanting to fish Roaring Fork up the mountain.

sammcdonald 07-05-2010 06:40 PM

prognosis is very unclear.....i wanna get in there too but doesn't look real good

Jim Casada 07-05-2010 09:13 PM

Sam--This sort of thing is one of the aspects of Park bureaucracy which I find maddening. Surely someone in a position of authority could have looked at the project, obtaned estimates from the contractor (or whoever is doing the work) on the amount of time required, and set that as a goal That's how things work in the real world of business, and I've always felt that Park authorities fall short in the efficiency area. Alas, I think that's true of governments and bureaucrats in general.
Do you know what all was to be done on Roaring Fork? When I last traveled the road (last summer) it seemed to me to be in quite good shape compared with some other Park roads of a similar nature. I know it gets lot of traffic, but when you look at it and the trails in that area being off limits, and then add those you've alerted us to in your post, first thing you know you have a good bit of territory closed.
That being said, it wasn't nearly as bad as shutting out most anyone and everyone who wasn't a big wig during some of the 75th anniversary celebrations. For a Park which was supposed to be for the people (and which a lot of little people helped establish), that was flat-out shameful.
Thanks for the info even though obviously we are all in a quandary right now.
Jim Casada

Crockett 07-06-2010 07:43 AM

They actually got done with the Cades Cove repaving faster than they had estimated which is one of the few times I have ever seen that happen with a government project. I think the reason was if I am not mistaken the park was offering some kind of bonus to the company for each week or day ahead of schedule they got done. That seemed to do the trick. I take it the same approach was not done with the roaring fork project. I hiked up to LeConte via Bullhead trail in May and there were lots of dump trucks carrying loads in and out of there working on construction then but not sure how far in they had made it.

nvr2L8 07-07-2010 03:02 PM

Explanation of the Roaring Fork paving delay.

backlash 07-15-2010 03:28 PM

anyone know if Elkmont roads will be open by 7-24-10?

GrouseMan77 07-15-2010 04:03 PM

The area that is closed will not be open by 7-24. Scheduled for reopen on 8-31.

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