Clingmans Dome Road has reopened to the public Tuesday as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park begins the next phase of reopening.
Second Lady Karen Pence and Deputy Secretary of the Interior Katherine MacGregor helped celebrate the news by reopening the gates to the road Tuesday.
The GSMNP said it has begun the next phase of the park's reopening plan, which will see numerous popular attractions reopen this weekend.
On Saturday, May 23, all park trails will reopen. The GSMNP said it will also reopen Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Big Creek Road and Big Creek Picnic Area, Cosby Road and the Cosby Picnic Area, Greenbrier Road to the Ramsey Cascades Trailhead, and Tremont Road.
“With nearly every state in the nation taking some action to reopen, what a joy it is to be in Tennessee with Second Lady Karen Pence to reopen areas of our most visited National Park for the enjoyment of the American People,” said Deputy Secretary Kate MacGregor. “The Great Smoky Mountains offer over half a million acres to relax and enjoy some fresh air and Vitamin D. Today we are thrilled to expand access for Americans to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of this stunning landscape.”
The GSMNP said it is encouraging everyone who visits the park to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing, including wearing face coverings and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between guests.
The park has also developed a range of mitigation actions that include new disinfection procedures and increased cleaning frequency for facilities, installing protective barriers in visitor contact facilities, new employee practices for shared workplaces and vehicles, and focused messaging to prepare visitors for safe outdoor recreation.