A lot to unpack as we kickoff this new week and halfway point of August, so let’s dive in!
*Day time work resumes today along US 441 (Newfound Gap Rd) between the Chimneys Picnic Area and Newfound Gap. Expect intermittent lane closures and delays now through September 30th. Exact dates have not been determined yet, but parking lots and road shoulders at the Alum Cave trailhead are to be addressed that will reduce available parking for visitors at times.
*Maintenance work along both directions of US 441 (The Spur) between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge begins today. The work will take place Monday through Thursday this week and next. Expect single lane closures and brief delays.
*Schools across Sevier County are back in session starting this week. Congestion in the various school zones of our gateway communities will now be the norm the rest of the season. Plan your routes accordingly depending on the time of day and your direction of travel.
*Today marks 100 days left in the 2021 lodge season! We’re also at 13.5 hours of daylight as we step closer to the autumnal equinox. Still plenty of sunshine available to enjoy the mountains, but the pace at which night time sneaks up on folks comes faster and faster.
*Tropical Storm Fred has its sights set squarely on the Smokies. Although it’s not expected to be a powerful storm by the time it reaches our neck of the woods late Tuesday, it shows the potential for substantial rainfall as it lingers on, particularly on the North Carolina side of the park.
*Rain and storms are going to be on tap everyday this week. Trails will be soggy and creeks are likely to run higher than usual for this time of year because of the steady saturation. Come dressed appropriately from head-to-toe so that you can have a hike that is safe and as enjoyable as possible. Temps will range from the mid 50s to lower 60s most days with light winds.