GSMNP Still Looking To Eliminate Unsafe Parking At Laurel Falls
Laurel Falls Trail continues to be one of the most popular trails in the park, drawing a high level of use that has resulted in extreme congestion, crowding at the falls, and unsafe conditions along Little River Road. Vehicles parked along the roadside obstruct the flow of traffic and create blind spots for motorists, resulting in a significant safety hazard for visitors walking to or from their vehicles. Roadside parking also impacts adjacent habitats, damages road edges, and causes erosion. Great Smoky Mountains National Park staff are continuing efforts to eliminate unsafe roadside parking at the Laurel Falls Trailhead. Starting today and running through Sunday, October 30th unofficial Temporary roadside barriers will once again be in use. Vehicles will be blocked with temporary barriers, such as traffic cones. Visitor use management strategies such as permanent roadside parking barriers, parking reservation systems, and shuttle systems continue to be considered. Park officials say avoiding arriving during peak visitation periods, usually between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., can also help improve chances of obtaining a safe parking space within designated parking areas.