Great Smoky Mountains continue to make roadside parking safe for visitors

Laurel Falls crowding.
Laurel Falls crowding.(Great Smoky Mountains)
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:49 PM EDT
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GATLINBURG, T.N. (FOX Carolina) - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is continuing its efforts to make roadside parking at Laurel Falls Trailhead safe for visitors.

Officials say temporary roadside barriers will be re-established during the busy summer season through fall, starting on Thursday, June 9, through Sunday, October 30. Unofficial parking will be blocked with temporary barriers such as traffic cones, during this time.

The 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. They say vehicles park along the road disrupting traffic and creating blind spots for drivers, resulting in safety hazards for visitors walking to or from the vehicles.

Officials are encouraged to plan for alternative destinations in case they do not find available parking and to avoid arriving between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. which are peak visitation periods.

For more information about congestion monitoring in the park, visit the website at