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2/2/2018 1:06 PM
 

Will be taking the wife and kids to Gatlingburg area beginning of April.  Where we are staying is outside of fire damage area, but hoping to take the kids on several day hikes in the NP.  Hoping I could get some feedback where to go/avoid based on fire damage in the near area of the park.

Any insight would be appreciated, kids are 7 and 9; so the hiking opportunities will be low miles and/or less challenging topo.

 
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2/2/2018 1:16 PM
 
Don't know the area, but there's nothing wrong with going through an old burn. There's no such thing as fire damage... it's all natural succession. Nothing prettier than the first wave of wildflowers and such that re-colonize a burn a couple years after it happens. That being said, standing burned snags are VERY dangerous if the wind is blowing at all and sometimes when it isn't.

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2/7/2018 8:40 AM
 

Right now, it looks as if the only trail that remains closed is the upper part of Sugarland Mountain Trail from Huskey Gap back up to the AT, so you shouldn't be affected that much. 

Otherwise, there are a tremendous number of options with Gatlinburg as your base.  If you're looking at high country, I think you might consider Andrews Bald--it's a couple of miles down the Forney Ridge Trail from the Clingman's Dome parking lot...a bit of elevation drop and gain, but probably doable for your kids.  You can also find a lot of nice mid-elevation hikes in the Elkmont area--Little River Trail is basically a pretty flat gravel road, and you can make a nice, easy loop by connecting with Cucumber Gap Trail.

As for "cautions," I'd mainly just give myself time to get from here to there--there will be a lot of tourists in the area, especially at the beginning of wildflower season.  (Although some sections of trail can be closed for bear activity as well.) 

Here's a link to the NPS site--there's also a Twitter feed on road conditions, too.

https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm

At any rate, I know the Park pretty well, so feel free to ask as your travel plans firm up.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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