published Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Smokies park won’t open some campgrounds this year

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park can’t open some visitor facilities because of the automatic federal budget cuts.

The 5 percent reductions caused staffing and hiring limitations which affected the park’s ability to prepare some facilities for opening.

Park officials announced today the Look Rock Campground and Picnic Area and the Abrams Creek Campground in Tennessee as well as the Balsam Mountain Campground and Picnic Area and the Tow String Horse Camp in North Carolina will remain closed in 2013.

Smokies Superintendent Dale Ditmanson said the park regrets the inconvenience to visitors, especially those who enjoy the more remote areas.

The auto campgrounds open on a staggered schedule and reservations can be made online at recreation.gov. Backcountry reservations and permits are online at at www.smokiespermits.nps.gov .

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