The Tennessee State Parks announced today that the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge State Natural Area, which is part of the Cumberland Trail State Park, will be closed for the month of June. It is slated to reopen on July 1.
The closure blocks the park entrance at Montlake Road in Hamilton County, along with the trailhead. According to the state's release, the closure is for "maintenance, construction, visitor protection, and resource protection projects" and are needed because of the damage "from years of unauthorized parking, trampling and erosion."
The state is looking for volunteers to help with rehab efforts on June 6, 9, 14, 17, 21, 25 and 28. Volunteers should bring gloves, food and drink, insect repellant and wear pants and boots.
The release also stated there will be five new trails developed as designated access points to the banks of Chickamauga Creek.
"In an effort to preserve and protect the fragile environment in this section of the park, our Division of Natural Areas has recommended a temporary closure in order for these significant species to rejuvenate," Deputy Commissioner for Parks and Conservation Brock Hill said in the release. "During this time, our park staff will be enhancing the trail system, as well as making efforts to provide a safe and fun experience for park guests at 'North Chick'."