Show Menu +

Login

If you're already registered, please sign in to access your exclusive Membership Account
Forgot your password? New Customer? Start Here

Park Celebrates Alum Cave Trail Reopening

Posted by | 11.18.2016

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials celebrated the completion of a two-year trail rehabilitation project on Alum Cave Trail Thursday, Nov. 17.

Celebrate the reopening of this
trail by adding this colorful Alum
Cave Trail patch
 to your collection.

Alum Cave Trail is one of the most popular trails in the park, leading hikers to iconic areas including Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, Alum Cave Bluffs, Mt. Le Conte, and Le Conte Lodge The trail was reopened following work completed by the park Trails Forever crew, American Conservation Experience youth crews, and volunteers. 

The Trails Forever crew rehabilitated targeted locations along the five-mile trail to improve visitor safety and stabilize eroding trail sections. Park rangers respond to numerous accidents along the trail each year, especially along the upper, narrow corridors. The much-needed rehabilitation improved overall trail safety, while also protecting natural resources by repairing historic cable and handrail systems, reinforcing hanging trail sections, reducing trail braiding, and improving drainage to prevent further erosion.

Before the rehabilitation, the trail had several narrow areas where erosion and small landslides had damaged significant sections of the trail, making it difficult to safely travel through the areas during inclement weather or to pass hikers coming from the opposite direction. The crews were able to restore these fragile trail sections allowing long-term sustainability that protects trailside natural communities from degradation. 

By building an attractive, durable trail surface to hike upon, the crew successfully narrowed the trail corridor impact zone. This is the first major rehabilitation of this trail since its original construction. Through the thoughtful rehabilitation techniques using natural materials, the historic nature of the trail has been preserved allowing future visitors opportunities to enjoy the unique trail for years to come.

In attendance for the Nov. 17th ribbon cutting on Alum Cave Trail were, (l-r, front) Jim Hart, Friends of the Smokies president; Josh Shapiro, Trails Forever crew leader; Alan Sumeriski, chief of Facility Management; Clay Jordan, deputy superintendent; Tobias Miller, Trails Program manager; Chris Baker, American Conservation Experience president; (back) Jeff Fraysier, Trails Forever crew; Josiah Gray, Eric Wood and Adam Monroe, Trails Forever crew. Photo by Jack Williams
Tagged: National Park News

Shopping Cart