Smokies campgrounds and picnic areas opening for spring

Friday, April 12, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 15

GATLINBURG (AP) — Most campgrounds, picnic areas and roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are opening just in time for Easter weekend.

The partial government shutdown over the winter caused a small delay in facilities openings at America's most visited national park. But spring opening day for a majority of facilities is scheduled for Friday. The remaining facilities will open between now and Memorial Day weekend.

Superintendent Cassius Cash says in a news release that staff has been working hard to hire seasonal employees, de-winterize water treatment and waste water systems, and clear fallen trees and limbs.

More information about specific facility openings and park events is available on the park's website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm .

The park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border had more than 11.4 million visitors last year.