If you’re planning a camping trip in the Smokies this year, make sure the locale you’re looking into is still in operation. This following some recently announced federal budget cuts have some vacationers scrambling to find a new spot to pitch a tent this spring and summer.
These cuts will directly affect a handful of spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this year. Included in these federal budget cuts are a 5 percent reduction in staffing and hiring limitations. This cut will not only hinder some parts of the park from opening on time, but could cut into the days that it will be in operation.
Park officials have already announced that a few popular spots will not open at all this year. Those spots include the Look Rock Campground and picnic area, and the Abrams Creek Campground, which are both located in Tennessee. On the North Carolina side of the Smokies, the Balsam Mountain Campground and picnic area and the Tow String Horse Camp will not open during the 2013 season.
National Park officials have reiterated time and again that the park regrets the inconvenience to all their yearly visitors, especially all who love backcountry camping and make that a yearly reason to trip to the Smokies.
Backcountry reservations, schedules, and permits are still available online at at www.smokiespermits.nps.gov .