Great Smoky Mountains National Park reopens Friday after wildfires

Burned structures are seen from aboard a National Guard helicopter near Gatlinburg, Tenn., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. Thousands of people raced through a hell-like landscape to escape wildfires that killed several people and destroyed hundreds of homes in the Great Smoky Mountains. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will officially reopen Friday, according to officials, in conjunction with the reopening of the City of Gatlinburg.

Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road and several visitor areas have been closed since the fire on Monday, November 28.

Newfound Gap Road, Little River Road, the Gatlinburg Bypass and the Spur will reopen at 7 a.m. Friday.

Park visitor centers at Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove will resume their regularly scheduled operating hours. Cherokee Orchard Road will remain closed at this time.

A number of trails will remain closed due to fire damage: Chimney Tops Trail, Road Prong Trail, Sugarland Mountain Trail from Mt Collins Shelter to Little River Road, Huskey Gap Trail, Rough Creek Trail, Old Sugarlands Trail, Twin Creeks Trail, Baskins Creek Trail, Bull Head Trail, Rainbow Falls Trail, Trillium Gap Trail, Grapeyard Ridge Trail from Campsite 32 to Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Gatlinburg Trail, Cove Mountain Trail, Sugarland Valley Nature Trail, Noah Bud Ogle Nature Trail, Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, the Sugarlands Horse Concession trails, and the quiet walkways along Newfound Gap Road.

Several upcoming park events have been postponed or cancelled. The Festival of Christmas Past, scheduled for December 10, has been cancelled. The Hike 100 Centennial Challenge celebration, scheduled for December 9 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, has been postponed. The Holiday Homecoming at the Oconaluftee Mountain Farm will take place as planned on December 17.

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