Alum Cave Trail next in line for restoration

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – The National Parks Service says restoration work will begin next year on a popular trail in the Smokies.

The restoration of Alum Cave Trail is taking place through the Trails Forever program, which is a partnership between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Friends of the Smokies.

A statement says the trail will be closed from May 4 to Nov. 19 on most weekdays, though it will be open on weekends and federal holidays. The park service says repairs are expected to take about two years.

Rangers are called to several accidents each year along Alum Cave Trail, which takes hikers to Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, Alum Cave Bluffs and Mt. Le Conte.

Hikers can still reach Mt. Le Conte, LeConte Lodge, and the Le Conte Shelter through other trails.