‘I Can See Clearly Now’

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK (March 2012) – Visitors to America’s most visited national park will see something quite unusual for the next few months – crews at work opening scenic vistas that have grown up dramatically over the decades since the park was created.

After more than 75 years of forest growth, maturing trees are obscuring some of the park’s most scenic views, and enjoying the Smoky Mountains’ vistas is the No. 1 activity that visitors list.

The National Park Service is rolling back the natural clock by judiciously cutting some trees and trimming or thinning others.

They will work on 34 overlooks from April 1-Aug. 1 along Newfound Gap Road, Clingmans Dome Road, the East and West Foothills Parkway, the Gatlinburg Bypass, Rich Mountain Road, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Lakeview Drive and Cataloochee Road. No road closures are expected.

The goal of the vista management program is to allow the views to be maintained on a seven-year cycle.

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