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Smokies to reopen more campgrounds, picnic areas

(AP) Great Smoky Mountains National Park will reopen additional campgrounds and picnic areas on Sept. 3 after their closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Park officials say in a news release that the areas include the Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cataloochee and Cosby campgrounds; the Big Creek, Cataloochee, Round Bottom, and Tow String horse camps; Heintooga and Look Rock picnic areas; and Little Greenbrier Road.
Remaining closed for public health will be Appalachian Clubhouse. Upper Greenbrier Road and Upper Cataloochie Valley Road beyond Palmer Chapel are closed due to storm damage.
Campsites must be reserved online for Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek, Anthony Creek, Round Bottom and Tow String.
Group campsites at all campgrounds will remain closed.
The park says the National Park Service is using a phased approach alongside federal, state and local public health authorities to increase access on a park-by-park basis.