Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that Look Rock Picnic Area will reopen to the public on Friday, July 26, 2019. Park crews recently completed the first phase of a rehabilitation project allowing the site to reopen after being closed in 2013.
“We’re glad that people will once again have the opportunity to enjoy a picnic as part of their Foothills Parkway experience,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Many people have told us how much they’ve missed this area over the years. Beginning tomorrow, they’ll be able to revisit those memories and make new ones from this unique setting in the western end of the park.”
In 2013, the park closed Look Rock Campground and Picnic Area after the water utility systems failed. The park has been working hard to secure monies to fund the rehabilitation of the entire site through a phased approach. The picnic area will reopen this week with limited services. Visitors will have access to a newly installed, handicap-accessible vault toilet, but there will not be any potable water available at the site until the utility system is replaced. This work is expected to begin in 2020 as part of the next rehabilitation phase.
In addition to the water system replacement, the entire campground and picnic area will be repaved and rehabilitated as part of the next phase of work. The 68-site campground, amphitheater, kiosk, information signs, and restrooms will be rehabilitated along with the removal of damaged trees and debris. The park is currently evaluating associated costs with upgrading the sites to accommodate larger recreational vehicles at some of the sites to offer even more camping opportunities.