(GSMNP press release) Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that the Foothills Parkway, between Walland and Wears Valley, will be closed on Friday, March 22 until 5:00 p.m. for rescue training. This temporary, full closure is necessary for the safety of participants who will be conducting technical rope rescue activities from the roadway and bridges.
The training will provide search and rescue staff from the park and cooperating agencies with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Foothills Parkway terrain and to practice high-angle rope rescue exercises. The training is being held with multiple local rescue agencies who work with park rangers to respond to technical rescue incidents across the park.
“We appreciate this opportunity to train with search and rescue personnel from our partner agencies,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “By sharing resources, technology, and training, we are better able to respond to emergency situations across the region.”