GSMNP to limit group sizes during wildflower season at Whiteoak Sink

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced group size limits for the popular wildflower season at Whiteoak Sink. Individuals and small groups of eight or fewer people may access the Whiteoak Sink area during the wildflower season Saturday, April 1 through Sunday, May 7.  

Whiteoak Sink is a unique, sensitive area that hosts many rare plants. Park managers limit group size to protect sensitive wildflower species from trampling. Overuse of the area causes impacts like damage to plants and soil compaction when large groups crowd around plants off-trail to take photos or closely view flowers. Parking is limited, so visitors should plan ahead and come prepared with alternative destinations in case they do not find parking available at Whiteoak Sink. Parking is not allowed on road shoulders.  

A team of volunteers on site will provide wildflower viewing information and collect monitoring data. Park managers have monitored sensitive wildflower species in the Whiteoak Sink area since 2016.  

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world famous for its wildflower diversity and has more kinds of flowering plants than any other North American national park. 

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