Smokies park officials to end cliff-jumping

January 16, 2007

According to a story in today’s Knoxville News Sentinel, officials at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will ban cliff-jumping at the Townsend Y, a much beloved swimming hole just inside the park near the town of Townsend.

Apparently, there have been too many close encounters of jumpers and tubers. Airborne violators will be warned and then fined.

This is too bad. Wilderness areas often have activities that are dangerous–rock-climbing, winter camping, kayaking, and you name it–but I believe that you give people an adequate warning and then let them make the choice. For many visitors, jumping off a cliff and feeling the exhiliaration of flying through the air and landing in cold, unchlorinated water, may be the best Smokies experience they will ever have.