The public appears to be increasingly defiant about the National Park Service’s closure of parks.
Meanwhile, from a commenter here describing the situation at Great Smoky National Park since we left that area on Friday:
I was at the Smokies this weekend (Saturday and Sunday). The parking lot a Newfound Gap was completely open. The road to Clingman’s Dome was open. I did not travel down the North Carolina side of the park. Major trailheads were blocked at the Chimneys and Alum Cave Bluff. Chimneys picnic area closed. All other trailheads along 441 were open and there were plenty of people parked and enjoying the park. Little River Road was closed. We parked a couple of quiet walkways and took some short walks. Never saw an ranger anywhere.
If you are planning a trip to the Smokies then I would say to go for it. You may not be able to access some of the more popular areas of the park but there are plenty of areas that are accessible. I am planning a horseback riding trip (my own horses) in a couple of weeks and I am not going to let the dictatorial government in Washington ruin my plans.
The Chimney Top trail has been closed anyway during the week because of trail work, and the Alum Cave Bluff parking area is located at a spot where road work is presently going on and therefore might have been closed anyway as well.
And then there’s this: Yorktown restaurant owner defies the federal government, “occupying” his restaurant.