Resident shares safety concern over North Chickamauga Creek Gorge area parking

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – Harry Stone lives on Mowbray Mountain.

He frequently travels down Montlake Road and drives past the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge State Natural Area trailhead entrance.

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And, here lately, he says there’s been a traffic problem.

“We want people to come and enjoy the area. This is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but you can’t leave your car sticking a foot and a half over the line.”

Stone says the mountain and the area have become increasingly popular.

So much so that people are having a hard time finding a place to park.

He says especially now since the gorge has been closed.

“You’re seeing cars parked in the emergency pull offs and some of them can’t fit in the emergency pull offs. So you’ve got wheels over the line and they’re out in traffic.”

Closed signs cover the area entrance Wednesday afternoon.

One says “do not enter, violators will be prosecuted.”

The North Chickamauga Creek Gorge area closed last month.

According to the Cumberland Trail website, a new ranger station is being constructed in the area.

“Last Saturday was a bad problem. There were so many cars. They were parked everywhere, and I don’t know which law enforcement agency did it, but somebody towed some vehicles away,” Stone says.

Stone’s concern with parking is safety.

“Somebody is going to step out in the road, car come to close and hit somebody.”

He says he hopes the state and county can find a way to help visitors park in a safe manner.

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