SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — On Sunday, sunny skies and warm weather drew crowds to the Great Smoky Mountains.
“It was so nice, like the weather,” said Joana Alger, who was visiting from Michigan.
Especially around Clingmans Dome on the first weekend, it opened for the season.
After being closed for a few months, people are happy to get back outside.
“It does feel really nice to be able to come back,” said John Peirce.
Visitors enjoyed the views and rock climbing.
“It’s fun going up these rocks. You know, finding your path, up there,” said Peirce.
As folks drove in over the weekend, very few knew they were riding over a secret tunnel.
“I didn’t know there’s a secret tunnel, so I feel fantastic,” said Matt Freeman.
This tunnel is under Clingmans Dome Road and hundreds of cars drive over daily.
Library of Congress records shows it is a mule trail tunnel built in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservations Corps. Today it leads to nothing but a pretty view.
It's a lesser-known part of the Great Smoky Mountains sandwiched between two top destinations, Clingmans Dome and Newfound Gap, a place that makes a good hike for Easter Sunday.