The Joyce Kilmer National Recreation Trail and other trails in the vicinity will close temporarily this November for tree removal. On November 1 – 14, the Forest Service will be felling many huge, dead hemlock trees in the area via explosives, killed by infestation of the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. (The much-publicized release of biological control predator beetles in this area has obviously failed). Affected trails include Joyce Kilmer National Recreation Trail, Stratton Bald Trail, Naked Ground Trail, and Jenkins Meadow Trail. Read more in the official Forest Service news release (PDF).
It’s interesting to note that the Forest Service “explored the possibility of closing the area until the trees naturally fell”, but decided against it in order to keep the area open to the public, probably due to its popularity and status. That’s a good thing, because the trees could have taken many years to fall by themselves.