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National Park Service Investigating Dirt Bike Ride In Great Smoky Mountains National Park


National Park Service authorities are investigating a magazine story about a dirt bike ride through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including through a creek, during the government shutdown.

Zach Bowman, who edits Road & Track magazine's website, earlier this month wrote about borrowing a friend's 250cc dirt bike for a joy ride through the park soon after the closure took effect. In the resulting story, A 250cc middle finger to the government shutdown: Civil Disobedience on Two Wheels, he wrote about gunning the bike through a creek that runs past the Parson Branch Road.

Mr. Bowman videotaped his escapade with a helmet-cam, and embedded it in the story on the website. Although Mr. Bowman initially agreed to discuss the story with the Traveler, he failed to return a phone call as promised and hasn't responded to emails.

Park Service officials said Thursday they were looking into the incident.

"We take violations to park closures and the potential of damage to park resources very seriously. This matter is under investigation. As soon as we are able to provide details of the results of the investigation we will do so," said a spokesman for the Park Service's Southeast Regional Office.

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