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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Staff, Wire Reports

Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2018 06:31 PM

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Great Smoky Mountain National Park To Open Chimney Tops October 6

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, Tenn. (SOURCE: GSNMP RELEASE)- Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials will open the Chimney Tops Trail to a newly developed observation point starting Friday, October 6. The trail to the top of the pinnacles will remain closed until further notice.

This will be the first time the trail has been open since the wildfires in late November 2016.

"We are excited to complete the work on the Chimney Tops Trail in time for the fall color season in Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” said Acting Superintendent Clay Jordan. “We understand that many people have a strong emotional tie to the Chimney Tops Trail and its reopening has been a priority for moving forward in our recovery from the fire event.”

The park's trail crew developed a section of the trail, which will provide a safe viewing area for hikers to enjoy the sights of Mount LeConte and the Chimney Tops pinnacles. The topmost 0.25 miles of the trail were heavily damaged by the fire and will remain closed due to safety concerns that exist.

The funding for this trail project were made to the Friends of the Smokies' Fire Relief Fund from individuals and organizations all across the country.

The Chimney Tops Trail is one of the most popular trails in the park, and with this reopening, visitors can again enjoy most of the trail. Officials ask that visitors do not explore past the end of the trail due to significant environmental damage and safety concerns.