Chimney Tops Trails Restoration Completed and Reopened on Friday
After three years of hard labor Chimney Tops Trail has been reopened to public access every day of the week. Restoration to the trail has finally been completed to the popular hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains. The trail was in need of many repairs to make the trail safer for hikers. The restoration included placing or replacing rock stairs, building retainer walls, improving drainage ditches, making or replacing log steps, removing old trees and placing crushed rock or gravel along parts of the trail. Those involved in the three-year restoration project were the National Park Service, conservation corps members, NPS volunteers, the high school Student Conservation Association and
the American Conservation Experience volunteers.
The program Trails Forever started in 2009 and pays for work needed for the most severely damaged hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The program’s first trail restoration project was the Forney Ridge Trail from 2010 to 2011. Chimney Rock Trail restoration started in 2012. The next project will be trail restoration on the Alum Cave Trail that will starting the spring of 2015.
Chimney Tops was reopened on Friday December 12, 2014. A formal dedication ceremony will be held in the spring when weather conditions are better. Chimney Tops Trail is on Newfound Gap Road about 6-7 miles south of Sugarlands Visitors Center in Gatlinburg, TN.