Just in time for the extended Fourth of July weekend, the Chimney Tops Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been reopened after extensive trail work. However, more work to the trail will require temporary closures in the weeks and months to come.
The trail has been closed since January when high flood waters destroyed the foot bridge across Walker Camp Prong at the beginning of the trail. Crews have worked over the last several weeks to replace the 70-foot-long bridge and allow safe access to the trail.
Rebuilding the bridge required specially ordered 70-foot bridge beams, and repairs to the stone pylon structures in the river. Crews also completed the wood deck using primarily hand-operated equipment and pulleys to construct the bridge in an environmentally sensitive area.
Beginning Monday, the park’s Trails Forever Crew will begin Phase 2 of the ongoing full trail rehabilitation on Chimney Tops Trail. That work will require closing the trail each Monday at 7 a.m. through Thursday at 5:30 p.m. through October 17 while the trail continues to undergo a major facelift.