Last week officials from Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced additional details on the upcoming Chimney Tops reconstruction project. As has been known for several weeks now, the popular trail will be closed each Monday through Thursday, from April 30th through October 18th. However, I thought the most intriguing piece of news from the park press release was the fact that the project will take two seasons to complete.
My guess is that the vast majority of people that hike this trail already do so on the weekends, so this will have little or no impact on them. However, there is a certain percentage of people that will have to make other arrangements, not only this year, but next year as well.
My question for all of you is if you think that the hiking community, park visitors, work crews, and even the park itself, would've been better served by shutting down the entire trail everyday this year, and possibly knocking out the much needed project in only one season? I'm sure there was debate among park management about this issue, but the public was never brought into that discussion.
What are your thoughts?