Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chimney Tops Trail Bridge Repair Complete

Great Smoky Mountains National Park crews completed bridge repairs on the Chimney Tops Trail. The popular trail is now open to the public through the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The trail has been closed since late January when high flood waters destroyed the pedestrian bridge. On January 30th, the park received more than 4 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. The 70-foot long pedestrian bridge, which spans the Walker Camp Prong at the beginning of the trail, was originally built in the late 1950s:

Crews have worked efficiently over the last several weeks to replace the 70-foot long bridge and allow safe access to the trail. Skilled crew members replaced the specially ordered 70-foot bridge beams, repaired the stone pylon structures in the river, and completed the wood deck using primarily hand-operated equipment and pulleys to construct the bridge in an environmentally sensitive area.

Here's what the new bridge looks like now, as completed:

Beginning Monday, July 8th, the Park’s Trails Forever Crew will begin Phase 2 of the ongoing full trail rehabilitation on Chimney Tops Trail which necessitates closing the trail each Monday at 7:00 a.m. through Thursday at 5:30 p.m., through October 17th, while the trail continues to undergo a major facelift. The trail will be open weekly from Friday through Sunday during the rehabilitation project.

For more information about trail closures, please visit the Park’s website or call the Backcountry Information Office at 865-436-1297.

For more information on hiking the Chimney Tops Trail, please click here.

Hiking in the Smokies


Sarah said...

Awesome Job, the Bridge looks Great!!

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Agreed - can't wait to check it out!