Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Temporary Closure of Chimney Tops Trail

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the temporary closure of the Chimney Tops Trail from Tuesday, November 12 through Thursday, November 14, 2013 to stabilize trail renovation areas for the winter season.

Since April 2012, the Park’s Trails Forever Crew has been rebuilding the trail as part of a three phase project to renovate the popular trail. The crew constructed rock steps along the first 1.2 miles of trail in the steepest areas to prevent erosion along with redefining sections of trail that have become unsafe or difficult to navigate. Crews also improved trail drainage by modifying water bars, constructing drainage structures, and building raised turnpike structures out of sustainable materials to prevent further erosion.

Phase 1 renovations were completed in 2012 from the trailhead to the trail juncture with Road Prong Trail, but Phase 2 progress was significantly impacted and delayed in 2013 due to January floods and the partial government shutdown. Work will resume in the spring to finish Phase 2 renovations and begin Phase 3 work. These sections along the remaining 0.8 mile of trail include the most continuous technical trail reconstruction needed on the entire rehabilitation project.

Trails Forever is a partnership program between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Friends of the Smokies with generous support from the Knoxville based Aslan Foundation. Through this partnership, the Park has performed major trail renovations on Forney Ridge Trail along with the ongoing work on Chimney Tops Trail.

For more information about trail closures, please call the Backcountry Information Office at 865-436-1297.

Hiking in the Smokies

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