Starting on Oct. 30, 2012 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will close the Chimney Tops trail Monday through Thursday every week for roughly three years to do trail maintenance and recovery. The Chimney Tops trail has been a favorite for nearly all visitors that grace the Smokies. The trail will still be open on weekends.
Chimney Tops is long overdue for trail maintenance and beautification. Because of its heavy travel, the areas both on and off the trail have suffered. Protecting the biodiversity and this specific habitat is extremely important to the National Park Service, which is why park representatives have chosen to close this trail temporarily.
Chimney Tops is without a doubt one of the most traveled trails in the Smokies. Subsequently, Chimney Tops also has some of the highest carry-out numbers of any trail in the Smokies. People get too excited at the thought of a great view and a short distance and roll their ankles like no one’s business. Please be careful and wear ankle support unless you just really want to be carried out by a pack of park rangers.
Chimney Tops is only four miles round-trip and provides some of the best views in the Smokies. Chimney Tops combines the appeal of a steady, gradual climb with literal rock-scrambling for the last 40 feet of the trail. The imminent fear of falling off the peak makes the view even more worth it to most hikers.