Popular trail reopens for busy summer

The bridge that washed away on the Chimney Tops Trail has been replaced. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- One of the most popular hiking trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is back open.

The Chimney Tops Trail has been closed for months since heavy rains washed away a 70 foot bridge that crosses one of the creeks.

"It's taken some time for us to repair it and repair it correctly, We wanted to fix it in a way that it won't be damaged in future events," said Molly Schroer, spokesperson for the National Park.

Schroer says sequester didn't play a role in the repair project and that much of the work was paid for through donations by the Friends of the Smokies foundation and other groups that donate to the park.

"They're really nice projects and they're really good visitor services. we're lucky we get these donations through Friends of the Smokies and through our association to help us out," Schroer.

The NPS plans to continue rehabilitation of the trail through the fall. Closures during phase 2 will take place Monday - Thursday.

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