• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Chimney Tops Trail Bridge Repair Complete

A new bridge on the Chimney Tops Trail replaced one that was severely damaged in a flood.
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News Release Date: July 3, 2013

Great Smoky Mountains National Park crews completed bridge repairs on 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 January when high flood waters destroyed the pedestrian bridge across Walker Camp Prong at the beginning of the trail. 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.

Beginning Monday, July 8, 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 17 while the trail continues to undergo a major facelift.

For more information about trail closures, please visit the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm or call our Backcountry Information Office at 865-436-1297.

Did You Know?

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001.

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...