Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials will reopen Friday the Chimney Tops Trail that’s been closed since the Chimney Tops 2 wildfire occurred in late November.

The trail’s extended closure allowed park crews to design and develop a section that will provide a safe and sustainable gathering area for hikers to enjoy views of Mount LeConte and the Chimney Tops pinnacles.

“We are excited to complete the work on the Chimney Tops Trail in time for the fall color season in Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” Clay Jordan, acting superintendent, said in the release. “We understand that many people have a strong emotional tie to the Chimney Tops Trail and its reopening has been a priority for moving forward in our recovery from the fire event.”

Due to heavy damage, however, Jordan said the top section of the trail will remain closed until further notice.

One of the most popular trails in the Park, the Chimney Tops Trail provides a short but steep climb through mature forests with several bridges crossing over mountain streams.

The release said Chimney Tops hikers must remain within the open section of the trail and refrain from exploring beyond closed areas, which will be closely monitored by Park staff throughout the upcoming season.

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