Chimney Tops Trail – Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains

Before the fires of November 2016, we went hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a cold, cloudy day in December. The Chimney Tops Trail, accessed from the New Found Gap Road, is a 4-mile, round-trip moderate to difficult trail. Hiking through the clouds for almost the entire approach, we were pleasantly surprised when we neared the summit and finally walked beyond a thick fog into sunny, clear blue skies. Only the tops of the mountains were poking out through the dense smoke, resembling islands in an ocean of clouds. What a glorious moment!