- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - A project to reconstruct one of the most popular hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been extended through December.

The Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau said in a statement that trail work would continue through Dec. 11. Officials had previously said they expected work on the trail to be completed by mid-October.

Work on the trail began three years ago with funding from Trails Forever, a program that provides dedicated funding to address the park’s most heavily damaged hiking trails. Chimney Tops Trail had become badly eroded due to heavy use, rain and steep terrain.

The trail will continue to be closed Monday through Thursday for work and while opening Friday through Sunday for hikers to see improvements.

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