“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Gatlinburg in Sevier County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Chimney Tops

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Chimney Tops Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, April 28, 2010
1. Chimney Tops Marker
Inscription.  Can you imagine smoke wafting from the chimney-like formations on this ridge? Nearly vertical holes in the tops of these jutting rocks make them look like natural chimney flues, and mountain people named them so—Chimney Tops. The Cherokees called the mountain Duniskwalguni, meaning ‘forked antlers.’

The half-billion-year-old Chimney Tops, made of slates, schists, and phyllites, sit atop even older rock—Thunderhead sandstone, a tough, erosion resistant rock. They chimney rock (Anakeesta Formation) is softer than the sandstone, allowing rain, hail, and ice—over hundreds of millions of years—to fashion its chimney-shaped likeness.

(Left Photo Caption)
The rugged Chimney Tops pierce the forest that cloaks most of the Great Smoky Mountain ridges. The bare rock offers scant soil for plants. Only shallow-rooted shrubs and trees like rhododendron, mountain laurel, red spruce, and eastern hemlock thrive here.

(Right Photo Caption)
Notice the dead trees on the adjacent slopes? They are eastern hemlocks, killed by tiny, non-native insects called hemlock wooly adelgids.
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The adelgids feed at the base of hemlock needles, cutting off nutrients and starving the trees to death. Using insecticides and biological controls park managers hope to save some hemlocks, but millions will be lost.

(Map Caption)
A steep, rocky, and rugged two-mile (3.2 km) trail leads to Chimney Tops and a panoramic view of the Sugarlands valley. The hike begins at the Chimney Tops trailhead, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) up the road from here.
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Natural Features.
Location. 35° 38.315′ N, 83° 29.573′ W. Marker is near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in Sevier County. Marker is on Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) 0.8 miles east of Chimneys Picnic Area #1 Driveway, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gatlinburg TN 37738, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named The Chimney Tops (approx. 1.1 miles away); Chimney Tops Trail (approx. 1.3 miles away); Lifeblood of the Mountains (approx. 2.7 miles away); Indian Gap Road (approx. 3.3 miles away); Mount Le Conte (approx. 3.3 miles away); Noah "Bud" Ogle Farm
Chimney Tops Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Google Street View (©2014 Google), August 2013
2. Chimney Tops Marker
View to southeast from Newfound Gap Road
(approx. 4.1 miles away); Land of Blue Smoke (approx. 4.2 miles away in North Carolina); “To the free people of America” (approx. 4.2 miles away in North Carolina). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gatlinburg.
Chimney Tops image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, April 28, 2010
3. Chimney Tops
As viewed from marker
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on February 22, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 728 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 22, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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Apr. 16, 2024