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Trail reopens to top of Chimney Rock State Park

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CHIMNEY ROCK, NC (AP) -- After a four-month closure, the trail that leads to the top of Chimney Rock State Park is reopening.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported the park planned to reopen the Outcroppings Trail on Saturday. The elevator also has been closed since April, meaning there's been no access to the top.

The nearly $1 million trail project offers a safer climb, stunning views of the park, increased capacity and more landings to rest in between the 491 steps. The Outcroppings Trail leads from the upper parking lot to the Chimney stairs. It restores hiking access to the Chimney, Opera Box, Devil's Head and Skyline trail to Exclamation Point, the highest point in the park.

Park spokesman Matt Popowski says the elevator is scheduled to reopen later this spring.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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