Image by Steve Heap Getty Images

This hike is one of the park's most popular, thanks to its short length (3.5 miles round trip) and convenient location along Newfound Gap Rd. The view overlooking the twin peaks of Chimney Tops is striking. Unfortunately this was the flash point of the 2016 wildfires, and the last 400yd of the trail remain closed.

Much of a recent three-year, $750,000 trail renovation was spared from the fire, though the summit is badly damaged. Begin the uphill trek to the top after the trail crosses several streams, a rhododendron thicket and climbs through a mixed forest punctuated with giant yellow buckeye trees. After the first mile, the trail gets extremely steep, climbing up many steps before finally reaching a viewing platform with a splendid panorama.