Set your New Year resolution to celebrate the National Park Service’s Centennial and experience America’s most visited national park on guided hikes with Friends of the Smokies. View breathtaking vistas, rushing waterfalls, historic homesteads and much more tucked away in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the 2016 Classic Hikes of the Smokies Series.
Friends of the SmokiesClassic Hikes of the Smokies Series totals 100 miles in celebration of the National Park Service’s Centennial in 2016. The hikes feature trail interpretation, history and information about park projects that donations to Friends of the Smokies support. Hikes are lead by hiking guide and author Danny Bernstein.
This year’s hikes include Little Cataloochee, Porters Creek, Hyatt Ridge, Charlies Bunion, Mt. Sterling, overnight at Mount Le Conte, Mt. Cammerer, Deep Creek, Double Springs Gap, Noland Creek and Grotto Falls.
Participants on the hikes will learn how donations made to Friends of the Smokies help fund stewardship projects in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These projects include native trout management, hemlock wooly adelgid treatment, historic structure preservation, Parks as Classrooms program, and elk management.
Monthly membership guided day hikes are $20. New members may join Friends of the Smokies and hike for $35. Donations benefit the Friends’ Smokies Trails Forever program. Register for all ten hikes for the price of eight by mailing a check for $160 to Friends of the Smokies, 160 S. Main Street, Waynesville, NC 28786. Registration for the overnight hike to Mt Le Conte opens Jan. 20, 2016. Additional information and registration for individual hikes at www.Friendsofthesmokies.org/product/hike-the-smokies/
The first Classic Hike of 2016 is Tuesday, March 8th to Little Cataloochee. This hike is 6.6 miles round trip and is moderate in difficulty with a total elevation gain of 1,450 feet. Participants will visit a historic chapel, cemetery and cabin on this hike.