Thursday, March 7, 2013

First Classic Hike of 2013: a Deep Creek Circular

Great things come in threes. On March 19th, the third Tuesday of the third month of the year, Friends of the Smokies will embark on the first guided hike of the 2013 monthly Classic Hikes of the Smokies at Deep Creek, near Bryson City. To celebrate Friends’ 20th anniversary each hike this year honors an achievement or cause that Friends of the Smokies has supported in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) since Friends establishment in 1993. The Deep Creek Circular hike features the Parks as Classrooms program and is sponsored by HomeTrust Bank.

Friend of the Smokies hiking enthusiast and author of two regional hiking guides Danny Bernstein will be returning as our guide. She will lead Deep Creek hikers along 9 miles of trail with 1,600 ft. of elevation. Continuing with the theme of great things in threes, hikers will visit three waterfalls and three cemeteries. Hikers should also look out for a headstone that has an inscription meant to be read with a mirror.

Beginning on the Deep Creek Trail, participants will visit Juney Whank Falls and pick up the loop trail to Indian Creek Falls, hiking up a ways, and returning to the Deep Creek Trail back to the parking lot.

This hike celebrates the Parks as Classrooms program which utilizes Deep Creek as an outdoor classroom. Hikers will see sites students use in these programs and may feel like a kid again should they be lucky enough to see frogs or wildflowers as the season shifts to spring.

Friends of the Smokies, through the help of individuals, foundations, and businesses like HomeTrust Bank, helps support the approximately 18,000 students every year in Tennessee and North Carolina that receive curriculum-based education opportunities through the Parks as Classrooms program. These hands-on, ranger-led lessons utilizing GSMNP as an enormous outdoor classroom help foster a love for nature and inform the next generation of park supporters.

Participants will depart from Asheville at 8:30 a.m., Waynesville at 9:15 a.m. or Bryson City at 10 a.m. In support of the Smokies Trails Forever program, a donation of $10 for members and $35 for non-members is requested. Non-members receive a complimentary membership to Friends of the Smokies. Members who bring a friend hike for free.

You can pre-register for this, or any Classic Hike through Friends of the Smokies at or 828-452-0720.

Hiking in the Smokies

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