Monday, February 23, 2015

2015 Classic Hikes of the Smokies Schedule

Friends of the Smokies has recently published their schedule for the 2015 Classic Hike of the Smokies. This year's installment of guided hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will feature interpretation and leadership by author and hiking expert, Danny Bernstein. Each hike highlights an achievement or cause Friends of the Smokies has supported in the Park. The following is the schedule for all hikes this year, which occur on the 2nd Tuesday of each month:

March 10: Smokemont Loop
6.2 miles, 1,400 ft ascent, moderate
Features: Historic chapel and cemetery
Highlight: Public Safety Treatment of Ash Trees

April 14: Caldwell Fork
9.4 miles, 1,650 ft ascent, moderate
Features: Union graves, Woody house and wildflowers
Highlight: Artist in Residence Program

May 12: Lake Shore Trail
9.4 miles, 1,370 ft ascent, moderate
Features: Tunnel and history
Highlight: Equestrian Leave No Trace Training Program

June 9: Hemphill Bald
8.8 miles, 1,900 ft ascent, moderate
Features: Masonic marker and flowers
Highlight: Feral Hog Control

July 20-21: Overnight at Mount Le Conte
Boulevard Trail: 8 miles, moderate
Trillium Gap Trail: 6.5 miles, moderate
Features: LeConte Lodge, waterfalls, sunrise, park program, Spruce-fir forest and Balsam wooly adelgid
Highlight: Reduce Backcountry Bear Problems

August 11: Big Creek
Moderate hike: 10 miles, 1,100 ft ascent
Easy hike: 4 miles, 600 ft ascent
Features: Swimming hole and waterfalls
Highlight: Suppress Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

September 8: Boogerman Loop
7.2 miles, 1,600 ft ascent, moderate
Features: Stone walls, creeks and elk
Highlight: Elk Bugle Corps and SCA Interns

October 13: Purchase Knob
7.5 miles, 1,500 ft ascent, moderate
Features: Science Learning Center and ridgeline views
Highlight: Parks as Classrooms

November 10: Chimney Tops and Elkmont
4 miles, 1,300 ft ascent, moderate
Features: Trails Forever project, views and history
Highlight: Trails Forever Program

December 8: Noland Creek
4 miles, 800 ft ascent, easy
Features: Historic home sites, Bryson City
Visitor Center and Museum
Highlight: Water Quality Monitoring Program

To register for any 2015 Classic Hike of the Smokies, contact or 828-452-0720. To support the Smokies Trails Forever program, a donation of $10 for members and $35 for non-members is requested. Non-members receive a complimentary 1-year membership to Friends of the Smokies on their first hike. Members who bring a friend hike for free.


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