Join the Great Smoky Mountains Association and naturalist Liz Domingue for a 3.5 mile round-trip hike on the Thomas Divide Trail next Saturday. This trail, located off Newfound Gap Road on the North Carolina side of the park, was built by the CCC in 1934.
It has moderate uphill and downhill grades. You'll encounter a forest of Eastern hemlock, yellow birch, American beech, and several species of maple. Many fallen chestnut logs can be seen on the forest floor.
Every season will reward you with diverse vegetation, and if Nature proves herself early as she has been known to do this year, you may be rewarded by some impressive displays of Turk's cap lilies and wild bergamot.
As always, wear appropriate hiking gear. Bring rain gear and bottled water, along with a snack or lunch. A hiking stick is recommended.
Since the trailhead can be hard to locate, Liz recommends meeting her at Sugarlands Visitor Center at 9:00 a.m. on July 7, and car-pooling from there.
This hike is limited to 20 participants. There is a $5 fee for GSMA members, and a $10 charge for non-members. Children under 10 years of age are not encouraged to take part in this hike. Children 10-12 are welcome and there is no charge for them.
Call 865-436-7318, Ext. 222 or 254 to register.