This year is the 20th Anniversary of the Friends of the Smokies, an organization that assists the National Park Service in its mission to preserve and protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by raising funds and public awareness, and providing volunteers for needed projects.
To help celebrate this milestone, Friends of the Smokies will be offering guided hikes each month as part of their Classic Hikes of the Smokies series. Each hike will honor an achievement or cause that the Friends organization has supported in the park since its establishment in 1993.
This June the Friends group is offering a special overnight experience, which will honor support for the Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner Program. The "Fontana Lake Experience" will be held on June 18th and 19th.
- 11:00 a.m. Meet at Fontana Marina
- Boat ride to Hazel Creek with History Walk lead by local historian Lance Holland (author of Fontana: A Pocket History of Appalachia)
- Reception with Smokies Superintendent Dale Ditmanson at Fontana Village
- Gather for dinner
- Overnight accommodations at Fontana Village
Wednesday - Guided Hikes:
- Option 1: Shuckstack Firetower with Danny Bernstein, celebrated outdoor author, blogger, and
hiking expert (Honoring support for the Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner Program)
- Option 2: Lakeshore Trail with Keith Hoffman, AmeriCorps Outreach Associate, M.S. Biology (Celebrating pollination in the Park for National Pollinator Week)
* The Friends’ early rate: $130 for current members $165 for non-members / After May 15: $160/$195
* Double occupancy rates: $160/$195 / After May 15: $195/$230. Rooms with 2 queen beds at The Lodge in Fontana Village. Price includes room, round-trip boat shuttle to Hazel Creek, guided excursions, and reception. Meals are not included.
* Non-members also receive a complimentary one-year Friends membership.
Space is limited!
You can pre-register for this event through Friends of the Smokies at 1-828-452-0720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hiking in the Smokies