Monday, May 18, 2015

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates National Trails Day

Join park staff and partners on Saturday June 6, to celebrate National Trails Day with a volunteer opportunity to participate in an Appalachian Trail Work Day. The national park is once again working with the Friends of the Smokies, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Regional Office, and the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club to host this large volunteer event.

This work day event has taken place in the park for the last 19 years and highlights the importance of trails for recreation, education, and physical fitness as well as recognizes the important work performed by trail volunteers. The Appalachian Trail Work Day provides an opportunity for the public to help the Appalachian Trail Maintainers with important trail projects that might not otherwise get accomplished. The work done on the Appalachian Trail during National Trails Day provides hikers with a safe, enjoyable trail experience and protects the resources around the trail.

“We are excited to partner with these great trails groups for National Trails Day,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “This event provides a great opportunity for park supporters to help maintain the park’s trail system and learn about the park’s many volunteer opportunities.”

Volunteers will assist with a variety of projects, from cleaning and replacing water bars, rehabilitating steps and turnpikes, to improving trail tread on sections of the Appalachian Trail between Icewater Springs Shelter and Silers Bald.

The work day concludes with a picnic at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area for all registrants who will also receive a commemorative t-shirt. The registration fee for this event will support trail projects in the Smokies. Participants should wear sturdy shoes, dress appropriately and bring lots of water and a lunch for the day.

For more information and to register for this work day, visit the Friends of the Smokies website or contact Phyllis Henry at 865-577-2604.

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