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Wednesday, 27 August 2014 00:00

News for hikers

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Hike to hit high point of the park

A hike above the clouds on the reconstructed Forney Ridge Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will allow hikers soak up vistas from the highest point in the park while enjoying a bevy of improvements to the trail itself on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

This September installment of the Classic Hikes of the Smokies series, organized by the Friends of the Smokies, is moderately difficult and will include 7.2 miles of trail, 1,600 feet of elevation gain and commentary from hiking guide author Danny Bernstein. The route begins on the Appalachian Trail and Mountains-to-Sea Trail up to Clingmans Dome, continuing along the improved Forney Ridge Trail out to Andrews Bald. 

The hike will also give participants a chance to see Friends of the Smokies donations put into action. Rebuilt stairs, redirected waterflow and improved walkability all make the pathway safer and more enjoyable. The trail work was carried out by special crews under the Smokies’ Trails Forever program, which is currently finishing a major overhaul of the park’s Chimney Tops Trail. 

$10 for members; $35 for nonmembers with a one-year membership included. Members who bring a friend hike free. All donations benefit the Smokies Trails Forever program. 

Carpools available from Asheville, Maggie Valley and Gatlinburg. Register with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.452.0720. Monthly hikes listed at


Nantahala Hiking Club works the trails 

A work hike Saturday, Aug. 30, will give Nantahala hikers the chance to give back to the trails they cover.

The outing will include a 5-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail from Burningtown Gap halfway to Telico Gap and back. Participants should bring their own food and water and wear long pants, boots and gloves, with clothing packed for changeable weather. The Nantahala Hiking Club will furnish tools and supervision. The group will meet at the Nantahala Hiking Club clubhouse, 176 Carl Slagle Rd. in Franklin, at 9 a.m. Newcomers and families welcome. 

RSVP to Bill Van Horn, 828.369.1983. 

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