Starting in March, monthly hikes will be offered on the second Tuesday of each month, led by local Smokies enthusiasts incorporating unique perspectives on the trail into relaxed group hikes. The exception to the usual schedule will be Aug. 28-29, when the Classic Hikes event will be an inclusive overnight experience at Fontana Lake.
Hikes for this year are:
Caldwell Fork, May 9; 9.4 miles, 1,650-foot ascent.
Charlies Bunion, June 13; 8 miles, 1,650-foot ascent.
Alum Cave to LeConte Lodge; 10 miles, 2,600-foot ascent.
Overnight hikes at Fontana Village, Aug. 28-29, multiple hike options.
Boogerman Trail, Sept. 12; 7.5 miles, 1,150-foot ascent.
Purchase Knob, Oct. 10; 7.5 miles, 1,500-foot ascent.
North Shore Road Loop, Nov. 14; 9.4 miles, 1,350-foot ascent.
Little River/Cucumber Gap Trails, Dec. 12. 7 miles, flat.
Individual hikes are $20 for Friends of the Smokies members or $35 for nonmembers. Register for the entire series at the discounted rate of $160. Sign up at hike.friendsofthesmokies.org or mail a check for the entire series to Friends of the Smokies, 160 S. Main Street, Waynesville, NC 28786.
Proceeds support Trails Forever, a partnership between Friends of the Smokies and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to restore high-priority trails within the park.