Pandemic changes trail season plans
With the pandemic still very much in effect as thru-hiker season comes around once more, trail season in Franklin will look a good bit different than normal.
- The Thru-Hiker Chow Down, traditionally a buffet-style meal for hikers hosted by the Nantahala Hiking Club, has been canceled.
- Easter on the Trail will take a different format this year. Instead of taking place as an organized group event, between April 2 and April 10 participants are encouraged to go out on the A.T. at any time and provide some trail magic along the way or set up a tailgate at any major A.T. crossing. Stay safe with tips at www.appalachiantrail.org/explore/hike-the-a-t/thru-hiking/trail-magic.
- The First Baptist Church in Franklin will hold its annual hiker breakfast from 7:15 to 8 a.m. each morning from March 15 to April 15, but with some changes from previous years. The church will not provide transportation to and from the church, and tables in the fellowship hall will be spread out with seating limited.
- Some NHC members are volunteering to shuttle hikers from the trail to Franklin, and Macon County Transit will also offer shuttle service.
Additional events and trail magic opportunities may be scheduled as the season unfolds. Check for updates at www.nantahalahikingclub.org.