Archived Outdoors

Hike the classics

The group crosses Kephart Bridge during a previous Classic Hikes outing. Friends of the Smokies photo The group crosses Kephart Bridge during a previous Classic Hikes outing. Friends of the Smokies photo

The 2022 Classic Hikes of the Smokies Series has begun. 

These hikes, offered the second Tuesday of each month, feature interpretation of the history, flora and fauna of some of the best trails in America’s most-visited national park. Hikes vary in distance, difficulty and location within the park. Registration is $20 for Friends of the Smokies members or $35 for non-members, which includes a one-year membership. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Smokies’ Smokies Trails Forever program, which funds rehabilitation efforts for high-use trails in the park. 

This year’s hiking schedule is:

  • April 11: Smokemont Loop and Chasteen Falls. Experience wildflowers, forests and cascades on this moderate-to-difficult 7.5-mile loop. 

  • May 9: To be determined. 

  • June 13: Chimney Tops. This 4.4-mile moderate-to-difficult hike shows off wildflowers and mountain views, along with the fruits of a previous Trails Forever project. 

  • n July 11: Hemphill Bald from Polls Gap. This moderate-to-difficult 9.4-mile hike offers spectacular mountain views.

  • Aug. 8: Schoolhouse Gap. Take a 4.4-mile easy-to-moderate stroll through wildflowers and summer forest. 

  • Sept. 12: Mt. Cammerer via Low Gap. Incredible fire tower views are the reward for this difficult 11.2-mile trek.

  • Oct. 10: Charlies Bunion. Walk a difficult 8 miles along the Appalachian Trail to take in spectacular mountain views. 

  • Nov. 14: Cove Mountain. This moderate-to-difficult 12.4-mile hike takes in a waterfall and autumn forest with a shuttle making the route possible. 

  • Dec. 12: Deep Creek Waterfall Loop. An easy-to-moderate 5.5-mile loop walks by waterfalls and doubles as a holiday celebration. 

Space is limited. Register at

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.