Archived Outdoors

‘Adaptive Adventures’ coming to the Smokies

Bikers explore Forge Creek Road in Cades Cove. NPS photo Bikers explore Forge Creek Road in Cades Cove. NPS photo

A trio of programs aimed at allowing people with disabilities to explore the outdoors will be held in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this summer, starting with an event Saturday, July 22, at Deep Creek Trail near Bryson City.  

The others are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 27, at Forge Creek Road in Caves Cove and Saturday, Sept. 9, at Little River Trail.

Rangers and volunteers will lead hiking programs July 22 and Sept. 9 using off-road wheelchairs and a biking program Aug. 27 with adaptive mountain bikes. Time slots for the July 22 program are offered 9-11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. After the scheduled hiking and biking programs, two GRIT Freedom Chairs, a type of off-road wheelchair, will be available for visitors to check out and use on park trails evaluated for the equipment.  

The programs are a partnership between the park, Knox County, Catalyst Sports and Friends of the Smokies. Volunteers are needed to make it work, and a volunteer training session is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 15, at the Oconaluftee Visitor Training Room near Cherokee. Each piece of adaptive equipment requires assistance from two volunteers.

To register as a volunteer, contact Katherine Corrigan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  To participate in one of the programs, registration is required with Catalyst Sports at

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