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 $35 for each hike or $180 for all 10, which works out to one free hike. 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 13: Porters Creek. Hikers will discover wildflowers and cascades on this moderate 7.4-mile excursion.
- May 11: Baxter Creek to Mt. Sterling. A difficult 12.2-mile hike will yield views, wildflowers and an impressive fire tower.
- June 8: Smokemont Loop. Enjoy a walk through the forest on this moderate 6-mile loop.
- July 13: Flat Creek. This easy 5.2-miler takes hikers along a high-elevation creek.
- Aug. 10: Lost Cove Loop. Walk a difficult 11.8-mile route to experience the Appalachian Trail and Fontana Lake.
- Sept. 14: Mt. Cammerer. Incredible fire tower views and an Appalachian Trail route characterize this difficult 12-mile trek.
- Oct. 12: Noland Creek. Walk a moderate 8.4 miles along Fontana Lake and through autumn forest on this excursion.
- Nov. 9: Boogerman Trail. Experience Cataloochee Valley history, old growth poplars and elk on this difficult 7.4-mile hike.
- Dec. 14: Old Sugarlands Trail. Take a moderate 7-mile forest walk on this hike that will double as a holiday celebration.
Register at www.friendsofthesmokies.org.