FOS hike Big Creek planned May 21

May 01, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo Enjoy a long scenic hike along Big Creek with blooming spring wildflowers and flowing waterfalls.


Join Friends of the Smokies for an Easy Scenic Hike Along Big Creek
Join the next Classic Hike of the Smokies for a waterfall and wildflower filled hike May 21 along Big Creek in GSMNP off I-40 near the Tennessee/North Carolina border. This hike celebrates Friends of the Smokies’ support for bear management by providing for the repair of food storage cabling systems in the park and is sponsored by Mast General Store.
Guest guide Lenny Bernstein will lead this 10-mile out and back hike which is easy to moderate, and has a total elevation change of 1,100 ft. Hikers will stop at Midnight Hole for a rest and a chance for the soaking of feet in the cold water on the return trip. Lenny Bernstein is a member of Friends of the Smokies, has hiked all the trails in the Smokies, and is the partner of Classic Hikes of the Smokies’ guide Danny Bernstein.
When hikers reach campsite 44 along Big Creek, they will see the pulley and cable system each Smokies backcountry campsite and shelter has. To increase the safety of both visitors and the bears, campers are required to use these cables to hoist their food and packs out of the reach of bears. Each year a number of these systems are damaged through use or by falling trees and must be replaced. Friends helps support this on-going project through a variety of means, including the long-time support from businesses such as Mast General Store. Mast over the years has not only provided equipment and advice to GSMNP visitors hiking, picnicking, and driving alike, they have also supported the Park financially in a multitude of ways.
Participants will gather for the all day excursion in Asheville at 8:30 a.m. or Waynesville at 9 a.m. In support of the Smokies Trails Forever program, a donation of $10 for current members and $35 for non-members is requested. Non-members receive a complimentary membership to Friends of the Smokies. Members who bring a friend hike for free.
To register for this hike, the two-day overnight Fontana Lake Experience in June, or any Classic Hike held monthly on the third Tuesday, contact Friends of the Smokies at outreach.nc@friendsofthesmokies.org or call 452-0720. For a complete list of the Classic Hikes, visit friendsofthesmokies.org. Information about support for trail improvements in GSMNP may be found at smokiestrailsforever.org.

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