Get on the path to adventure with 'Hiking in the Smokies 101'
Come join Friends of the Smokies in an evening filled with exploring the joys of hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Friends of the Smokies is kicking off its 2013 Classic Hikes of the Smokies series with two information sessions on hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). With Newfound Gap Road closed through a portion of the interior of GSMNP this is an opportunity to learn about alternative entrances, facilities, and hikes.
In "Hiking in the Smokies 101," Danny Bernstein, local author, guide of Friends’ monthly hikes, and hiker of all trails in the Smokies, will share her knowledge of how to prepare for hiking in the park including Smokies map reading. Gracia Slater, who has also hiked all the trails in GSMNP, remarkably without any camping, will present a day-hike equipment demonstration. Friends of the Smokies staff will share highlights from the dramatic accomplishments and upcoming challenges of the Smokies Trails Forever program.
Sessions begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Blue Ridge Books, in Waynesville and at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at REI, in Asheville. Pre-register for the REI Hiking in the Smokies 101 at rei.com/asheville. Attendees are encouraged to bring their personal map of the Smokies trails. Bernstein recommends the National Geographic map with the complete park. Friends will also have National Park Service GSMNP trail maps on hand.
With 2013 marking Friends of the Smokies’ 20th anniversary, beginning in March, each monthly Classic Hike of the Smokies highlights an achievement or program funded by Friends of the Smokies. Hiking in the Smokies 101 will help prepare people for the Classic Hikes and for enjoying the Smokies trails in general.
The sessions emphasize the importance of volunteerism and giving back to the Smokies as both Bernstein and Slater are volunteers. They are giving of their time and sharing years of hiking experience to help Friends increase its capacity to preserve, protect, and provide for GSMNP.
For more information about these presentations, Friends of the Smokies’ monthly Classic Hikes of the Smokies or how to help Friends support the Park, visit friendsofthesmokies.org. Information about helping specifically with improvements to trails in GSMNP is available at smokiestrailsforever.org.