Guided hike to Caldwell Fork is Oct. 18

Oct 04, 2012
Photo by: Keith Hoffman photo EXPERIENCE THE SMOKIES — Come spend a day hiking in Cataloochee Valley, where hikers are likely to spot some elk in the shade.

Friends of the Smokies will offer a guided hike through history in Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Cataloochee Valley, Thursday, Oct. 18, on the Caldwell Fork Loop. Hiking enthusiast and author Danny Bernstein (“Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains”) will lead this 9-mile hike. The hike is moderate in difficulty and has a total elevation gain of 1,650 feet.

Attendees will see old home-sites, graves, and end with the Steve Woody House. In 2001, elk were reintroduced to the Park in Cataloochee. Hikers will see the holding pens where the elk were acclimated to the park and learn about one of the backcountry campsites, which are found throughout the Park. Hikers are asked to bring a trail map for a lesson in trail map reading.

Participants may gather for the all day excursion at 8:30 a.m. in Asheville or 9 a.m. in Waynesville. A donation of $35 for the Friends’ Smokies Trails Forever program is requested, and includes a complimentary membership to Friends of the Smokies. Current Friends of the Smokies members hike for $10. Hikers who bring a friend hike for free.

“Classic Hikes of the Smokies” occur monthly on the third Thursday. The next hike will be the Hyatt Ridge discovery hike near Cherokee in November.

To register for any of the hikes, contact Friends of the Smokies at or 452-0720. For more information, including a complete list of the North Carolina Classic Hikes series, visit Information about helping with the improvements to trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be found at