Park offers Mountains-to-Sea Trail hike, presentation May 4
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is offering an opportunity for visitors to learn about the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) on Saturday, May 4. Danny Bernstein, Great Smoky Mountains Association Board Member and author, will lead a two-hour hike on a section of the MST and later give a talk about her adventures hiking the entire length of the MST from Clingmans Dome to the Outer Banks.
The guided two-hour hike along Mingus Creek Trail begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 4 at the Mingus Mill parking area which is located on US 441 (Newfound Gap Road) about two miles north of Cherokee and 0.5 miles north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.
The 4.4 mile round-trip hike is rated easy to moderate but does have some steep uphill sections and an elevation gain of 800 feet. The trail follows the route of an old wagon road and passes through areas that were farmed in the days before the creation of the park. The hike also includes a visit to the Mingus Creek Cemetery.
At 1 p.m. Bernstein will give a talk on the porch of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center sharing her adventures hiking the entire 1,000 miles along the MST. She will discuss the highlights and challenges of hiking the MST as well as share pictures, maps, and stories that will captivate the audience including the unexpected and unusual sights she encountered along the journey.
Hiking participants should wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots and bring drinking water. Because weather in the Smoky Mountains can be unpredictable a rain jacket is also recommended.
Call the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at 497-1904. Park information is also available from www.nps.gov/grsm.