Summer hike adventures abound

May 30, 2014

Kick off summer with two special hikes with Friends of the Smokies. First, join Friends on Tuesday, June 10, for an interpretive hike to Hazel Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Then, July 8-9, stay at The Buckhorn Inn and enjoy two Classic Hikes of the Smokies lead by Danny Bernstein and Brent McDaniel.

On June’s Classic Hike of the Smokies, hikers will enjoy a boat ride across Fontana Lake and a choice between two special hiking opportunities.

The interpretive, staff-led hike is easy in difficulty with a round trip distance of 4 miles. A GSMNP ranger will join the hike sharing the rich cultural history of the Fontana Lake area as hikers visit old home sites and historic lumber mills along the way.

For hikers wanting an opportunity to explore deeper into one of the more remote areas of the park, Smokies 900M challenge member Gracia Slater will be leading a longer hike further up the Hazel Creek watershed.

The June Classic Hike which includes boating across Fontana Lake is $35 for members and $60 for non-members who will receive a one-year membership. Space is limited and pre-payment is required. Carpools will leave from Asheville, Waynesville, and other areas by request.

Tuesday, July 8, join Friends of the Smokies and hiking guide Danny Bernstein for an overnight experience in the Greenbrier area of the park. Participants will enjoy an easy hike on Tuesday in the historic Little Greenbrier community followed by a reception and dinner with park rangers.

Overnight accommodations will be at The Buckhorn Inn near Gatlinburg, TN. On Wednesday, hikers will choose between a strenuous 12-mile hike along Cove Mountain Trail and a moderate 6.5-mile hike around Albright Grove Loop.

Single occupancy rates start at $190 for Friends members. Double occupancy rates and private cottages are available. Register before June 2 for the early-bird discount. Space is limited.

To register for the June Hazel Creek Classic Hike of the Smokies or July’s Greenbrier Overnight, contact or 828-452-0720. For a complete listing of Friends’ monthly Classic Hikes of the Smokies, visit Information about support for trail improvements in GSMNP may be found at