On Thursday, July 19, join the next “Classic Hike of the Smokies” and meet a Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ranger, admire the stunning mountain views while lunching on top of Hemphill Bald, and explore the secret hideaways of The Swag Country Inn’s Nature Trail. Hiking enthusiast and author Danny Bernstein (“Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains”), will lead the hike from Purchase Knob to Hemphill Bald. This 7.5 mile hike is moderate in difficulty and has a total elevation gain/descent of 1,500 ft.
The hike will include a talk from a Park Ranger on the fascinating work done at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center. Hikers will also visit the The Swag’s Nature Trail, a two-mile loop that includes a swinging bridge, working water-wheel, and hidden pond.
Participants may gather to depart from Asheville at 8:30 a.m. or Waynesville at 9:00 a.m. Meeting locations specified upon registration. Hikers should come prepared with food, water and appropriate hiking gear for the all day excursion. A donation of $35 to go to the Friends’ Smokies Trails Forever program is requested, and includes a complimentary membership to Friends of the Smokies. A donation of $10 is requested from current Friends of the Smokies members. Members who bring a friend hike for free.
“Classic Hikes of the Smokies” occur on the third Thursday of every month. Other hikes in the 2012 series include Mt. Cammerer in August and Big Creek in September.
To register for any of the hikes, contact Friends of the Smokies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-452-0720. For more information, including a complete list of the North Carolina Classic Hikes series, visit www.friendsofthesmokies.org. Information about helping with the improvements to these special trails can be found at www.smokiestrailsforever.org.
– Friends of the Smokies