Friends of the Smokies Guided Hike Explores Andrews Bald
On Thursday, June 21, visit a newly renovated trail in the Smokies, a section of the Appalachian Trail and the start of the Mountains to Sea Trail—all in one hike! Hiking enthusiast and author Danny Bernstein (“Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Heritage”), will lead this hike to Andrews Bald. This 7.2 mile “Classic Hike of the Smokies” is moderate in difficulty and has a total elevation gain/descent of 1,600 ft.
This hike will include the Forney Ridge Trail, the site of a three-year trail reconstruction project by the Trails Forever program in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Trail crews and Park volunteers worked to reconstruct the trail by installing drainage structures, constructing staircases out of locust wood and native rock, as well as a few elevated turnpikes and even a plank walkway or two.
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 Purchase Knob in July and Mt. Cammerer in August.
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.