Soak up vistas from the highest peak in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingmans Dome, on the September Classic Hike of the Smokies. Hikers will also enjoy the fruits of the Smokies Trails Forever program as they walk above the clouds along the reconstructed Forney Ridge Trail. Hiking guide and author Danny Bernstein will lead this Friends of the Smokies hike on Tuesday, Sept. 9.
The hike is 7.2 miles in length with a total elevation gain of 1,600 feet and is moderately difficult. The hike will begin on the Appalachian Trail and Mountains-to-Sea Trail up to Clingmans Dome and continue along the improved Forney Ridge Trail out to Andrews Bald.
As participants hike along Forney Ridge Trail, they will experience how donations made to Friends of the Smokies benefit hiking trails in the park through the Trails Forever program. Major technical trail improvements include rebuilt stairs, redirected water flow off of the trail, and increased general walkability to promote a safe pathway for hikers to enjoy for generations to come. The Trails Forever crew is currently nearing completion of a major overhaul of GSMNP Chimney Tops Trail.
Hikers will also enjoy 360-degree views from Clingmans Dome, the highest point in Tennessee and the highest point on the Appalachian Trail. The hike will conclude with a stop at the Clingmans Dome Information Center, which has the distinction of being the highest park store east of the Mississippi.
Classic Hikes of the Smokies are $10 for current members and $35 for non-members who will receive a one-year membership. Members who bring a friend hike for free. All registration donations benefit the Smokies Trails Forever program.
Carpools from Asheville, Maggie Valley, and Gatlinburg available. Times and locations provided upon registration.