Hike Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Most Improved Trail: Forney Ridge

Monday, August 18, 2014
Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome
- photo by Chris Hatfield
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.
 
To register for this or any upcoming Classic Hike of the Smokies, contact AnnaLee@friendsofthesmokies.org or 828 452-0720. For a complete listing of Friends’ monthly Classic Hikes of the Smokies, visit friendsofthesmokies.org/hikes.htmlInformation about support for trail improvements specifically in GSMNP may be found at smokiestrailsforever.org.

Star Party At Cloudland Canyon Park Is Nov. 1

The Barnard Astronomical Society is conducting Star Party at Cloudland Canyon State Park on Saturday, Nov. 1. The event  is hosted by Friends of the Park and Cloudland Canyon Park Staff. The first part of the program will be at the Canyon overlook, near the Interpretative Center, beginning at 4 p.m., where there will be at least 1 telescope for solar observations. ... (click for more)

TWRA Introduces Tackett Creek Unit Of North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area

The TWRA has entered into a lease agreement with Molpus Timberlands Management, LLC to lease 43,000 acres, which is being utilized as the Tackett Creek unit of the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. Located in both northeastern Campbell and northwestern Claiborne counties, the property, which has been historically used as a Public Hunting Area, is now in a five-year lease ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Firm Gets $1,010,000 Contract For Overseeing VW Expansion For New SUV Line

A Chattanooga firm is getting the contract for overseeing the construction work for the new SUV line at the Volkswagen plant. Officials said the EMJ Corporation has been selected for the project that will give a new surge of activity and employment at the plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. The work includes additions to the body shop and tech center and adding ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)