Alum Cave At-Home Adventure raises funds for GSMNP projects

May 14, 2020

Laura Webb

by Julie Dodd

You still have time to join the Alum Cave At-Home Adventure.

The Alum Cave At-Home Adventure is an opportunity to help support important projects for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The adventure also encourages you to do some “hiking,” even if you aren’t hiking in the park.

Alum Cave by Bob Carr
Alum Cave is one of the popular hiking destinations in GSMNP. Photo by Bob Carr

Participants register for the 4.6-Mile Alum Cave Round Trip Virtual Hike, the 10-Mile Mount Le Conte Round Trip Virtual Hike, or the Park Bench Virtual Sit.

Participants have until June 6 to raise funds and complete their mileage.

“We are thrilled by the outpouring of support from our Friends for this unique adventure, and have already raised more than $70,000 through the generosity of our donors and sponsors,” said Kathryn Hemphill, FOTS Special Projects Director.

Laura Webb, a FOTS board member, has completed hiking her miles for the adventure.

The photo at the top of this post was taken on her family’s property where she did her hiking.

She wrote about her enthusiasm for GSMNP and this FOTS initiative.

My family has a long love affair with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. My great-grandfather Charles A. Webb was instrumental in helping North Carolina rally around forming the park. In fact, he along with my father as a young boy attended the park’s dedication in 1940.    

As a child, our family would hike to Mt Le Conte with several other families and most frequently it was via the Alum Cave Trail.   

The Alum Cave At-Home Adventure helped me accomplish several goals: 

1) support the Park through the Friends of the Smokies and

2) get some much needed exercise during our Stay Home Stay Safe period.   

In fact, where I put in my miles was on cherished family property that my great grandfather bought back up in Jackson County, NC, back in the 1920.


Support provided by funds raised

By raising funds for the Alum Cave At-Home Adventure, you are helping support:

$15 will treat five fir trees for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (treatment lasts 5-7 years)
$30 will treat one ash tree for Emerald Ash Borer (treatment lasts 2 years)

$50 will purchase eye, ear, and hand protection for a Search & Rescue Ranger
$300 will purchase one all-weather jacket for a Search & Rescue Ranger

$75 will send six schoolchildren to a Parks as Classrooms program in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
$100 will educate one teacher at a Parks as Classrooms Teacher Workshop

Hike Swag for participants

Participants who raise at least $200 will receive an Alum Cave At-Home Adventure T-shirt and a finisher’s medal. Those who raise at least $500 also receive a FOTS logo hat.

Participants must fundraise at least $200 by May 10, 2020, in order to receive hike swag in the mail by June 6, 2020. Participants who meet fundraising requirements after May 10 will receive hike swag in the mail after June 6.

FOTS provides a Fundraising Guide to help participants develop fundraising messages to post on social media or email to family and friends.

A special thanks to the businesses that are supporting the Alum Cave At-Home Adventure.

Presenting Sponsors:

Sugarland Cellars logo

CNB logo


Additional Sponsors:

Home Federal Bank

Blalock Companies logo


Roberts and Stephens Attorneys at Law


Johnson Family of Restaurants