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Classic Hikes of the Smokies kicks off 2022 season

March 2, 2022

hikers on Little River Trail

by Haley Stevenson
FOTS Outreach and Marketing Coordinator

Discover America’s most-visited national park with a guided day hike! The ‘Classic Hikes of the Smokies’ explore some of Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s 800+ miles of trails.

Hikes vary in distance, difficulty and location within the park to provide a comprehensive overview of the Smokies. The hikes expose hikers to high Appalachian vistas, streams teeming with aquatic life, the best collection of historic log structures in the Eastern United States, and much more.

Hikes are led by members of the Friends of the Smokies Hike Advisory Team.

Click here to register for the 2022 Classic Hikes of the Smokies

March 8 – Cucumber Gap and Little River

Hikers crossing log bridge on Porters Creek Trail
Hikers crossed a log bridge over Porters Creek. The trail is a great location for seeing Spring wildflowers. Photo by Linda Spangler

5.4 miles | Moderate 
Wildflowers, River, Loop 
Hike leader: Danny Bernstein

April 12 – Porters Creek

7.4 miles | Moderate 
Wildflowers, Cascades, Out & Back 
Hike leader: Steve Winchester

May – Mt. Le Conte Overnight (special event)

Hike leader: Danny Bernstein

Clingsman Dome observation tower
Clingmans Dome, at 6,643 feet, is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On a clear day, the view from the observation tower can be 100 miles. Photo by Julie Dodd

June 14 – Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald

9 miles | Difficult 
Wildflowers, Views, Out & Back 
Hike leader: Steve Pierce

July 12 – Chimney Tops

4.4 miles | Difficult 
Trails Forever Project, Mountain Views, Out & Back 
Hike leader: Lynda Doucette

August 9 – Cataloochee Divide to Hemphill Bald

8.5 miles | Moderate 
Views, Historic Log Home, Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center, Out & Back 
Hike leader: Kevin Fitzgerald

Walker Sisters Cabin
Six of the Walker sisters continued to live in their cabin after GSMNP was established due to a special arrangement with the park. They did all their farming and housework, including spinning and weaving, and raising herbs.

September 13 – Twenty Mile Loop

7.8 miles | Moderate 
Forest Walk, Wildflowers, Loop 
Hike leader: Beth Ransom

October 11 – Walker Sisters Home

4.0 miles | Easy  
Forever Places Project, Forest Walk, Out & Back 
Hike leader: Billie Green

November 8 – Lakeshore Loop

9.4 miles | Difficult  
Old home-sites, Nature Walk, Loop
Hike leader: Dolly McLean

Hikers on Kephart Trail
Hikers on Kephart Prong Trail. The trail goes past the ruins of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp that was used from 1933 to 1942. Photo by Linda Spangler

December 13 – Kephart Prong

3.9 miles | Easy 
Historic CCC Camp, Forest Walk, Holiday Celebration
Hike leader: Mike Kneis

Hike registration

You must register in advance to participate.

The cost is $20 per hike for current members of Friends of the Smokies. The cost is $35 for new and renewing members of Friends of the Smokies (includes one-year membership and hike registration).

Trails Forever improves GSMNP trails

Proceeds from the Classic Hike series benefit Trails Forever.

Trails Forever logo

Friends of the Smokies established the Trails Forever endowment in 2012, thanks to a matching gift from the Aslan Foundation in Knoxville.

Today, the endowment has grown to more than $6 million and funds a full-time trail crew in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to reconstruct and rehabilitate some of the park’s most impacted trails.

The FOTS Trails Forever crew has restored Forney Ridge TrailChimney Tops TrailAlum Cave Trail, Rainbow Falls Trail, Trillium Gap Trail, and Abrams Creek Trail.

This year, the Trails Forever crew will be restoring Ramsey Cascades Trail.

Learn more about contributing to the Trails Forever endowment.

Thanks to our sponsors

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