Classic Hikes of the Smokies 2023 announced

February 24, 2023

Charlies Bunion - Classic Hike of the Smokies, June 2017

by Julie Dodd

The Classic Hikes of the Smokies launches another season of great hikes, beginning with the Jakes Creek Trail hike on March 14.

The hike series is the second Tuesday of the month, March through December, with hikes of different levels of difficulty. Each hike features special elements of the Smokies, from wildflowers to historic buildings to waterfalls to mountain views.

A member of the Classic Hike Advisory Team leads the hike, and another team member serves as “sweep,” bringing up the rear.

hikers on Smokemont Loop Trail
Smokemont Loop Trail – photo by Linda Spangler

March 14 – Jakes Creek

5.8 miles | Easy/Moderate
Wildflowers, Elkmont Historic District. Out & Back

Leader: Rob Howard
Sweep: Lynda Doucette

April 11 – Smokemont Loop & Chasteen Creek Falls

7.5 miles | Moderate/Difficult 
Wildflowers, Cascades, Forest Walk, Loop

Leader: Danny Bernstein
Sweep: Kevin Fitzgerald

May- TBD

Chimney Tops view
Chimney Tops – photo by Linda Spangler

June 13 – Chimney Tops

4.4 miles | Moderate/Difficult 
Wildflowers, Trails Forever Project, Mountain Views, Out & Back 

Leader: Billie Green
Sweep: Steve Winchester

July 11– Hemphill Bald from Polls Gap

9.4 miles | Moderate/Difficult
Mountain Views, Out & Back 

Leader: Kevin Fitzgerald
Sweep: Steve Pierce

Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower – photo by Bruce McCamish

August 8 – Schoolhouse Gap

4.4 miles | Easy/Moderate 
Wildflowers, Forest Walk Out & Back 

Leader: Beth Ransom
Sweep: Billie Green

September 12 – Mt. Cammerer Via Low Gap

11.2 miles | Difficult
Mountain Views, Forever Places Project, Historic Fire Tower, Out & Back

Leader: Steve Winchester
Sweep: Kevin Fitzgerald

October 10 – Charlies Bunion

Classic Hike - Deep Creek group
FOTS Classic Hike group photo on a bridge on the Deep Creek Trail.

8 miles | Difficult
Appalachian Trail, Mountain Views, Out & Back

Leader: Dolly McLean
Sweep: Steve Pierce

November 14 – Cove Mountain

12.4 miles | Moderate/Difficult 
Waterfall, Forest Walk, Shuttle

Leader: Steve Pierce
Sweep: Dolly McLean

December 12 – Deep Creek Waterfall Loop

5.5 miles | Easy/Moderate 
Waterfalls, Holiday Celebration, Loop 

Leader: Mike Knies
Sweep: Lynda Doucette

Register For Classic Hikes

Trails Forever logo

You must register prior to the hike.

Step 1: Review the Classic Hike of the Smokies Waiver here.
Step 2Register for your hike(s) and submit payment.

After completing registration, you will receive an email the Friday before the hike with directions, and more information. All hikes begin at 9 a.m. The cost is $20 for members and $35 for non-members.

Many of this year’s Classic Hikes are part of the 100 Favorite Trails Challenge. Charlies Bunion = #27, Chimney Tops = #22, Deep Creek Waterfalls Loop = #18, Hemphill Bald from Polls Gap = #37, and Smokemont Loop = #28.

Trails Forever Improves GSMNP Trails

Proceeds from the Classic Hike series benefit Trails Forever.

Special Thanks To Our 2023 ‘Classic Hikes Of The Smokies’ Sponsors:


Interested in sponsoring the Classic Hikes of the Smokies? Email marielle@friendsofthesmokies.org.

Top of page photo by Marielle DeJong, Classic Hike to Charlies Bunion