Snow changes December Classic Hike destination

December 21, 2018

  • December Classic Hike 2018 hikers with GSMNP sign - photo by Linda Spangler

by Julie Dodd

Snow closed US 441 through the Smokies, but that didn’t keep FOTS hikers from getting in a December Classic Hike. But the snow did change the hike location.

Instead of hiking the Kephart Trail as scheduled, the hikers hiked the Oconaluftee River Trail.

The hikers started at the Oconaluftee Visitors’ Center, hiked the Oconaluftee River Trail with clear skies, and then ended up at the old Oconaluftee Visitors’ Center for a potluck lunch.

Rob Howard led the hike. Thanks to Linda Spangler for taking photos of the hike. (More of Linda’s photos from the hike are available on FOTS Facebook page.)

You can read more about the hike on Danny Bernstein’s blog.

This hike was the final of the ten Classic Hikes of the Smokies for 2018.


Each Classic Hike of the Smokies is $20 for members and $35 for new and renewing members, which includes a one-year membership. 

The hike is a fundraiser for Trails Forever, a partnership between Friends of the Smokies and the National Park Service. Trails Forever funds a full-time trail crew to reconstruct and rehabilitate some of the park’s most impacted trails. The crew has just completed restoration of  the Rainbow Falls Trail.

The Classic Hikes of the Smokies series is sponsored by Smoky Mountain Living, Mission Health, Diamond Brand Outdoors, Equilibar, HomeTrust Bank, Smoky Park Supper Club, and Leap Frog Tours.