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Wednesday, 03 February 2016 00:00

News for hikers

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Get a jump on the A.T. experience

A course aimed at preparing wannabe Appalachian Trail thru-hikers for the trek will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, at Black Dome Mountain Sports in Asheville.

It is one of several courses hosted statewide by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and will cover all aspects of a long-distance A.T. attempt.

A 30 to 60 percent increase in thru-hikers is expected this year due to the movies Wild and A Walk in the Woods.

828.357.6542 or


Hiking challenge encourages people to get outside 

If your New Year’s resolution involves a vow to spend more time outdoors, the Hike 40 challenge issued from the American Hiking Society offers a goal to work toward. 

Participants can complete the challenge by logging 40 miles, 40 trails or 40 unique hikes between New Year’s Day and Oct. 13, which is the American Hiking Society’s 40th birthday.

The society is also using the challenge as a fundraising mechanism to support its work maintaining, advocating for and educating the public about hiking trails and opportunities in the United States. Participants log their hikes and miles to raise pledge money as they complete the challenge.


Monthly hikes through the Smokies scheduled

A new year means a new itinerary of monthly hikes exploring the most beautiful areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Friends of the Smokies. 

Each outing, led by hiking guide and author Danny Bernstein, involves trail interpretation, history and information about the park projects Friends donations support. 

The 2016 schedule for the Classic Hikes of the Smokies series includes hikes to Little Cataloochee, Porters Creek, Hyatt Ridge, Charlies Bunion, Mount Sterling, Mount Leconte, Mount Cammerer, Deep Creek, Double Springs Gap, Noland Creek and Grotto Falls. 

The series will kick off with a March 8 hike to Little Cataloohee. Hikes are $20 for Friends members and $35 for nonmembers, a price that includes a one-year membership.

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