Friends of the Smokies met a challenge grant from the Aslan Foundation of Knoxville to raise $4 million for the Trails Forever endowment.
A small group of donors hiked the Forney Ridge Trail with the Trails Forever crew and volunteers to experience the results of this major trail reconstruction program. Nearly 1,000 donors from 37 states have contributed to the endowment so far.
A half-million dollars in gifts and pledges from the friends and family of Knoxville wellness advocate Tom Cronan were instrumental in meeting Aslan’s initial challenge match. Local hikers who make annual donations to Friends of the Smokies in memory of Margaret Stevenson added another $42,000 to the Trails Forever balance.
Since they have finished the reconstruction of Forney Ridge Trail the new priority project will be Chimney Tops Trail.