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Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:29

Hit the trail with kids in the Smokies

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out smokieskidTwo hiking programs aimed at getting families and kids outdoors and on the trail have been launched in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

• Hike the Smokies encourages families to hike shorter, less-strenuous trails and offers them an opportunity to record the number of miles hiked in a booklet designed especially for the program. The booklet contains a spot for family members completing 10 and 40 miles to display special stickers awarded for achieving those two milestones. Special lapel pins will be awarded to those completing 25 and 50 miles.

• The Adopt a Trail program gives parents and children an opportunity to help maintain a short, kid-friendly park trail. As trail adopters, families help preserve the beauty of a park trail by keeping it trash-free and reporting large maintenance needs to the park. After five maintenance trips, families receive a special certificate and lapel pin in recognition of their work.

The Park also offers traditional ranger-led hikes. Many of these are opportunities for children to complete fun activities as well as to learn about the park’s plants and animals. Some hikes also incorporate learning how to properly prepare for hiking in the park’s backcountry. Schedules for ranger-led hikes may be found in the Smokies Guide, which is available at any park visitor center or by calling 865.436.7318, 828.497.1949 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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