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Wednesday, 17 December 2014 00:00

News for hikers

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Hike Chunky Gal

A 7-mile hike along Chunky Gal Trail in the Standing Indian Area of Nantahala National Forest in Macon County will take in Deep Gap and go to Glade Gap on Saturday, Dec. 20. 

The area’s name comes from a Cherokee legend about a chubby maid who fell in love a man from another tribe. The woman abandoned her family, who weren’t happy with the match, to traverse the mountains to be with the one she loved. 

The group, led by Nantahala Hiking Club, will meet at 8 a.m. in Franklin and make the 23-mile drive to the trailhead. RSVP to Don O’Neal, 828.596.5723. No dogs. 

 

Master plan in the works for Mountains-to-Sea Trail

As the Mountains-to-Sea Trail nears completion, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is looking to finish a master plan for the trail’s management by late 2015. 

The plan will chart a path toward official designation of remaining portions by setting priorities for completing trail subsections. It will also unify regional planning efforts, identify potential new partners and funding strategies and establish guidelines for signs and publicity.

Planning Communities will prepare the plan for a contract price of $125,000, supported through the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. 

Public input will be a major component of the plan, so the Division of Parks and Recreation is looking for people to get involved. 

“It’s important to have a guiding document that will focus our efforts for a project that has captured the public’s imagination since it was proposed in the 1970s,” said Mike Murphy, state parks director.  

The 1,000-mile trail corridor will ultimately link Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the coast. Nearly two thirds of the cross-state route — including nearly all of the distance from the Tennessee line to Stone Mountain State Park north of Boone — has been completed as a continuous, off-road trail experience.

To get involved, visit www.ncmountainstosea.org/get-involved-with-the-master-plan.

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