More than 70 fourth-graders and parents trekked across the Appalachians in Macon County as part of an annual student trip to Siler Bald. Eight hike leaders from the Nantahala Hiking Club — which is the Franklin-based Appalachian Trail Club — guided the children on the hike from Wayah Crest to Siler Bald, returning on the AT.
The field trip introduced hiking to students as a health living activity. On the hike, students learned about various plants and trees and the work required to maintain the AT as a primitive hiking trail.
Prior to the hike, the NHC gave a presentation to the students on the history of the AT, the preparations needed for a day hike and the principles of Leave No Trace outdoors ethics.
The outreach to the local school, provided by the NHC, is part of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Trail to Every Classroom program. The program’s key tenants are place-based education, service learning and volunteerism. To learn more about local hiking and volunteer opportunities to care for America’s first National Scenic Trail, visit www.nantahalahikingclub.org.