Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Enjoy springtime in the mountains with Friends of the Smokies

Experience Friends of the Smokies’ Classic Hike to Big Creek on Tuesday, April 11 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The ten-mile round-trip hike will follow the trail lined with blooming wildflowers, sparkling cascades and clear pools along Big Creek including Mouse Creek Falls and Midnight Hole.

Dolly McLean, an Asheville resident, horticulturalist, and avid hiker, will lead the moderately strenuous hike: “I love that we have a national park nearby. My first hike at Big Creek was in late summer, so it was lush and green. I'm hoping to see abundant wildflowers in April.”

Friends of the Smokies staff will highlight the treatment of the Smokies’ ash trees against invasive species. Emerald Ash Borer, a non-native wood-boring beetle that feeds on both species of ash trees in the park, has been confirmed in several areas of the park. Friends of the Smokies provides support to prevent hazard tree dangers along roads, campgrounds, picnic areas, and popular trails, and protect the high ecological value of backcountry ash trees.

Meeting locations for the daylong excursion will be in Asheville, Waynesville, and at the trailhead. Visit to register for any Classic Hike of the Smokies, sponsored by Mission Health.

Monthly guided day hikes in the Classic Hikes series are $20 for members. New and renewing members may join Friends of the Smokies and hike for $35. Donations benefit Friends of the Smokies’ Trails Forever program, which supports trail rehabilitation in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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