Enjoy autumn at Purchase Knob and Hemphill Bald

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE: Friends of the Smokies’ Classic Hike on Oct. 10 will traverse the ridgetops from Purchase Knob to Hemphill Bald. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Smokies

Press release from Friends of the Smokies:

Catch the colors of autumn from the ridge tops of Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Friends of the Smokies Tuesday, Oct. 10 Classic Hike. This 7-mile out-and-back hike ascends 1,500 feet from Purchase Knob to Hemphill Bald.

The group hike will feature spectacular views and a stop at Ferguson Cabin, which was built in 1874 and is the highest log cabin in the Smokies. Hikers will also be treated to a brief presentation from national park rangers about the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center. The learning center is a part of a network of centers that support research and education in our national parks. It also provides a space for Parks as Classrooms education programs.

Beth Ransom, accomplished hiker and Smokies supporter, will lead the hike. Beth has hiked many trails both inside and outside the park, and recently completed the Camino del Norte, a pilgrimage to Santiago, Spain, that travels several hundred miles.

Meeting locations for the daylong excursion will be in Asheville, Waynesville and at the trailhead. Visit hike.friendsofthesmokies.org 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 provides the opportunity for a highly skilled trail crew to focus reconstruction efforts on high-use and high-priority trails in the park.

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