Press release from Friends of the Smokies:
Lace up your boots Tuesday, December 11 for this year’s final Classic Hike of the Smokies on Kephart Prong Trail. This out-and-back hike follows the beautiful water of Kephart Prong to Kephart Prong Shelter, and highlights a historic fish hatchery, railroad, and Civilian Conservation Corps camp. To celebrate all the miles hiked in 2018, Friends of the Smokies will hold a small potluck gathering at Oconaluftee Visitor Center afterwards.
Hike leader Rob Howard has been hiking the hills of WNC since moving to the area in 2010. Job assignments some years ago in Norway and Scotland kindled his interest in mountain hiking, and he’s taken advantage of the great opportunities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the surrounding areas since settling here.
The Kephart Prong hike is a fundraiser for Trails Forever, a partnership between Friends of the Smokies and the National Park Service. Trails Forever funds a full time trail crew to reconstruct and rehabilitate some of the park’s most impacted trails. A member of the trail crew will join the hike to discuss rehabilitating trails, including Chimney Tops, Forney Ridge, Alum Cave, and Rainbow Falls.
Meeting locations for the daylong excursion will be in Asheville, Waynesville, and at the trailhead. To learn more or register for any Classic Hike visit Hike.FriendsOfTheSmokies.org. Individual hikes are $20 for current Friends of the Smokies members and $35 for new and renewing members.