Outdoor Journal

Just passing through: The 12th annual Trailfest will seize downtown Hot Springs on April 27, 28 and 29.

It’s a celebration timed to coincide with the brief window when northbound Appalachian Trail hikers are stoically marching through the Madison County town.

If only they’d step off the trail for a moment, hikers would get to hear the dulcet tones of singer Eliza Lynn, the Barrel House Mamas and old-time duo Dana and Sue Robinson. Moreover, they could forget their blisters by watching Scottish dancing, ogling crafts, joining in something called “duck races” and more.

If you’re close to a computer, visit www.hotspringsnc.org for details about the free event. If you’re on the trail, put an ear to the ground for the distant strains of roots music.

Is it fragrant in here, or is it just me?: Diamond Brand Outdoors and sandal honchos Chaco Shoes are partnering to aid the long-suffering people of Nepal.

The aforementioned businesses are doing good by encouraging folks to bring clean and usable sports sandals, hiking shoes or hiking boots to the Arden outfitter from April 21 to May 6. In addition to a 30 percent discount on a new pair of Chaco sandals, participants get the piece of mind of knowing that their old kicks are going to a good cause.

The dZi Foundation (dzifoundation.org), which promotes education, health and welfare among Nepal’s indigenous communities, will disinfect the shoes and distribute them to monasteries, schools and safe houses in the faraway mountain kingdom.

For more information about the shoe-donation drive, contact the Diamond Brand Outdoors footwear department at 684-6262.

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