From Monday, October 27, 1924 to Monday, October 27, 2014:
Ninety Years of Outdoor Adventures!

Together, we continue to Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Great Smokies. Join us!

You are always welcome to join our weekly hiking outings in the beautiful, rugged Smokies with our experienced outing leaders. Or, try your hand at some high-elevation trail maintenance on the Appalachian Trail with experienced and friendly section leaders.

Today's SMHC offers many adventures and fun times for all kinds of people.. like you! We have easy hikes, hard hikes, backpacks, off-trails, photo contests, and cookouts, just to name a few things we do. Join us!

Our September outings, work trips, and events:

1 Mon - Starr Mtn & Gee Creek Falls
6 Sat - AT Work Trip
6 Sat - Chimney Tops Off-trail with Full Moon on-trail return
10 Wed - Ramsey Cascade Trail
14 Sun - Colditz Cove / Northrup Falls
20 Sat - Gunter Fork Falls

20 Sat - Old Sugarlands Trail and Cemetery
24 Wed - Alum Cave Trail- Mt. LeConte- Boulevard Trail- A.T.- Newfound Gap
27 Sat - Family Hike to Charlies Bunion (details below)
28 Sun - Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary Celebration Hike (details below)


Here is our listing of September hiking outings, work outings, and Club-wide events. This includes trail descriptions, meeting places, leader contact information - everything you need to participate. You do not have to be a member to participate, and we welcome guests and visitors who are interested in the Club.

Two Special Outings Just Announced for September

The first is the Family hike to Charlies Bunion. This will be on Saturday, Sept. 27. Our hike begins at Newfound Gap Parking Lot. Our first 2.5 miles will be an 1100' climb with several nice views. We will stop by Ice Water Springs and check out the Club's rebuilt shelter accomplished a few years back. Soon after the shelter we will arrive at Charlies Bunion, a dramatic outcrop of rock with tremendous views--if we are lucky enough to have a crisp fall day! Please invite family and friends along for this leisurely-paced hike.

Meet at the Alcoa Food City at 8:00. Hike 8 miles, rated moderate. Drive 100 miles RT. Leaders: Karen Brackett heartwork4@gmail.com and Priscilla Watts, sigmtngirl@earthlink.net

The second is the Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary Hike. This will be the following day, Sunday, September 28. As part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's weekend long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964, SMHC will be coordinating a hike from Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald. This scenic portion of the Appalachian Trail is part of the famous 1966 "Save Our Smokies Wilderness" hike led by Harvey Broome and others, during which more than 500 hikers came to or passed over Silers Bald. The return will be on the same trail with a steady climb gaining around 1200 feet in elevation.

Meet at Comcast on Asheville Hwy. at 7:30 or at the Sugarlands Visitors Center in the west side parking area, near the restrooms, at 8:30.

Round trip mileages: drive Comcast – Clingmans 120, Sugarlands - Clingmans 46; hike around 10, rated moderate.

Leaders: Ed Fleming edwrdflm@aol.com, Tim Bigelow bigelowt2@mindspring.com, Cindy Spangler spangler@utk.edu, and Hiram Rogers hiramrogers@yahoo.com

If you have questions about either these outings, please contact the leaders for more details. We hope to see you there!

SMHC Fall Photo Show and Contest
Friday, Oct. 10 at 7 PM
Cedar Springs Presbyterian, Knoxville, TN

Our photo show and contest will feature a very special guest, Club member Nan Woodbury. Nan recently completed an 8000 mile bike tour from California tp Chile, with many side trips for backpacking and touring. Nan will share pictures and stories from her journey, as well as display the bicycle she traveled upon. We will view pictures submitted by contestants, and select winners in a number of categories. This will be a fun time for photographers, cyclists, and outdoor enthusiasts. Join us!

We welcome all photo submissions for the show and contest. Submissions will be accepted from September 15 - 30. Send to Photo Committee Chair Chuck Janack at cwjanack1 at gmail.com

Free admission - open to the public. Everyone is welcome!

Challenges for SMHC Members in 2014

2014 will mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club in 1924 and the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. SMHC was organized in a large part to promote the protection of our Smoky Mountains through the establishment of a national park here. After that goal was reached, leaders of the club saw the need for a higher level of protection for the wilderness of the Smokies as was eloquently stated by Ernie Dickerman in his president’s message in 1950: “Linked with this increased appreciation of the human values of the unspoiled wilderness areas of our Mountains is an increased appreciation of the need to protect those wilderness areas, to preserve them inviolate so that those who come after us may know and love them too. We have the Park – thanks to the heroic work of many persons in earlier years – yet there are many pressures constantly busy which if their objectives were attained would effectively destroy the wilderness characteristics of this National Primeval Park. We propose in the coming year to make the preservation of the wilderness values of the Great Smoky Mountains an active and continuing part of the Club’s program.”

To commemorate these two significant anniversaries, the SMHC Board of Directors has elected to issue the following two challenges to club members:

1) To celebrate the 90th anniversary of SMHC, hike 90 miles of the more than 800 miles of maintained trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

2) To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964, hike 50 miles of the more than 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail maintained by SMHC.

Members who complete the required mileage of either challenge during 2014 will be eligible to receive a commemorative patch designed especially for that challenge. Report your hiking and to purchase your patches.

As a further challenge let’s all follow the lead of Ernie Dickerman, Harvey Broome, and all of the other past and present club leaders who have worked countless hours in their efforts to attain a higher level of protection for the wilderness of our beloved Smoky Mountains, and continue the climb to reach the designation of “Wilderness Area.”

The SMHC Appalachian Trail Maintainers' Committee is actively seeking volunteers for AT maintenance activities.

Our group maintains 102 miles of the AT in the Smokies and the Nantahala National Forest. There are lots of ways to help out, ranging from big projects, such as trail relocations and shelter construction, to easy clipping and waterbar cleaning. You can contribute on whatever level you are ready for. We provide all needed tools and training. It's fun work out in the mountains and it is a vital part of making the Appalachian Trail experience a great one for both dayhikers and thru-hikers alike.

If you'd like to find out more about Appalachian Trail Maintainers Committee volunteer activities, contact us and sign up today.