Join Friends of the Smokies for a guided hike along Kephart Prong Trail, followed by a visit to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Mountain Farm Museum, Saturday, March 17.
This is the easiest hike in the series and is a great kick-off to the Classic Hikes of the Smokies series. I’ll be leading a four-mile hike on Kephart Prong Trail to the shelter and back. The trail is full of cultural artifacts including a former CCC camp.
I have my notes ready for the cultural part but it’s been so warm that I better be prepared for spring flowers as well.
We’ll also visit the nearby Oconaluftee Visitor Center, featuring interactive exhibits that tell the cultural history of life in the Smokies. The most exciting part is a ranger-guided tour of the adjoining Mountain Farm Museum, a collection of historic log buildings gathered from throughout the Smoky Mountains and preserved on a single site. Buildings include a house, barn, applehouse, springhouse and smokehouse.
Hikers should come prepared with food, water and appropriate hiking gear for the all day excursion.
If you’re a member, they ask for a donation of $10 to the Trails Forever program. Otherwise you can join right there a the meeting point. Members who bring a friend hike for free.
Want to sign up? Call the Friends of the Smokies North Carolina Office at 828.452.0720. When you sign up, they’ll give you all the details of where and when to meet.