Trails Forever had a big celebration yesterday at Clingmans Dome in the Smokies. The occasion was big, though the celebration itself was very low-key.
Trails Forever is a program that will fund a trail crew in Great Smoky Mountains National Park – forever. Friends of the Smokies received $2 million from the Aslan Foundation, a Knoxville foundation, and has worked hard to match it. With the four millions and more that will need to be donated, the Trails Forever program will fund a third crew to work on big, big trail projects.
Last year, Forney Ridge Trail was the first trail to be rehabilitated with this funding. See the before and after picture on National Parks Traveler. This year, Chimney Top Trail will receive this deluxe treatment.
Although Forney Ridge Trail was finished last year, Friends of the Smokies and the Park officially cut the ribbon yesterday. See the picture above.
Dale Ditmanson, superintendent of the Smokies, spoke about the importance of this project in perpetuity.
In addition to officials of various groups, Tobias Miller and Christine Hoyer were there.
They’re the folks who actually plan and work on the trail and organize volunteers. They showed off their maintenance truck, which houses all their tools. It’s like a garage, with much better organization.