Reviewing the 2013 outdoor year in Western North Carolina

Chasteen waterfall

Lots happened in the outdoor world in Western North Carolina in 2013. Here in no particular order are the highlights of the outdoor year.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Biennial Conference is held at Western Carolina University. Almost 1,000 people shows up to hike, visit iconic sites and attend workshops.

Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail gets a North Carolina specialty license plate.

Carolina Mountain Club celebrates its 90th anniversary.

Carolina Mountain Club announces two new hiking challenges for its 90th year – 92 miles of the Appalachian Trail and 140 miles of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, that it maintains.

Friends of the Smokies runs a  full program of Classic hikes including an overnight trip to Fontana Village.

Dale Ditmanson, superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, announces his retirement.

A government shut-down closes the national parks for 16 days in October, one of the most visited times in the parks.

Mark Woods is named the new superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Heintooga Road in the Smokies is closed for the season because of the government sequestration, i.e. further budget cuts for the park.

Dupont State Forest finally gets a visitor center.

The Great Smoky Mountains Association turns 60 years old.

The Smokies implements a $4 per person backpacking fee.

In January, Newfound Gap Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park slides down the mountain shutting the road for a good while.


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