Great Smoky Mountains National Park staff and partners invite volunteers to participate in a service opportunity in celebration of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1. The national park is once again working with the Friends of the Smokies, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Regional Office, and the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club to host this large volunteer event on the Appalachian Trail.
This annual work day event has taken place in the park for 23 years and highlights the important work done by volunteers and the importance of trails for recreation, education, and physical fitness. The Appalachian Trail Work Day provides an opportunity for the public to help the Appalachian Trail Maintainers with important trail projects that might not otherwise get accomplished. The work done on the Appalachian Trail during National Trails Day provides hikers with a safe, enjoyable trail experience and protects the resources around the trail.
“This event provides a great opportunity for park supporters to help maintain the Appalachian Trail,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Focusing such a large volunteer effort on one of the highest used trails in the park is a great way to honor National Trails Day and have lasting positive impact on the experience of thousands of hikers how use the trail each year.”
Volunteers will assist with a variety of projects, from cleaning and replacing water bars, rehabilitating steps and turnpikes, to improving trail tread on sections and packing in mulch along the Appalachian Trail between Icewater Spring to Silers Bald and Davenport Gap to Mt. Cammerer.
Pre-registration is required to allow for proper planning for the projects. Tools and safety equipment will be provided. This event is free to participate and all those who participate will receive a commemorative t-shirt. The work day concludes with a picnic at the Twin Creeks Picnic Pavilion. Participants should wear sturdy shoes, dress appropriately and bring lots of water and a lunch for the day.
The registration deadline is May 15. For more information and to register for this work day, visit the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club website. You may register online at www.smhclub.org/forms/NTD2019.htm or you may print and mail the form to the address listed on the form. If you need additional assistance, contact Diane Petrilla at 931-224-5149.