We Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Great Smokies.

You are always welcome to join our weekly hiking outings in the beautiful, rugged Smokies and surrounding natural areas here in East Tennessee. Try your hand at some high-elevation trail maintenance on the Appalachian Trail. Participate in conservation efforts to preserve our natural heritage.

Since 1924, the SMHC offers adventure and fun for all kinds of people.. like you. Join us!

SMHC Outings and Events for January:

2 – Mon: Seven Islands State Park
4 – Wed: Oak Ridge North Ridge Trail
7 – Sat: Lumber Ridge/Spruce Flats Branch Manway
14 - Sat: Knoxville History Hike
14 - Sat: Easy Hike – Metcalf Bottoms and Little Briar Gap
21 - Sat: Loyston Park Mountain Biking
21 - Sat: Loyston Park Hiking
25 – Wed: Oak Ridge North Boundary Trail
28 - Sat: Cooper Road/Abrams Falls Loop

Our listing of January hiking outings, work trips, and events. The listing contains contact information for outing leaders, meeting places and times, and outing descriptions.

A work trip is scheduled for Sat, Jan 14, in conjunction with the 2017 Southern Hiker RUCK*. Maintainers from the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC), Smoky Mountains Hiking Club (SMHC), and Appalachian Long Distance Hiking Association (ALDHA) will be working on repairs to the Wesser Observation Tower and trail rehab in the area.

We will meet at the Basecamp Dining Hall at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, Wesser NC at 8:30. We will then shuttle people to Tellico Gap and hike into the work site. We plan to complete the work around 12:00 and return to NOC Basecamp for lunch by 1:00.

Tools will be provided, but if you have a favorite trail tool that you would like to bring, please do. Wear sturdy footwear and bring work gloves, safety glasses, snacks, and drinks.

Contact Franklin LaFond at 678-464-3380 ox97game@aol.com for more information and to sign up for this event.

* Southern Ruck: An Appalachian Trail Hiker Get-Together held annually at the Nantahala Outdoor Center Wesser, NC

Friends of the Smokies announce the 2017 Evergreen Ball fundraiser and seek volunteers for the event

"The 2017 Friends of the Smokies Evergreen Ball will be on Saturday, January 28th at 6pm at the Cherokee Country Club. The Friends are hoping to recruit up to 80 volunteers to help with the dinner and auction gala (from set up to clean up).

How can you help? You can VOLUNTEER -- our biggest need for volunteers is during the Ball itself on Saturday evening and we also have volunteers that assist during Friday and Saturday to set things up. You can also SPREAD THE WORD -- to other potential volunteers who might be interested in joining in. In the wake of recent events in and around the park, many people have been asking how they can help the park. This is ONE way that they can -- the park needs the support more than ever!

On Friday (27th) we will begin setting up for the big event. Volunteers available on Friday will work on a number of things, including preparing the table favors, moving and organizing silent auction, and the initial ballroom set up. Volunteers interested in assisting on Friday will be scheduled in shifts between 10 am and 4 pm.

The transformation of the Country Club continues during the day on Saturday (28th) with silent auction set up, decoration of the ballroom, set up for registration, etc. Volunteers interested in daytime work on Saturday will be scheduled in shifts between 10am and 4pm.

The majority of volunteers are needed Saturday evening during the Ball. Volunteers working during the gala will need to attend a brief orientation session that will begin at 4:15pm at the Country Club to get acquainted with the volunteer assignments. A light dinner will be served prior to the start of the evening. These volunteers should expect to remain until at least 9:30pm, but we also need some volunteers to stay later to help with clean up (please let us know if you are willing to stay). Dress is casual and we ask that you wear khaki pants, a white shirt, and comfortable shoes of your choice. Volunteers will be assisting with many aspects of the event experience, including: registration, assisting guests at the silent auction, trailblazers to bid for guests during dinner, live auction spotters, assist guests with check out, etc.

On behalf of the Friends of the Smokies and the Evergreen Ball Committee, thank you for your help! The Ball is going to be great fun and, most importantly, great fundraising to support the Smokies!

If you are willing and able to help out this year, please email wishfulthnkr@hotmail.com no later than Thursday, January 12th. Indicate your preference for volunteering: 1) during the day Friday, 2) during the day on Saturday, 3) Saturday evening during the event or, 4) both day and evening on Saturday. For those volunteering to assist at the Ball, please let us know if you have a strong preference regarding your volunteer assignment and we will do our best to accommodate your preference. In your email response, please provide your name, home address and telephone number." Visit the Evergreen Ball webpage for more information.

SMHC Appalachian Trail Maintainers' Committee is 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.