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    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates National Trails Day

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Date: May 20, 2013
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (865) 436-1207
Contact: Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, (865) 932-4794

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will celebrate the 21st Annual National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1 with a volunteer opportunity to participate in Appalachian Trail Work Day. The Park will once again work with the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Regional Office of the AppalachianTrail Conservancy, and the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club to host this large volunteer event.

This work day event has taken place in the Park for the last 17 years and highlights the importance oftrails to recreation, education, and physical fitness as well as recognizes the important work performed by trail volunteers. During 2012, the park recorded over 30,000 volunteer hours of time to help maintain the over 800-mile trail system. Appalachian Trail Work Day provides an opportunity for the public to help care specifically for sections of the AppalachianTrail (AT)

Volunteers will be assisting in such work as the cleaning and replacing water bars, rehabilitating steps and turnpikes, and generally helping to main trail tread on sections of the AT between Icewater Springs Shelter and Silers Bald, Davenport Gap going south and NE from Low Gap.

The work day concludes with a barbecue picnic at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area for all registrants who will also receive a commemorative t-shirt. A registration fee for this activity will apply which goes to sponsor trail projects in the Smokies. Participants should wear sturdy shoes, bring lots of water and a lunch for the day.

For more information or to obtain a registration form, visit the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park website at: http://www.friendsofthesmokies.org/events.html or contact Holly Scott at 865-932-4794.

Did You Know?

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001.

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...