Two local trail organizations will join together to celebrate National Trails Day on June 1. The Nantahala Hiking Club and Bartram Trail Society have announced a hike for that day.
Hikers will begin at Wayah Bald at ten o’clock and follow the trail to Wine Springs Bald. This section of trails is shared by the Appalachian Trail and Bartram Trail and is three miles round trip.
Dr. Dan Pittillo, a botanist and a founder of the Bartram Trail will lead the hike.
A special feature will be a “Kids Hike,” led by Mary Bennett, Appalachian Trail Community Ambassador with the Nantahala Hiking Club. Ms. Bennett will discuss tips for planning hikes with families. Included in the Kids Hike will be such activities as a “Nature in Living Color Search,” writing a group Place Poem, and “A Fistful of Sounds.”
Hikers may continue a few miles farther to either Sawmill Gap (on the Bartram Trail) or Wayah Crest (on the Appalachian Trail).
The Bartram Trail Society has for the last 35 years built and maintained the Bartram Trail across almost 80 miles of mountains between the Georgia line and Cheoah Bald. The Nantahala Hiking Club, the Franklin based Appalachian Trail maintaining club, maintains sixty miles of the Appalachian Trail across Macon County, sponsors hikes every weekend, provides hiking support to local schools, and supports Franklin, NC as a designated Appalachian Trail Community.
National Trails Day, sponsored by the American Hiking Society annually brings together outdoor enthusiasts across the country. The celebration encourages all Americans to connect with local outdoor clubs, businesses, community groups, and parks and recreation departments as well as federal land managing agencies to experience, appreciate, and share the natural places they cherish.
More than 2,000 nationwide events will take place.
“Twenty years ago, American Hiking built National Trails Day around the idea that for one day each year we should come together outdoors and give back to our favorite trails. Since then, people from all walks of life have been coming out in increasing numbers on NTD to celebrate our trails and the great outdoors,” said Gregory Miller, American Hiking Society president.
The event is open to the public. Hikers are urged to bring their lunches and water and to wear good hiking shoes. The trail is moderate to easy in difficulty.
For more information, contact Jim Kautz of the Bartram Trail Society (jrkautz [at] frontier.com, 828-524-6593) or Bill Van Horn of the Nantahala Hiking Club (828-369-1983).