Add a little outdoor-joy to the holiday season with a guided hike of the Mingus Creek Trail, followed by a trip to the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center for some Great Smoky Mountain history and holiday shopping. Friends of the Smokies members receive 15% percent off purchases—so bring your boots, your membership card and your wallet!
On Tuesday, Dec. 6, hiking enthusiast and author Danny Bernstein (Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Heritage) will lead this fourmile hike along the Mingus Creek Trail, interpreting the historic Mingus Mill, the Mingus family cemetery and a slave cemetery. The hike is easy to moderate in difficulty, has a total elevation gain of 700 ft. Hikers will also visit the nearby Oconaluftee Visitor Center, featuring interactive exhibits that tell the cultural history of life in the Smokies. The Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop within the Visitors Center features local foods, T-shirts, calendars and other fun gifts to help the Park and add a little Smoky Mountain cheer to your family and friends’ holiday celebrations.
Participants may gather to depart from Asheville at 8:30 a.m., or in Maggie Valley at 9 a.m. Meeting locations specified upon registration. Hikers should come prepared with food, water and appropriate hiking gear for the all day excursion. A donation of $25 to go to the Friends’ Smokies Trails Forever program is requested, and includes a complimentary membership to Friends of the Smokies. There is no cost to current Friends of the Smokies members.