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Weeping cherry trees add a splash of spring color along the sidewalks at The Shops at RiverWalk on the Highlands Road.

Photo by Betsey Gooder






Downtown Franklin was swarmed with Appalachian Hikers last weekend for the 5th Annual April Fools Trail Days. Beginning Friday night, hikers began pouring off the AT Trail into Franklin to enjoy a Hiker Bash at Franklin's Sapphire Inn. Refueling, restocking, and relaxing, the hikers enjoyed a "zero day" to get refreshed before heading back on the trail. The Hiker Bash, orchestrated each year by Sapphire Inn owner Ron Haven, featured good food, live music, and warm showers for the hikers.

On Saturday, hikers made their way around Franklin to enjoy music, food, and networking. Visitors stopped into Outdoor 76 on Main Street to restock on supplies...


The transition from active duty to civilian life poses challenges for any veteran. Recognizing that having to become reaccustomed with day to day life, and to set aside the training and instinctual reactions taught by the military as being no easy feat, Marine Corps Captains, Mark Silvers and Sean Gobin turned to nature to help become reassimilated into life after service.

On March 17, 13 veterans made their way to the Appalachian Trail to begin a six month thru hike of the trail as part of the Warrior Hike's “Walk off the War” program. The Walk Off The War Program is designed to support wounded veterans transitioning from military service by hiking the Appalachian Trail. This weekend, the 13 hikers will be stopping in Franklin to meet with members of the American Legion Post 108.


Soon the weather in Franklin, just like in the rest of the Southeast, will start to change. Flowers will begin to bloom, the snow will cease to fall, and hikers will file into town officially signally the beginnings of spring. Though there are many trails around the region that attract people from all over and of all different experience levels, none are more well known than the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).


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