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Outdoors

The crew of Appalachian Tree Services of Franklin helped remove several large trees and brush debris from the Monteith Farmstead in Dillsboro, N.C. The firm generously offered their labor and equipment to support the efforts of the Appalachian Women’s Museum (AWM). Over the past several months the AWM has worked to improve the grounds of the farmstead in a number of ways with support from members of the Jackson County Golf Club and other volunteers.

The Appalachian Women’s Museum is a recognized 501c(3) non-profit organization whose goal is to create a museum that will chronicle the rich and diverse history of Southern Appalachian women.

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Shed those winter layers and get on the trail with Friends of the Smokies for the first Classic Hike of the season and discover Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On Tuesday, March 10, hike the Smokemont Loop Trail led by hiking guide and author Danny Bernstein.

The Smokemont Loop Trail is 6.2 miles in length with a total elevation gain of 1,400 feet and is moderately difficult. Hikers will visit the historic Lufty Baptist Church and the secluded Bradley Cemetery named after a family that settled in the region in the early 19th century.

 

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The impact of successful festivals and events on the economy of the 26 westernmost counties of North Carolina will be the subject of a daylong tourism industry conference Tuesday, April 21, presented by the Western Carolina University College of Business.

Titled LEAD:Tourism, the conference is expected to attract elected and appointed government officials, representatives of tourism and economic development organizations and chambers of commerce, and owners and operators of private sector businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry.

The focus on planning festivals and events designed to lure visitors to Western North Carolina arose during last year’s inaugural tourism conference, said Steve Morse, director of WCU’s Hospitality and Tourism Program.

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The Wilderness Society’s Southern Appalachian Office and Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine have teamed up to present the Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge in celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act. As of January 2015, more than 400 hikers, representing 21 states, have registered to participate in the Dirty Dozen, and registration remains open. The challenge officially began in September 2014 and runs through September 2015.

“We’ve been amazed by the overwhelming interest in the challenge thus far,” said Brent Martin, Regional Director for The Wilderness Society. “The photos and hike descriptions we have received from hikers are inspiring and truly speak to the beauty and unique qualities of the designated wilderness areas within our region. We hope this will give participants an incentive to explore areas they might not otherwise have visited, and an appreciation for these natural treasures.”

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