The Friends of South Cumberland are dedicating their 2017 Hiking Challenge, “Hiking in Mack’s Tracks,” to Mack Prichard, State Naturalist Emeritus, for all he has done to advocate for nature, both here in the South Cumberlands and at dozens of other special places all across Tennessee.
The day starts with a brunch at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Dutch Maid Bakery, Tracy City. Prichard will be our keynote speaker. The cost is $12, payable at the door. All proceeds help the Friends of South Cumberland in supporting what is now Tennessee’s largest State Park. Friends memberships will be offered that morning at a $5 discount for all who join or renew at the brunch event.
Around 11:30 a.m., participants will go to the South Cumberland Visitor Center on Highway 41 in Monteagle to catch a courtesy van out to Raven Point on the Fiery Gizzard Trail. Everyone can walk the entirely new, rerouted portion of the Gizzard Trail, and take in all the amazing trail structures and work put in by our awesome Rangers and dozens of dedicated Trail Crew volunteers during the past 18 months.
The van shuttle will return to Raven Point and bring participants back to the Visitor Center in the afternoon. It’s an opportunity to experience the re-route without the 8-mile hike-in/hike-out from Grundy Forest, and a day not to be missed.
As with last year’s challenge (“Hike into History”), there will be two ways to “Hike in Mack’s Tracks”—Our Discovery Series hikes feature family-friendly, easy-to-moderate self-guided hikes on trails in the
park that follow many of the same routes as the 1970s-era expeditions Mack organized while building support for the creation of our park. Our Adventurer Series hikes offer more challenging, Ranger-led and often off-trail hikes features generally not visible from the trails. There is both a Discovery and Adventurer version of each hike in this Challenge.
Visit the Friends’ website and MeetUp page for more hike details.