Newspaper article News Sentinel

Do Knoxville: Hikes, Bikes and Other Outdoor Activities

Newspaper article News Sentinel

Do Knoxville: Hikes, Bikes and Other Outdoor Activities

Article excerpt

GET OUT

Outdoor KnoxFest is two full days of urban adventure April 26 and 27 from a bicycle seat, stand up paddle board, canoe, trail, climbing wall, slack line and more. The Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center at Volunteer Landing will be the hub for this year's activities that encourage people of all ages and levels of experience to participate. The festival showcases Knoxville's outdoor amenities with a spotlight on the Urban Wilderness, a 1,000- acre urban playground minutes from downtown.

For a complete list of clinics, trail rides, rock climbs and more, go to www.outdoorknoxville.com/outdoorknoxfest

TAKE A HIKE

The local Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club will host these outings in May:

May 3 Dayhike: Spruce Flats Falls & Meigs Creek Trails, Great Smokies. Rated moderate. Preregister with BJ and Bob Perlack: perlack@aol.com; 229-5027.

May 10-11 Backpack: Gilliland Creek, Great Smokies. Total hiking distance is 10.5 miles. Backcountry camp fee $4 per person; check with the leader about reservations status. Rated easy. Pre-register with Warren or Carol Devine, 483-7894 or warrendevine@comcast.net.

May 17-18 Backpack: Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, NC. Hiking distance will be about 9.2 miles total with substantial elevation gain. Rated difficult. Preregister with Will Skelton: H 523-2272; Cell 72-7327; whshome@bellsouth.net.

May 24 Take-a-Hike, Biodiversity Tour: Rabbit Creek Trail, Great Smokies. This 5.4 mile hike from Abrams Creek to Campsite 16 and back will feature understories of mountain laurel, blueberry, and huckleberry with an open canopy of pines and oaks. Rated easy. Preregister with Mac Post at 865-806-0980 or mpost3116@aol.com (email preferred).

May 31 Wildlife Float: Rankin Wildlife Management Area, Douglas Lake. 3 to 5 miles of flatwater paddling. Arrange your own canoe rentals if you need a boat. Preregister with Ron Shrieves: phone 922- 3518; ronaldshrieves@comcast.net (email preferred).

JUNIOR RANGER DAY

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will celebrate National Junior Ranger Day from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 26, with special activities at Sugarlands Visitor Center, Cades Cove Visitor Center and Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

Children and their families can join in a variety of free, hands- on activities including ranger-guided walks, historic toy making, talking to a wildland firefighter, making dinner bells at a blacksmith shop, and visiting touch tables with animal skins, skulls, and scat. Information about specific programs is available at each visitor center.

Children can earn their free Junior Ranger patch by completing three specially planned activities. A Junior Ranger booklet is available for those who would like to explore the park in more depth. The Junior Ranger booklets can be purchased for $2.50 each at park visitor centers. The booklets are designed to serve a variety of age targeted groups from 5-12.

Junior Ranger Day will run in conjunction with the park's annual Music of the Mountains festival at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Families are encouraged to stop in and listen to Appalachian music that will be featured in the theatre from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

There will also be an opportunity for middle and high school students at Sugarlands Visitor Center on April 26, to participate in a salamander monitoring project from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. This project will provide a "behind the scenes" look into a real science project that has been an on-going study for many years in the park.

For information about Junior Ranger Day, contact Lloyd Luketin at 865-436-1292.

For information about Music of the Mountains, call 865-436-1291.

For information about the salamander monitoring project, contact Emily Guss at 865-736-1713.

PLANT SURVEY

A new section of the Cumberland Trail, from Black Mountain to Windlass Cave will be the site of a botanizing expedition on Saturday, April 26. Led by botanist Larry Pounds, the outing will highlight the variety of plants and habitats influenced by sandstone and limestone geology. …

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