This is rated as a difficult hike, due to the ~3000 rise in elevation. But the reward is worth the 11.3 miles to get there and back. We will ascend via the Gregory Ridge Trail which has an average rate of climb of 535 feet per mile, which is about a 10% grade. Not bad. At the top we may be welcomed by the azaleas in bloom and maybe a viewing of a bear or two (or three or four). The azaleas usually are in bloom about mid June so we may be a little early.
We will eat lunch at the top then head back down. We may chose to eat dinner as a group somewhere in Townsend or Maryville. The group will decide when we get back. A good choice might be the Smoky Mtn Brewery between Maryville and Alcoa.
This is a classic hike, one everyone should have on their bucket list. So come if you feel up to it. But please contact me (Rick Harris) if you have any questions at [masked] or[masked] cell. Check out the hike on the web at http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/gregory.htm .
If coming from Cleveland, you may want to contact Randy Morris to arrange a shuttle from the Cleveland area at Home: Cell:[masked].
I will update those who sign up concerning the weather a day or two before the hike. If the weather looks like it might dangerous, we might reschedule the hike.
If you are driving straight to Townsend, we will meet at 9:30 AM in the parking lot of the Townsend Visitor Center which is on the right as you come into the town. From there, we will consolidate cars for the trip to Cades Cove and the trailhead. If you get lost or are running late, call me on my cell phone[masked]. Please try to be on time. See the map above for how to get to the visitor center.