This is a group primarily for those who like to hike, but have difficulty getting up and being at a trailhead early in the morning, whether it's because you're just not a morning person, your schedule won't allow morning hikes, or for whatever reason. (Folks who also like to hike in the morning are certainly welcome to this group!). So let’s have fun together hiking in the Smokies, at Ijams, area parks, and other places, without having to worry about getting up early to do so!
In March 2020 I changed the name of the group from East Tennessee Afternoon Hikers to East TN Mostly Afternoon Hikers; this is to reflect the fact that I now welcome any other member to host hikes for any time of the day.
I plan to schedule mostly easy to moderate hikes usually no longer than five to six miles total. For all hikes rated more difficult than easy throughout, hiking shoes (preferably boots) and hiking poles are recommended. We will plan a mix of weekday and weekend hikes. I myself will not plan hikes for days that I know will be terribly crowded, such as in the Smokies on a weekend in peak season for wildflowers, fall colors, etc. Suggested hikes (for any days) are always welcome, and if you'd like to plan a hike yourself, just let me know, and we'll make it happen!
We don't always have to all stay tightly together, as some of us like to stop and take pictures or rest more than others, but please wait for others at questionable points in a hike such as trail crossings. In addition, for safety purposes and in consideration for the rest of the group, each hiker in our group must agree to always be with at least one other hiker in the group, if he or she decides to be ahead or behind the rest of the group. My main "policy" is that everyone needs to always be in sight of someone in our group either ahead of or behind them (we don't use sweepers). Everyone is expected to be especially mindful of the scheduled hike end times, and to be back at the end point by that time.
Please be sure there is a clear photo of yourself (reasonably close up, with yourself only, unless it is obvious which person is you) with your real name in your profile before RSVPing for an event, and preferably before joining the group. This is for everyone's comfort and security, and it allows us to recognize you! The Organizer reserves the right to remove and block members who do not adhere to this policy.
We encourage attendees to post photos from our Meetups (you don't have to be a "pro"--it's more about being social and sharing). If you can caption the photos with wildflower or other IDs, that will be great. All members are encouraged to comment with corrections and additions of ID's, if you can, even for photos of just leaves, insects, etc. Hiking is a great learning experience!
If you think you may be able to go to an event, please RSVP “Yes” so you can get notifications of any updates/changes for the event, and so that I will remember that you might be there. You can change your RSVP if you see that you cannot go.
In the event of a possibly rainy forecast, I may cancel or reschedule; I myself am not interested in hiking in the rain, but as some people are, as long as it’s not predicted to be stormy, and if someone agrees to be the event organizer, I may not cancel so that participants can use the site to share comments and photos. For iffy forecasts, I will use the National Weather Service website (weather.gov) for hiking area forecasts. Generally, I would like it to be no more than a 40% chance of rain. Check the site or your email as late as two hours before an event to confirm whether the Meetup is a go. If I decide to reschedule, please change your RSVP if applicable, especially if we have an attendance limit and some people may be waitlisted.
Carpooling is highly encouraged--sometimes trailhead parking areas are full, especially in the busier seasons and on weekends. Carpooling is also better for the environment. For hikes where a trailhead may be difficult to find, I will try to find a place on the way that would be easier to get to. Note: I usually close RSVPs about 24 hours before an event. Members with two no-shows without an acceptable reason may be removed from the group. These policies are in place to make our experiences better for everyone!
After joining this group and paying your dues, you are welcome to join our Facebook group. This is where most of the photos and videos will be posted: