What we're about

Our group organizes and participates in hikes and outdoor activities covering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee Parks, National Forests, and other venues as suggested by members. This group is based out of the Maryville and Knoxville TN area, some members from as far away as Florida. We have hikes and adventures planned for almost every Saturday and Sunday every month and anyone interested in joining us is more than welcome to join. We are an open venue with suggestions for hikes from light to strenuous hikes from all members of the group. As the weather gets warmer, we do organize some evening moonlight walks or hikes as an alternative to the day hikes. We have two or three 'Hike and Camp' weekend events every year in one of the Park campgrounds. And if you enjoy back country camping, we do that also, but the spaces on those usually fill up fast due to back country permit availability. Hiking, rock climbing, skiing, biking, river rafting and a cookout thrown in every now and then! This is a great way to exercise, appreciate nature and meet some new people. We are lot of fun, so join up!!!

Please go to the 'About' menu option on the GSHAG home page to learn more before you join our group, or click the following link on a desktop or laptop.


----You must have a clear, current, close up, face forward, head and shoulders *only* photo of you, for your profile photo, and list it as your main photo to join---- Only one person in the photo please ...You! - so we can recognize you at events!

Upcoming events (3)

"Double Trouble" Hikes - Pt 2 - Clingmans Dome > Davenport Gap - Extreme


This event is the second of two, that would allow the hiker to complete the entire AT through the GSMNP on 1 separate hiking day, each.

If you are qualified and are interested, please join the Wait List. Depending on the interest level, the hike will go live.

If you are only interested in the CD>Davenport Gap hike, please sign up this hike. If you are only interested in the CD>Fontana hike please sign up for the June 18 hike instead. They are separate hikes.

The Double Trouble Series of hikes pairs two Extreme length hikes together over a series of weekends, with each designed to be a solitary day hike, spanning 14-16 hours of hiking time.

The inaugural hike will target the completion of the Appalachian Trail within the GSMNP in two separate hikes. Each will begin at the Clingmans Dome tower, and travel south or north for 32, or 39 miles, respectively in a single day.

Needless to say, hikers should be in excellent physical, medical, and mental condition to attempt these hikes. Hikers should be regularly hiking[masked] mph, over 20+ miles, with[masked]’ of elevation gain, at slopes between 500 and 700 feet per mile.

** If you have not hiked with me before, please send me a Meetups Message, or an email to lane.decost.gshag AT gmail.com, outlining your qualifying experience. **

Hikers will assume all responsibility for their own well-being throughout the hike. While hikers may choose to hike as a group, they should not assume that hike leaders or other hikers will provide any aid, support, or guidance during the trip, and all hikers should plan to be self-supporting throughout the entire hike. (See additional info below)

Because we will be hiking at high elevations throughout the trip, we will cancel the hike if there is a significant risk of thunderstorms for extended periods of time during the hike. Otherwise, the trip goes rain or shine.


Option 1 - AT North – Clingmans – Davenport Gap – 39 Miles +7,096’/ -11,673’

Option 2 - AT North – Newfound Gap – Davenport Gap – 31 Miles +5,906’/ -8,918’

First Light 5:52 / Sunrise 6:22
Sunset 8:52 / Last Light 9:22
Daylight Hours 14:30 (15:30)
Estimated Hiking Time 14-16 hours

* Hikers should bring a headlamp and a backup light, 2 liters of water, and sufficient food to get through the hike. **

We always suggest carrying the 14 essentials when going onto the woods. You can download a pdf file here that discusses these essentials. https://db.tt/6TXGHbeTsg

AT North
Map => https://tinyurl.com/2p8mv8jp
Profile => https://tinyurl.com/257yts79

Meetup organizers/leaders are not guides. Expect the same risks and take the same precautions you would take if you were hiking alone. You are solely responsible for your own safety and well-being.

By signing up for and/or attending this Meetup event you acknowledge, understand, accept, and agree that hiking and other activities can be dangerous and can cause serious bodily injury and possible death. The organizers of this group and current and former members cannot be held responsible or liable in any way for the actions of any participant-including you- at any event.

All attendees participate at an event at their own risk and are solely responsible for any damage to their property and/or any injury to themselves or their guests. By signing up for this event you affirm that you understand this disclaimer and that you knowingly and voluntarily agree not to bring any type of claim arising out of or related to this Meetup event against Lane DeCost, the organizer of this event.

Lane DeCost - 900 Miler x2 / AT section hiker / Search and Rescue team member

Backpacking to see the Perseid Meteor Shower Friday-Saturday 08/12-13

Needs a location

Depending on weather conditions, we will go watch the meteor shower at Big hump. Meet at Carver's gap parking lot at 3 PM and backpack 8.6 miles to big or little hump. We will probably arrive at dusk, so bring a headlamp. You need to have backpacking equipment.
There will be a full moon that night, however we should be able to see the showers! You can find more info here Perseids Meteor shower. Saturday, we will turn around and descend to the cars.

Things to know:
*there is no water at either little or big hump, we will resupply on the way, so make sure to bring a camelback water pouch or else to get water for the night.
You will have to carry for approx. 2 miles 4 to 6 pounds of water from the water refill station for cooking, drinking and coffee in the morning + your adult beverage!
1 liter of water = 2 pounds
* Temps are always cool up on the balds, so bring jackets, hat and warm clothes
* please see elevation gain on map provided below
* Bring a flashlight

Gaia map Print map and come with an understanding of the route.

Release of Liability:
The organizer of this trip is a volunteer and not a professional guide. The function of the organizer is only to organize this trip. If you sign up or participate in this event you acknowledge that you freely and voluntarily agree to assume all risks of injuries, illnesses, and damages arising from, as a result of, and associated with this event. In addition, you acknowledge that you agree to the Meetup terms: https://www.meetup.com/terms

Let's Hike, Camp, Relax, Reflect, and Feast, Fall Camp Out, Bring It!

Needs a location

We scored an October Date! The FAll Campout, Big South Fork Group Campground, Fall colors should be at their peak. So much to see and do in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

Group meals, libations, lots of trails and a great campground. There is a huge fireplace in a pavilion that will keep us warm and dry. Plenty of hiking opportunities will be available.

You might say that autumn is the BSF’s wheelhouse. When the northern Cumberland Plateau is decked out in the orange and red hues of fall, there are few places in Tennessee that are as spectacular.

Bandy Creek Campground is located in the Tennessee portion of Big South Fork off of Highway 297, 15 miles west of Oneida and 24 miles east of Jamestown.

We Have Group Camping E1 Booked, it has a pavilion completed with tables and a fireplace. The site holds maximum of 114 and a maximum number of cars at 38. Access to bathhouse with hot showers!!

To reserve a spot for 3 nights; be one the first 30 people to pay $15. Easiest way is to use Venmo @JD-Schlandt, or send a check to 110 Hillcrest Street Clinton TN 37716; or you can use PayPal and the account is [masked] (please denote as friend transfer, I am not selling you a bill of goods 😊 You can share your TENT with others, but we are restricted to 38 vehicles and 114 campers. $15 is a heck of a deal and everyone needs to pay!

Additionally, the camp-ground offers a total of 181 campsites: 96 trailer sites which offer water and electric hook-ups, 49 sites for tent camping. All campsites include picnic tables, fire rings, and access to restrooms and showers.

Campground reservations for sites within Big South Fork can now be made through National Recreation Reservation Service by calling[masked] or online at the National Recreation Reservation Service https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232506

For a map of Bandy Creek Campground Click Here https://www.nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/upload/Bandy-Creek-Campground-Map-2015.pdf

Firewood and snacks can be purchased at the Bandy Creek Stables along with a few other items. Ice can be purchased at the Bandy Creek Visitors Center.

The Big South Fork area has numerous trails that snake through the Recreation Area, offering mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding for visitors. A swimming pool, along with on-site volleyball court, playgrounds and ball fields, make Bandy Creek an ideal spot for families. The main river of the Big South Fork is also a short walk away, offering Fishing and kayaking

Hikes and other events will be posted separately.


Photos (66,250)