900 Miler Club to be focus of Smokies Life ReceptionPosted by | 04.14.2015
What does it take to score an invitation to this year’s Smokies Life Magazine reception? That’s easy – all you need is a marked up map and a pair of worn out boots, both of which show you’ve hiked (or are attempting to hike) all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Great Smoky Mountains Association, publisher of Smokies Life Magazine, has issued an open invitation to all hikers who endeavor toward membership in the 900-Miler Club to make plans to attend the magazine reception during the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in Gatlinburg, TN, Thursday, April 23. Food and beverages will be available starting at 5 p.m. in Mills Auditorium in downtown Gatlinburg, Tenn.
“This year’s program will feature special presentations by members of the elite 900-Miler Club, those hardy trekkers who have hiked every official trail in the national park,” said Steve Kemp, editor of the award-winning Smokies Life Magazine. “Reception attendees will learn out how they did it, why they did it, and how you can too.”
Danny Bernstein, author of the magazine article, is herself a member of the 900-Miler Club and a long-time GSMA board member. You might say hiking is a way of life for Bernstein, who has additionally completed the Mountains-to-the Sea Trail across North Carolina and the entirety of the Appalachian Trail. She, along with several other hikers mentioned in the story, are scheduled to attend the reception.
Hiking all the trails in the park is not an out-and-back proposition, she said. In fact, most cover significantly more ground during their effort. “Most 900-Miler Club members walk about 1,500 miles because they need to hike the same trail more than once to reach all the trails they haven’t hiked yet,” Bernstein writes.
The latest edition of Smokies Life Magazine includes several articles of interest to park goers. Contained within its pages is a historic retelling of how the Clingmans Dome tower came to be, another that explains the possibility that the American Chestnut might one day return to the area, and yet another that asks the question: “Are cougars living in the Smokies?”
The reception is open to the public free of charge and will be held in Mills Auditorium. Magazines will be available for sale during the event at the GSMA booth, which also serves as the exclusive site for official Pilgrimage t-shirts. All purchases support the park.