This summer, from Sunday, August 7 through Friday, August 12, we are taking a group backcountry hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Backpacking is one of the best and most simple ways to enjoy the wilderness and the thrill of physical exertion. It is also a great way to form lasting bonds with others and grow in Christ as you experience His creation. Our hike is a moderate, 3-day 32 mile hike. You should expect long days, sore legs, beautiful views, and lots of fun. When we're done hiking, we'll drive to a nearby city, Gatlinburg, which is an exciting, walkable city full of attractions, places to eat, and a hotel with showers and real beds waiting to welcome us.
Who CAN GO?
This is a trip for all ages 14 and up. Whether you are 14 or 54, you're welcome. You don't need to be an experienced outdoor enthusiast to go. All you need is a good attitude and desire to grow personally.
When IS THE TRIP?
Sunday, August 7 through Friday, August 12.
WHAT IS THE ITINERARY?
Sunday 8/7: Depart from Community of Hope at 10:30 AM. We will drive to Big Creek Group Camp in Tennessee, and camp there for the night.
Monday 8/8: We will spend the day hiking 12 miles to the Laurel Gap, where we will camp for the night.
Tuesday 8/9: We will spend the day hiking 12.5 miles to Cosby Knob, where we will camp for the night.
Wednesday 8/10: We will complete our loop by hiking 7.5 miles back to Big Creek. Then, we'll hop in the car and drive to Gatlinburg, TN, where a hotel and showers are waiting for us.
Thursday 8/11: Free day experiencing the many attractions in Gatlinburg.
Friday 8/12: Return to Community of Hope. We should arrive by about 5:30 PM.
HOW MUCH WILL IT CosT?
For those who would like to stay in a room of four at the end of our trip, the cost per person is $118.00, which includes all transportation costs, camping permit fees, lunches and dinners while we're camping, and a two-night hotel stay in Gatlinburg. Meals and spending money for Gatlinburg are not included in this price.
For those who would like to stay in a room of two at the end of our trip, the cost per person is $172.00 which includes all transportation costs, camping permit fees, lunches and dinners while we're camping, and a two-night hotel stay in Gatlinburg. Meals and spending money for Gatlinburg are not included in this price.
What about Food?
Food on this trip breaks down into three parts:
On the way down:
We will stop for a fast-food lunch on the way to Big Creek. This is not included in trip cost.
We will provide three backcountry lunches and three dinners for you to carry in your pack. These are included in the cost of the trip. You are responsible for bringing your own breakfast items and snacks for each of the three days we're hiking. We'll give you lots of ideas and more information for what to bring at our pre-departure meeting.
AFTER CAMPING, IN GATLINBURG:
We will eat two dinners and one lunch out at restaurants in Gatlinburg. These are not included in the cost of the trip, so plan accordingly. Breakfast both mornings that we stay in Gatlinburg are included in the trip cost.
How do I Register?
Fill out the form below and turn in or mail a $100 deposit to Community of Hope Church. Our address is: 4470 Oakes Road, Brecksville, Ohio, 44141. The deadline to register is May 31. *Note: If you are thinking about registering but have a question you'd like answered first, feel free to use the form below.
What Will I need to Bring?
You can find a comprehensive list of suggested items to pack here. Don't worry if you do not currently own some of these items. If you desire to go on this trip, we'll help make sure you have everything you need. We will go over specifics at our pre-departure meeting and make sure to answer any questions you might have.