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Great Smoky Mountain Adventure: Appalachian History, Culture, Music and Railways

Program Number: 1381RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/28/2012 - 11/2/2012; 10/5/2014 - 10/10/2014; 10/12/2014 - 10/17/2014; 10/26/2014 - 10/31/2014; 4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015; 4/19/2015 - 4/24/2015; 5/3/2015 - 5/8/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/2/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/9/2015; 10/11/2015 - 10/16/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/23/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Hiawassee, Georgia
Price starting at: $751.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture; Train Treks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience scenic views and capture mountain breezes aboard a train in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. Depart the historic town of Bryson City and travel along the Nantahala River Gorge as you ride the rails. Explore renowned John Campbell Folk School to learn about classes in craft, art, music and dance, and hear a talented musician perform tunes of Southern Appalachia for a delightful encounter with Great Smoky heritage.




Highlights

• Experience a train ride 100 feet above the water over the 780-foot-long Fontana Lake Trestle, viewing magnificent mountain scenery and a sunset over the lake.
• Led by a naturalist, hike a short portion of the Appalachian Trail and examine medicinal plants and the storied area’s wildlife.
• Learn about the Trail of Tears and hear about Cherokee life in the “enchanted land” centuries ago at the Cherokee Indian Museum.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to a half-mile during field trips; boarding train, motorcoach. Moderate terrain, small stones, incline on Appalachian Trail.



Coordinated by Center for Educational Adventure.




Hiawassee

Beginning in the 1800s, wealthy families in lowland areas would escape from heat and discomfort to “summer” in Hiawassee on beautiful Lake Chatuge. Today known as the state’s “Country Music Capital,” the town hosts music and folk festivals throughout the year.



Accommodations
Charming lake-side lodge with private balcony and fitness center.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Lee Knight

Raised in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, Lee is a folk singer, story teller and outdoor leader, performing at concerts, workshops, festivals and schools. He shares his knowledge of the natural world leading hikes, canoe trips and guiding whitewater rafts. Lee has collected and shares Cherokee legends and plays the Cherokee flute and rattle, as well as the Native American drum. He also plays the five-string banjo, guitars and the Appalachian dulcimer.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   The Ridges Resort & Marina
  Hiawassee, GA 5 nights
 The Ridges Resort & Marina
Type: Resort
  Description: The Ridges Resort & Marina encompasses a tranquil lakeside escape in Hiawassee, GA. The Ridges is a world apart from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, featuring beautiful accommodations, a relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and memorable cuisine. Just two hours from Atlanta, this lakeside oasis is filled with recreational activities from boating to championship golf.
  Contact info: 3495 US Highway 76 West
Hiawassee, GA 30546 USA
phone: 888-834-4409
web: www.theridgesresort.com
  Room amenities: All rooms provide modern amenities such as: Private Balcony, Luxurious Bedding, Unique Willow & Oak Furnishings, Iron/Ironing Board, Hair Dryer, Coffee Maker, Mini Refrigerator, Complimentary Wireless Internet Access, Large Desk, Over 50 TV Channels, including HBO, Laundry Services, Full Sized Desks
  Facility amenities: Decadent Dining, Swimming Pools, Fitness Center, Tennis, Lake Access, Marina & Water Sports
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for seasonal rate. Participants are responsible for making own reservations for any additional nights.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for seasonal rate. Participants are responsible for making own reservations for any additional nights.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in begins at 4 p.m. in the hotel lobby. Road Scholar check-in is 5:30 p.m. in the classroom. You will be staying at The Ridges Resort & Marina that night.
  End of Program:
Morning Lecture at 9:00 am. Program ends by 10:30 am. You will be staying at The Ridges Resort & Marina the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available free of charge at the resort for duration of program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Hiawassee, GA
  Nearest city or town:  Hiawassee
  Nearest highway: I-75 & I-85
  Nearest airport:  Atlanta, GA; Nashville, TN; Chattanooga, TN; and Greenville, SC are all 2 hours from site.
  From End of Program
  Location: Hiawassee, GA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Atlanta, GA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Affordable Taxi
phone: 706-970-0794
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$185 plus gratuity for up to 4 people. $15 each additional person. Maximum capacity 7 people.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

3 hours 

 

Distance:

 

124 miles

 

Chattanooga, TN

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Affordable Taxi
phone: 706-970-0794
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$185 plus gratuity for up to 4 people. $15 each additional person. Maximum capacity 7 people.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

3 hours 

 

Distance:

 

124 miles

 

Atlanta, GA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Atlanta Transportation
phone: 678-428-4573
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$200.00 for 1-3 people one way
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2 1/2 hours from Atlanta to Hiawassee 

 

Distance:

 

124 miles

   

To book online, visit their website: www.atlanta-airport-transportation.com/, and receive a phone call within 24hrs of making a reservation.

 
Driving Directions
  Atlanta,GA to The Ridges Resort and Marina, Hiawassee, GA From Atlanta - Interstate 85 N to where I-985 branches off to the left via Exit 113 towards Gainesville. Once on GA-369, take Exit 24, towards US-129. Take US 129 North to just past Cleveland. Turn right on Alt 75 N. Continue on GA 75 once it merges with 17 until it dead ends at a stop sign. Turn left (West) onto US 76 and go 9.5 miles, through the town of Hiawassee, toward Young Harris. Go past the Marina and The Ridges Resort is immediately on your right.
  Chattanooga, TN to The Ridges Resort and Marina, Hiawassee, GA From Chattanooga - Interstate 75 North to US 64 Exit, go East on US 64 to US 129 S; take US 129 to Blairsville, GA, then US 76 East to Young Harris. The Ridges Resort & Marina is 4 miles past Young Harris College on the left.
  Greenville, SC to The Ridges Resort and Marina, Hiawassee, GA From Greenville - From Interstate 85 take Exit 11 to Hwy 24 W toward Westminster. In Westminster watch signs closely for Hwy 76 W to Clayton, GA. Follow Hwy 76 through Clayton, Hiawassee, and toward Young Harris. Go past the Marina and The Ridges Resort is immediately on your right.
  Knoxville, TN to The Ridges Resort and Marina, Hiawassee, GA From Knoxville - Interstate 75 South to Cleveland, TN. Take US 64 E to US 129 S. Take US 129 to Blairsville, GA then US 76 East to Young Harris. The Ridges Resort & Marina will be about 4 miles past Young Harris College on the left.
Elevation Note: Approximately 2000 feet elevation will be experienced.

Equipment Requirements: Any good hiking shoe or good tennis shoe with good soles will be just fine for all field trips including the Appalachian Trail.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration and Check-In/Cherokee Tribe
(Sunday, October 28)
   
 Afternoon: Orientation will be in the conference room at 5:30 PM followed by dinner at 6:00 pm.
 Dinner: Dinner at resort.
 Evening: Expert-led lecture on The Cherokees.
   
Accommodations: The Ridges Resort & Marina
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Cherokee County Historical Museum/Appalachian Trail Hike/European Settlers
(Monday, October 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at The Ridges Resort.
 Morning: Participants will visit the Cherokee Museum. This is a delightful museum in Murphy, NC. What is even better is the knowledgeable and entertaining guide that will enlighten you as to the history of the area and then will show you all the museum artifacts...a real show. Everyone loves this museum and loves the guide that goes with it.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at restaurant located on Lake Chatuge.
 Afternoon: Hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Approximately 3 hours. If a person is unable to go the distance, they may go a portion of the trail and go back to bus or to the picnic area and wait on the group to return. We have had people to do this before, who wanted to see what the trail looked like. A naturalist will guide the trip and explain the flora and fauna and medicinal uses of the plants.
 Dinner: Dinner is held at 6:00 PM and is at the resort.
 Evening: Lecture - The European Settlers
   
Accommodations: The Ridges Resort & Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Cherokee & Great Smoky National Park trip/Cherokee Indians Exit From Georgia/Museum
(Tuesday, October 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at The Ridges Resort.
 Morning: Cherokee & Great Smoky National Park trip. This is an all day trip to Cherokee, NC to study the Cherokee Indians and their exit from Georgia on the Trail of Tears. Visit a museum and village plus more. Commentary is provided on the motor coach ride to Cherokee.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: Cherokee & Great Smoky National Park trip. You will return to the hotel by 5:00 pm. This is a fun-filled day.
 Dinner: Dinner is held at 6:00 PM at the resort.
 Evening: Free evening to enjoy on your own or "Song Catcher Film" is available for viewing. Songcatcher is a 2000 drama film directed by Maggie Greenwald. It is about a musicologist researching and collecting Appalachian folk music in the mountains of western North Carolina. Although Songcatcher is a fictional film, it is loosely based on the work of Olive Dame Campbell, founder of the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina and that of the English folk song collector Cecil Sharp, portrayed at the end of the film as professor Cyrus Whittle.
   
Accommodations: The Ridges Resort & Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: John C. Campbell Folk School/Appalachian Railway
(Wednesday, October 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at The Ridges Resort.
 Morning: John C. Campbell Folk School provides experiences in non-competitive learning and community life that are joyful and enlivening. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round week long and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing. Our group will be greeted by an on-site instructor who will be our guide.
 Lunch: Lunch is held at 12:30 PM at the resort.
 Afternoon: Participants have the afternoon off to rest, fish, meander through the rhododendron garden located 1/4 mile from the resort, which is right next door to your hotel or visit the local historic area.
 Dinner: Dinner is held at 6:00 PM in the Meeting Room of the Lodge.
 Evening: Lecture - Railroads in the Appalachians.
   
Accommodations: The Ridges Resort & Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Train trip: The Great Smoky Mountains Railway/Appalachian Concert
(Thursday, November 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at The Ridges Resort.
 Morning: Travel to the Fontana Lake Trestle spanning 780 feet and standing 100 feet above the water. View the magnificent sunset on the lake. Train trip through the Great Smoky Mountains. Lunch is on the train.You will see beautiful mountains, trees, and flora and fauna. The Great Smoky Mountain Railway takes you over the Fontana Lake by way of the historic Fontana Trestle. It is a sight to see! This is an experience you don't won't to miss.
 Lunch: Box Lunch.
 Afternoon: Continuation of Train trip.
 Dinner: Dinner is held at 6:00 PM at the resort.
 Evening: Enjoy listening to a talented musician perform Appalachian Folk Music.
   
Accommodations: The Ridges Resort & Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Appalachian Folk History/Farewells and Departures
(Friday, November 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at The Ridges Resort.
 Morning: A presentation on Appalachian Folk History will be given by your instructor.
 Lunch: Farewells and Departure between 10:30 - 11:00 AM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Hiawassee, GA Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa
Nestled among the North Georgia Mountains is the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa. No longer a secret, the 18-hole championship golf course was named among Golf Digest magazine's top places to play. The Stables at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa offers one- and two-hour guided horseback trail-riding for every skill level. And the 7,500-square-foot Equani Spa, inspired by the area's native Cherokee people, serves up treatments to maximize strength, health, appearance, mental acuity and spiritual balance. Among the wide range of activities to enjoy, make sure to complete your stay with exceptional dining. The Resort's dining room is known far and wide for its picturesque mountain views, which complement its outstanding food and service. For additional information, visit www.brasstownvalley.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Cherokee Nation and The Trail of Tears


Author: Theda Perdue & Michael Green


Description: Today, a fraction of the Cherokee people remains in their traditional homeland in the southern Appalachians. Most Cherokees were forcibly relocated to eastern Oklahoma in the early nineteenth century. In 1830 the U.S. government shifted its policy from one of trying to assimilate American Indians to one of relocating them and proceeded to drive seventeen thousand Cherokee people west of the Mississippi. The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears recounts this moment in American history and considers its impact on the Cherokee, on U.S.-Indian relations, and on contemporary society. Guggenheim Fellowship-winning historian Theda Perdue and coauthor Michael D. Green explain the various and sometimes competing interests that resulted in the Cherokee's expulsion, follow the exiles along the Trail of Tears, and chronicle their difficult years in the West after removal.



Appalachia: A History


Author: John Williams


Description: Interweaving social, political, environmental, economic, and popular history, John Alexander Williams chronicles four and a half centuries of the Appalachian past. Along the way, he explores Appalachia's long-contested boundaries and the numerous, often contradictory images that have shaped perceptions of the region as both the essence of America and a place apart. Williams begins his story in the colonial era and describes the half-century of bloody warfare as migrants from Europe and their American-born offspring fought and eventually displaced Appalachia's Native American inhabitants. He depicts the evolution of a backwoods farm-and-forest society, its divided and unhappy fate during the Civil War, and the emergence of a new industrial order as railroads, towns, and extractive industries penetrated deeper and deeper into the mountains. Finally, he considers Appalachia's fate in the twentieth century, when it became the first American region to suffer widespread deindustrialization, and examines the partial renewal created by federal intervention and a small but significant wave of in-migration. Throughout the book, a wide range of Appalachian voices enlivens the analysis and reminds us of the importance of storytelling in the ways the people of Appalachia define themselves and their region.



Southern Railways Murphy Branch


Author: Michael George


Description: The Southern Railway was a branchline of the Louisville & Nashville. This is the story of this mountain railroad's Murphy Branch. Full of pictures.



The Southern Highlander and His Homeland


Author: John C. Cambell


Description: In 1908 John C. Campbell was commissioned by the Russell Sage Foundation to conduct a survey of conditions in Appalachia and the aid work being done in these areas to create "the central repository of data concerning conditions in the mountains to which workers in the field might turn." Originally published in 1921, The Southern Highlander and His Homeland details Campbell's experiences and findings during his travels in the region, observing unique aspects of mountain communities such as their religion, family life, and forms of entertainment. Campbell's landmark work paved the way for folk schools, agricultural cooperatives, handicraft guilds, the frontier nursing service, better roads, and a sense of pride in mountain life -- the very roots of Appalachian preservation.



A Walk In The Woods


Author: Bill Bryson


Description: Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes--and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings. For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods is destined to become a modern classic of travel literature.





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