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

Program Number: 1381RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/21/2013 - 4/26/2013; 5/4/2014 - 5/9/2014; 9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014; 9/28/2014 - 10/3/2014; 10/5/2014 - 10/10/2014; 10/12/2014 - 10/17/2014; 10/19/2014 - 10/24/2014; 10/26/2014 - 10/31/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Hiawassee, Georgia
Price starting at: $785.00 - 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, swimming pool, 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 Highway 76 West
Hiawassee, GA 30456 USA
phone: 888-834-4409
web: www.theridgesresort.com
  Room amenities: Coffee Service, Mini Refrigerators, Wireless Internet Access, 55 Channels Including HBO, 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 - 4 p.m. in lobby of the Lodge. Road Scholar check-in 5:30 p.m. in conference room. 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. If you have a Senior Pass, Golden Age Passport or National Parks Pass, please bring it with you.
  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:

 

Taxi
Classic Transportation of the Tri State, Inc
phone: 706-633-3668
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$135.00 - $200.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2 1/2 hours 

 

Distance:

 

124 miles

   

Option 1: Toyota Prius, up to 2 people - $135.00 + gratuity for one person, $10.00 for an additional person. Luggage limited to one suitcase and one carry-on per person. Option 2: Lincoln Town car, up to 4 people - $200 + gratuity.

 
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. The Ridges Resort & Marina will be on the 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. The Ridges Resort & Marina will be on the 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.
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, April 21)
   
 Afternoon: Lobby of resort. Orientation held in conference room at 5:30 PM.
 Dinner: Dinner at resort.
 Evening: Lecture in preparation for next days field trip.
   
Accommodations: The Ridges Resort & Marina
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Cherokee County Historical Museum/Appalachian Trail Hike/European Settlers
(Monday, April 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast begins at 8:00 AM and is held in the Meeting Room of 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, April 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is at 8:00 AM at 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. Your excellent instructor will be along and will talk to you about this on your 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: Lecture on Appalachian History and Culture.
   
Accommodations: The Ridges Resort & Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: John C. Campbell Folk School/Appalachian Railway
(Wednesday, April 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is held at 8:00 AM at the 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: Free evening to enjoy on your own.
   
Accommodations: The Ridges Resort & Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Train trip: The Great Smoky Mountains Railway/Appalachian Concert
(Thursday, April 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is held at 7:15 AM at the 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: Entertainment.
   
Accommodations: The Ridges Resort & Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Appalachian Folk History/Farewells and Departures
(Friday, April 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is held at 8:00 AM at the resort.
 Morning: A presentation on Wildflowers of the Southern Appalachians.
 Lunch: Farewells and Departure between 10:30 - 11:00 AM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
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


A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail


Author: Bill Bryson


Description: The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).



Appalachia: A History


Author: John Alexander 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.



Southern Railway's Murphy Branch


Author: Michael George


Description: Large (8.5 x 11) Paperback; excellent history, full of photos, several in color, of one of the most colorful, interesting Class 1 Branch Lines in American Railroading.



The Cherokee Nation and The Trail of Tears


Author: Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green


Description: Acclaimed historians Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green paint a moving portrait of the infamous Trail of Tears. Despite protests from statesmen like Davy Crockett, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay, a dubious 1838 treaty drove 17,000 mostly Christian Cherokee from their lush Appalachian homeland to barren plains beyond the Mississippi. For 4,000, this brutal forced march lead only to their deaths.



The Southern Highlander and His Homeland


Author: John C. Campbell


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.





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