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Great Smoky Mountains National Park: An American Treasure

Program Number: 20552RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/5/2013 - 5/10/2013; 5/10/2015 - 5/15/2015; 8/16/2015 - 8/21/2015; 9/20/2015 - 9/25/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
Price starting at: $656.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; Natural History; Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the nation. Do more than just visit! Experience this national treasure in a memorable way as you walk portions of the Appalachian Trail, visit the Cherokee Reservation, spend time at a Ranger Station and help with on-going research into the effects of air pollution in the park. Go into the Cataloochee Valley to visit buildings dating from the 20th century and observe the elk reintroduction project first-hand.




Highlights

• Visit Oconluftee Village and explore Great Smoky Mountains Visitor Center, Farmstead Museum and Mingus Mill to learn about the human history of the area.
• Walk the Kephart Prong Trail along a branch of the Oconoluftee River and venture onto the Appalachian Trail experiencing different ecosystems, as a local expert relates mountain lore and points out a variety of flowers, edible plants and wildlife.
• Encounter breathtaking vistas and picturesque waterfalls as you tread trails along Deep Creek.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to four miles over uneven terrain. Elevations above 5,000 feet.



Coordinated by Intentional Growth Center.




Cherokee

Located at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee, N.C. is the headquarters for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians within the Qualla Boundary. The town is a popular hub for visitors seeking to learn about Cherokee heritage, and is home to the Ocanaluftee Indian Village, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, as well as numerous arts and crafts guilds.



Lake Junaluska

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs along the ridgelines of Haywood County, offering visitors to Lake Junaluska a beautiful view of the Southern Appalachians Mountains. Asheville and the famous Biltmore Estate are a short drive away.



Accommodations
A modern hotel overlooking scenic Lake Junaluska. Gorgeous panoramic of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains from the dining room. All meals served buffet style. Alcohol and smoke-free facilities. No accommodations option excludes breakfast.

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

Susan Sachs is the education coordinator at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and has won the National Park Service’s Freeman Tilden Award for Excellence in Interpretation. Susan lived and worked as a naturalist and educator in parks in Washington, D.C., Alaska, Arizona and California before coming to North Carolina, where she and her husband, Greg, enjoy the great opportunities for outdoor adventure the southern Appalachians have to offer.
 
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 Terrace Hotel
  Lake Junaluska, NC 5 nights
 The Terrace Hotel
Type: Conference Center
  Contact info: 689 N Lakeshore Drive
Lake Junaluska, NC 28745 USA
phone: 828-452-2881 x490
web: www.lakejunaluska.com
  Room amenities: In room coffee, iron and board; hair dryer upon request
  Facility amenities: Hotel Lobby has coffee 24 hours/day; outdoor pool in season; fitness center nearby; internet access
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: 1-800-222-4930 Participants must contact hotel in advance to confirm rates and availability. 1-800-222-4930
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: 1-800-222-4930 Participants must contact hotel in advance to confirm rates and availability. 1-800-222-4930
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration 3:00 to 5:00 in lobby of Terrace Hotel You will be staying at The Terrace Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after lunch at 1:00 PM, check out by 11:00 AM You will be staying at The Terrace Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lake Junaluska, NC
  Nearest city or town:  Waynesville, NC
  Nearest highway: Highway 23/74 Interstate 40
  Nearest airport:  Asheville, NC
  From End of Program
  Location: Lake Junaluska, NC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Asheville

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Various
phone: 828-452-2881 x384
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Subject to change
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 min 

 

Distance:

 

35 miles

   

The Conference Center has a contract with a commercial service in Asheville. Call for details.

 
Driving Directions
  From South (Atlanta) 1-85 North to 1-985 to Hwy 23 North to Waynesville, NC (187 m). Exit 102B Hwy 276 North 1.3 miles to junction of Hwy 19 South. Turn right on Hwy 19. Drive a short distance to Lake Junaluska Assembly entrance on left. Turn left onto N. Lakeshore Dr. and at next intersection, turn right and continue on Lakeshore Dr. to Terrace Hotel (.5 m on left) or continue up hill to the cross, take a sharp left to Lambuth Inn
  From the East (Asheville) I-40 West to Exit 27 (Hwy. 19, 23, 74) 25 miles; follow Hwy. 19 South 4.1 miles to Exit 103; continue on Hwy 19 South 1 mile to second entrance through stone gate on right to Lake Junaluska Assembly. Turn right on N. Lakeshore Drive; at next intersection, turn right and continue on N. Lakeshore Drive to: Terrace Hotel (on the left) .5 mile. To Lambuth Inn, continue on Lakeshore Drive up the hill to the cross and take a sharp left. GPS directions are not necessarily correct in the area. Please use written directions as you approach Waynesville.
  From the North on I-81 After entering the state of Tennessee, continue to Exit 57, exit onto US-23 and/or 1-/26 south to Johnson City. Follow US-23/I-26 into North Carolina, into Asheville. Take right ramp onto I-240 towards US-74A/I-26/I-40 W. Follow I-240 to Exit 1A, take ramp onto I-40 W towards Canton/Knoxsville, then follow directions from Asheville (above).
  From the West (Knoxville) I-40 East to Exit 20 (90 miles; take Hwy 276 to Hwy 19 North (5.8 miles). Turn left on Hwy 19North and continue 3 miles to Lake Junaluska Assembly entrance. Turn left on N. Lakeshore Drive; at next intersection turn right and continue on Lakeshore Drive to Terrace Hotel (on the left) .5 mile. To Lambuth Inn, continue on Lakeshore Drive up the hill to the cross and take a sharp left. GPS directions are not necessarily correct in the area. Please use written directions as you approach Waynesville.
Elevation Note: Purchase Knob is above 5,000 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Comfortable hiking boots and layered clothing.
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 Orientation
(Sunday, May 5)
   
 Afternoon: Registration in the hotel lobby. History of Lake Junaluska at 4:30 pm.
 Dinner: Dinner served in the hotel dining room, buffet style, with a variety of food choices. Enjoy panoramic views of the mountains of western North Carolina.
 Evening: Orientation and reception. Meet your host-coordinator and expert hiking guide. Get an idea of what is in store for you in the week ahead.
   
Accommodations: The Terrace Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Field Trip to Oconoluftee Village on the Cherokee Reservation, Great Smoky Mountains Visitor Center, Cherokee Museum.
(Monday, May 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room, served buffet style. A variety of offerings to fuel your day.
 Morning: Visit Oconluftee Village, tour the Cherokee Museum and the Great Smoky Mountains Visitor Center. Learn about human history in the area.
 Lunch: Take a short hike to Collins Creek Picnic Area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy a box lunch picnic.
 Afternoon: Visit the old Farmstead and Mingus Mill as you walk back to the Village.
 Dinner: Dinner served in the hotel dining room, buffet style. Enjoy sweeping views and a wide selection of foods.
 Evening: Meet Greg Kidd from the Great Smoky National Park and learn about development of the national park itself. This will augment and expand on what was learned at the visitor center earlier that day. Greg will show a beautiful slideshow presentation.
   
Accommodations: The Terrace Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, learn natural and human history, variety of flowers, plants, trees, streams, wildlife.
(Tuesday, May 7)
   
 Breakfast: Start your day with a hearty meal and beautiful views of Lake Junaluska as it reflects the day's beginning.
 Morning: Spend the day hiking the Kephart Prong Trail. This is a moderate hike of 4 miles round trip along a branch of the Oconoluftee River, past a former CCC camp, fish hatchery and overnight shelter staging area for lumber woods and remains of a logging railroad.
 Lunch: Enjoy a box lunch picnic at the shelter.
 Afternoon: Complete the Kephart trail hike as your expert hiking guide continues to point out a variety of flowers, edible plants and wildlife. Also hear stories of Mountain Lore and human history.
 Dinner: Enjoy a leisurely meal in the hotel dining room, serve buffet style.
 Evening: Relax with an evening of entertainment.
   
Accommodations: The Terrace Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Moderate 5-6 mile high to Deep Creek, visit 3 waterfalls, and walk through varied woodlands while viewing Deep Creek.
(Wednesday, May 8)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty breakfast in the hotel dining room, serve buffet style.
 Morning: Field trip to hike to Newfound Gap and on to Clingman's Dome. Your hiking guide will share with you the natural history of the geology of this region as hike this moderate trail.
 Lunch: Enjoy a box lunch picnic on the trail.
 Afternoon: While at Clingman's Dome, visit the observation tower at the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Another excellent photo opportunity! See where FDR dedicated the park. Learn about the natural history and science from your hiking guide as you return from your hike.
 Dinner: Enjoy an evening banquet in the dining room at the hotel. This is a special time to celebrate your shared experiences so far this week.
 Evening: Evening class with an Education Coordinator from the Appalachian Highlands Research Learning Center. Orientation on the on-going research that records the effects of pollution on various plants and animals. This hour-long class is in preparation for the visit to the Research Center tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: The Terrace Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Day at Purchase Knob, Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center. Afternoon and evening at Cataloochee Valley to observe elk and continue collecting data for the Research Station.
(Thursday, May 9)
   
 Breakfast: Start the day with a nourishing breakfast, served buffet style in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Depart for Purchase Knob, one the scientific research stations in the National Park System. Participate in collecting data for on-going research that records the effects of air pollution in the Great Smoky Mountains on plants and animals.
 Lunch: Return to the hotel for a buffet-style lunch.
 Afternoon: Late afternoon, depart for Cataloochee Valley. Continue with research walking down to move through trees and over rocks near a stream and recording the salamander population. Hike up hill back to the research station's lab to continue recording data on the animals that show the effects of pollution.
 Dinner: Continue your explorations with a Park Ranger as you explore some of the remaining buildings from the early part of the 20th century before the area became part of the National Park. Learn about the elk, which have been reintroduced to the Park at Cataloochee. Enjoy a box dinner in the valley.
 Evening: View and photograph the elk herd as they emerge into the valley at dusk to graze.
   
Accommodations: The Terrace Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning wrap-up following breakfast. Lunch, then dismissal
(Friday, May 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served buffet style with a variety of choices in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Morning session of questions and answers to wrap up the week.
 Lunch: Enjoy a leisurely lunch in the hotel dining room before departing for home ... or the next destination!
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Lake Junaluska, North Carolina Lake Junaluska and surrounding areas
On the grounds: Golf (adjacent to Lake Junaluska); Tennis, Shuffleboard, walk around the lake (featuring the Rose Walk, Foot Bridge, Asbury Trail;swimming; paddle boats and canoeing (in season); Corneille Bryan Native Garden; The United Methodist Heritage Center; Lake Junaluska Bookstore and Gift Shop; Junaluska Library; World Methodist Museum; Susanna Wesley Gardens. Nearby places of interest: Downtown Waynesville with many unique shops; Asheville; Biltmore Estate in Asheville; Blue Ridge Parkway; Cherokee Indian Reservation; Dillsboro, Maggie Valley, Smoky Mountain National Park. For additional information, visit www.lakejunaluska.com
  Lake Junaluska, NC Lake Junaluska
On the grounds: Golf (adjacent to Lake Junaluska); Tennis, Shuffleboard, walking trail around the lake, swimming and boating available in season, Corneille Bryan Native Garden, The United Methodist Heritage Center; Lake Junaluska Bookstore and Gift Shop, World Methodist Museum, Nearby places of interest: Downtown Waynesville, Asheville, Biltmore Estate, Cherokee Indian Reservation, Dillsboro, Maggie Valley, Smoky Mountains National Park
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.


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