It’s so important to us that our runners spend time in the parks where we run. So for each of our races we’ve come up with a club hike and a park trifecta. For the Great Smoky Mountains Half, we made the Chimney Club and the Trifecta is as follows:
This challenge is comprised of 3 different activities. You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. Those who complete the Trifecta, take their picture at each of the 3 with your bib and finisher medal and send them to us 72 hours after finishing the race will receive 20% OFF next year’s race entry!
The Trifecta is meant to be challenging, but less strenuous. These are iconic activities inside the park that should be experienced, but are doable with children. The 3 activities that makeup the Trifecta are:
1) Cades Cove
2) Laurel Falls
3) Clingmans Dome
[nzs_heading heading=”5″] Cades Cove[/nzs_heading]
Cades Cove is a broad, verdant valley surrounded by mountains and is one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen, and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible.
[nzs_heading heading=”5″] Laurel Falls[/nzs_heading]
Laurel Branch and the 80-foot high Laurel Falls are named for mountain laurel, an evergreen shrub which blooms along the trail and near the falls in May. The waterfall consists of an upper and a lower section, divided by a walkway which crosses the stream at the base of the upper falls. Laurel Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the park and parking at the trailhead is limited.
[nzs_heading heading=”5″] Clingmans Dome[/nzs_heading]
At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. Only Mt. Mitchell (6,684 feet) and Mt. Craig (6,647), both located in Mt. Mitchell State Park in western North Carolina, rise higher. The observation tower on the summit of Clingmans Dome offers spectacular 360° views of the Smokies and beyond for visitors willing to climb the steep half-mile walk to the tower at the top.
We love our parks and think it would be a shame to come all the way to these beautiful places JUST to run a race! Will you be completing the Trifecta Challenge?