Part of our goals at each race is to make sure our runners spend some time in the park. One way we do this is to designate one long hike to be our official club hike, and a few short hikes to make up our trifecta. The official club hike for the Great Smoky Mountains Half is Chimney Tops! Those who join the Chimney Club, or complete the Great Smoky Mountains Trifecta are eligible for race discounts the following year. Check it out:
[nzs_heading heading=”4″] The Chimney Club [/nzs_heading]
The Chimney Club is a salute the hardcore among us. We want to reward anyone who hikes the Chimney Tops Trail after the race. Any runner who sends us a picture of themselves from Chimney Tops within 72 hours of the end of the race which includes:
- A clear view of your face
- Your bib with bib numbers clearly visible
- Your finisher medal in plain view
- A clear background that shows you actually hiked up
will join the Chimney Club and forever be immortalized on our website. We will post all those pictures here along with the runners name and city.
Additionally, those runner’s will get 50% OFF the next year’s registration.
SEE WHO JOINED THE 2014 INAUGURAL CHIMNEY CLUB!
[nzs_heading heading=”4″] The Great Smoky Mountains Trifecta [/nzs_heading]
This challenge is comprised of 3 different activities. You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. Same rules as the Chimney Club apply: take your picture at each of the 3 with your bib and finisher medal and send them to us 72 hours after finishing the race. Those who complete the Trifecta will receive 20% OFF next year’s race entry!
SEE WHO COMPLETED THE 2014 INAUGURAL GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS TRIFECTA!
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
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.
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.